Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Bow locker bottoms...

James Alton


   The bow lockers on our boat and the chain locker were also very wet and heavily mildewed  when we bought the boat.  They now stay almost completely dry but it takes a little effort.  All three spaces are essentially unvented so any moisture present from damp lines/fenders etc. will never dry inside any of these  lockers.  Salt  is hydroscopic so when the humidity is high any the items in the locker that have salt on them ( even if they felt dry when placed in the locker) will absorb moisture from the air that will be driven out during the daily heating cycle to condense when the locker cools.    Perhaps you have noticed that though the bottom of the bow locker lids seem dry during the daytime, and then lid is dripping wet in the morning?   Another entry for water that I discovered, is that when underway in waves that are more than about 2’ a bit of saltwater enters through the locker drains from spray and can soak into anything that is absorbent  laying on the locker bottom.  I am using closed cell foam to slightly elevate the lines off of the locker bottom to help prevent this.   I am looking now for a mesh plastic grating that is sometimes used in dog pens that might work better than the foam.  The other things that I do to try to keep my bow lockers dry is to remove any salt contained in the locker itself or in the contents on a regular basis and to thoroughly dry all of the items before putting them back in the locker.  I also open the lockers during the periods of dry weather to encourage drying since even after all of this I will sometimes get a minor amount of condensation on the bottom of the lid after a cool night.  If the rest of the locker is dry, this bit of moisture will dry off quickly with the lid open.  Finally,  when I store the boat in the off season, I put a fabric cover over the entire bow area which keeps the direct sun off of the lockers to reduce the maximum temperature.  When I returned to the boat this season,  I was pleased to find no mildew growth inside either bow locker and that everything inside was completely dry.   

    In my anchor locker,  I noticed that there was often condensation hanging in drops from the underside of the the locker.  Rinsing and drying the chain on deck plus leaving the water tight door in the bow open eliminated this problem but it is a bit of work to keep up with and requires a good bit of fresh water.   I think that your suggestion to replace the plywood with a non-cellulose panel would be a good idea since the anchor locker especially is going to be wet most of the time when cruising.   

James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220

On Oct 15, 2017, at 10:28 PM, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

My bow lockers are notoriously damp, not sure how water is getting in.

I really don't think any chemical will help if you get a hole in the sealing layer, what ever it is.  If yours is still solid, I would glass over it after it has dried thoroughly.  That won't protect it from below, but nothing is likely to damage it from below.  If its feeling squishy at all, I'd replace with something that won't rot, or glass over a good marine plywood.

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