Bavaria deck fitting

Bavaria Pump out waste deck fitting

I recently surveyed a 2003 Bavaria 36 which had the three cabin option. This layout means that the heads compartment is located forward on the port side, with a door opening into the fore cabin and into the main saloon area. The two cabin option sites the heads aft on the starboard side.

The boat had been used for charter and in general was in good condition. However, moisture readings taken on the decks running alongside the coach roof were inconsistent, with normal levels being noted on the starboard side and high readings found on the port side. These high readings started approx 30cms aft of the Pump out waste deck fitting and continued down the side deck for about 2 metres gradually reducing in strength. Talking to the charter maintenance team, they assured me that these fitting are regularly checked and a watertight sealant would have been used under this fitting in the first place.

Looking inside the heads compartment, there is easy access to the waste hose connecting the holding tank to the deck fitting and this was in very poor condition. Water had clearly been getting in under this fitting for some time.

Normally this would not be a problem as most through-deck fittings are cut through solid laminate areas, and in most production boats these areas are easy to see. E.g. where cleats and rigging bolts are sited, and there is usually a solid area running along the hull deck join to take stanchions, and the toe rail. Had this been the case, much of the moisture ingress would simply have dripped down the hose into the bilge. However, when I removed the deck fitting, there was no sealant and the foam core inside the laminate sandwich was exposed and found to be soaking wet. Clearly water has been driven into the core when the boat has been healed and the foam core is affected all the way down the deck.

Whilst the immediate problem has been caused by lack of proper maintenance here, the real issue is a Bavaria one. If all deck fittings are located in areas of solid laminate this would never have happened, and I wonder how many other Bavaria’s with the same accommodation configuration are seeing the same problem.

It will not be easy to dry this core out, but a prudent owner could drill holes into the core from below. One in the holding tank cupboard, which gives easy access to the underside of the deck and another couple of plugs, could be taken from inside the lockers that line the saloon sides just under the deck. These holes should be left to air or ideally provision made to supply hot air to the area to speed up the drying process during the winter months, and then repaired over at the beginning of the season. Because of the location of these holes within the lockers a good cosmetic repair will easily be achieved.

Prepared by Mandy Bruce
Magellan Yacht Surveys

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