It's "Maintenance Monday", and today we're talking about deck drain clogs and leaks. With the popularity of express style cruisers these days, cockpit deck leaks are a major source of damage to engine room components. In some cases, the leaking is so severe that engine damage occurs. We recently ran into a case where a deck leak was putting water directly into the air intake of a $65,000 diesel engine. From the rust on the engine, it was obvious what was happening, and equally obvious that the boat owner simply wasn't paying attention.
Go down into your engine compartment occasionally with a flashlight. Just sit there for a few minutes looking around. Anytime you see corrosion of metals and water stains, that is telling you that there are leaks or backups from a drain clog. We constantly find leaks and backups on boats going into things like battery chargers, pumps, motors, alternators and all sorts of electrical apparatus. If allowed to continue, this is going to result in serious damage and probably breakdowns at sea.
A common source of leaks is clogged hatch gutter drains. These things can clog up very easily, and when they do, very large amounts of water will enter the engine room that can cause a lot of damage. What often happens is that the overflow gets into the insulation on the underside of the deck. It then exits the insulation at some other location, thereby fooling you as to the source of the leak. We often see water dripping from above from a deck hatch on a hot sunny day, which tips us off right away as to what is happening.
You should inspect and clean hatch gutters virtually every time you go aboard. It only takes a minute or so to do this. Clogged drains can be quickly freed by using water pressure from a hose, and is almost guaranteed to save you thousands of dollars if you're attentive to this little maintenance detail.
If you'd like us to look your vessel's drains and hatches for leaks and clogs, give us a call today at#MarinerServicesInc. at (239)776-4253 for a no-cost consultation!