Many 400 owners have complained of excess water in the aft bilge compartment. I have discovered, as many others have, that the water runs down the stairs when it rains, then down to the cabinet door under the stairs, seeps behind the door and runs through the bilge blower hole. What doesn't make it through the hole, just sits in the lowest part of the cabinet and keeps that area damp and mildew prone.


Rick Gilbride, of Stuart, Florida, sends in a great fix to keep the cabinet and aft bilge compartment dry. The solution is as simple as putting a drip edge above the cabinet door. Rick has taken a piece of 1" x 3/4" starboard and shaped it to form a drip edge. He then attached it along the edges of the door frame with double sided tape and then silicone sealed it in place.

This is a simple project that every 400 could benefit from. Getting the right color and thickness of material may be a problem , but I will try to convince Rick to provide "kits" for other owners. Once the job is setup on a saw and router, it should be fairly easy to turn out a bunch of these kits. Below is the finished project on Rick's boat.

Another way for water to enter is through the hatch. The lazarette hatch can be made fairly water-tite by adding a thin (1/8" or 3/16") PSA foam weatherstrip on deck side on the seal and making some adjustments to the latches. They are threaded and are adjustable. The weater strip on the aft section of the hatch opening will tend to creep aft after several openings, and need to be re applied every couple of years, but it is possible to keep the aft bilge completely dry.