330 Generator Hatch - caulk or no caulk?

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2004 330 Express:
This year 330, has the generator hatch that is secured down instead of hinged. I pulled the hatch for the first time (the boat is new to me), and I noticed the deck has drains for the hatch.

This has me wondering, are you supposed to caulk the hatch down when you re-install, or do you leave it and let the existing drains do their thing? The previous person to install the hatch had caulked it, but the caulk had completely failed so it was easy to remove. Caulk or not to caulk?

Thoughts?

Thanks

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Hatch Installed:
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HMBJack

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You ask a good question and you can go eitherway and be fine.

I personally like to caulk mine since I fish 99% of the time and all the blood, scales, etc. drain towards that area.
By caulking it, I keep the stinky fish smell out of my bilge. I use GE Silicon II in Almond available at any Ace Hardware store. Takes a tube and a half.

If however you don't have alot of blood and guts on your deck, you can leave it un-caulked however you certainly will get wash down water and rain water in your aft bilge.

Something else I did was to replace all the wood screws that hold that panel in place with upsized SS machine screws (1/4"?) that fit into those black rubber expansion thingys. This provides a more solid and more reusable connection to the frame area under there. I only need to get down in there if I'm replacing the Generator Impeller or if a pump or something needs replacing so for me, it's once every two years or so.

AS to the expansion thingys - this isn't the SIZE I use but they resemble these...
 

seasick

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My position is that as long as the gasket works, don't caulk. You never know when you might need access to things in that area.
 
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Sibs

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Your hatch has been modified from Oem, it appears they made dams at the rear and gaskets to seal. Also the 4 locking fasteners were added to make it quick disconnect. Can’t tell if your sea deck is covering the heads of the fasteners.
The original deck would have been screwed down and sealed. I have left mine screwed down and unsealed for easy access to generator, however when it rains heavy I get water in bilge.
 
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fsc60

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I have a 01 330, My hatch was completely water logged. I dug out all the wet wood, replaced it with composite, reglassed it. I don't fish, did not caulk it. I put short stainless screws so it looks mounted. I like taking it out when ever I need to go in the bilge. The water in the bilge doesn't seem to be an issue. If I only use the top half of the hatch, I can't access anything.
 
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grady33

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Have a 06 330 and caulk and then using a razor blade make a cut and leave the caulk on edges. This allows me to access inside anytime i need too and caulk keeps any fish from entering bildge. I caulk the screw holes!

I also have a palm beach cover that protects the cockpit when boat is at dock so no rain gets in there. I like a dry bilge so i occasionally use a small wet vac to remove any remaining water.
 
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Bg56126

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@grady33 are you able to send any pictures of your palm beach cover? I'm interested in getting one and have the same boat 06 330.

As for the thread, I caulk the hatch back in place and keep a razor blade handy if I need to open it. I figure if I need to open it, what's another minute after removing the screws to run the razor blade through the caulk. I like a dry bildge as well so do my best to keep it that way.
 
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Thanks guys, all great ideas. It is so nice to have access to the bilge I hate to caulk it, but as we fish a lot I think we have to do it. I will wax it first, or put some other release agent before I caulk it so the caulk is easier to remove. I will also use something with minimal adhesive like 4000UV (or silicone as mentioned above but it also can be hard to remove as it leaves a film.) Thanks!
 

grady33

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@grady33 are you able to send any pictures of your palm beach cover? I'm interested in getting one and have the same boat 06 330.

As for the thread, I caulk the hatch back in place and keep a razor blade handy if I need to open it. I figure if I need to open it, what's another minute after removing the screws to run the razor blade through the caulk. I like a dry bildge as well so do my best to keep it that way.
 

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