I have a us1m, the orco, that I built with my dad when I was 12. That was almost 20 years ago. The boat is in remarkably good condition, I just replaced the rudder tube, had to cut another hatch to do it. Anyway’s, I’ve got a leaking problem. In 15 minutes of sailing, I get about 20 ounces of water in the boat. I’m gonna recheck the rudder post seal, but I think it’s leaking at the deck/hull joint. It’s balsa with pine cleats, fiberglassed. The deck is 1/16 aircraft grade luan or mahogany ply. I don’t really want to destroy the deck, as my dad has early onset alzheimers and this is the only project we did together growing up.
Any recomendations for getting the deck off or sealing it up?
if you think its just the deck edge, 3m does sell some clear “rubberized” pin striping tape. body shops will use on door edges and such to protect the corners. its 6mil thick and .4" wide in ten yard lengths I use it on my Odom at the deck/hull joint it overlaps both. It bends and stretches well so you could do the entire boat with one piece of tape. it blends in nicely and unless you look really close you’d never notice it… 3M #84901 I got mine at a real body shop, not an autozone or pep boys. If you are ever near the Reston/Dulles area, let me know I got a few yards to spare…
This will help if its the edge were the water is coming in…
At the very least you could use electrical tape as a first step to see if taping the edge up solves the water problem…
The boat could leak in several ways. . .
pin holes or cracks in the fiberglass coating
around the fin or fin box
at the deck join
at the rudder post (bottom or top)
Can you try to eliminate possibilities. . .sit the boat level. . .does it take in water? If yes, then suspect the fin/fin box or rudder tube or a leak in the hull.
Heeling to stbd. . just bow section, then just mid section, then just stern section.
repeat heeling to port.
If it is the deck join, can you pour in some epoxy resin and ‘roll’ it around the deck edge, inside the hull. Do one side at a time. May work. . and better that trying to remove the deck.
Good idea on the pinstripe tape! I’ve got some lying around somewhere. It is 3M brand, got it at autozone, used to work there. I’ll do that, and then take it to the warf and do a little float test, and check the rudder post, keel ect. I really don’t think it’s the keel, it’s glassed in place, and epoxy painted, and there are no cracks or anything. But, we will see.
I would strongly recommend using 3M protective polyurethane tape, available from Aircraft Spruce and Supply:
Tough, waterproof, and molds easily to compound curves.
You may find it easier to find a leak by putting water inside the hull and look for where it comes out. Much easier to see!!!