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Who would have thought that trying to eliminate a leak around the edge of a galley sink would turn into a multi-day affair? Well, we would have, especially since we’ve gone through this once already.

Unfortunately, my previous attempt eliminating the leak did not solve the problem, but it was a good practice session. For example, I knew this time that I needed to remove the faucets before I could get the sink out of the counter. I also had a better idea on how to disconnect the supposed-to-be-easy-to-disconnect-water-fittings which are in fact, not all that easy to disconnect. The adhesive that I had bedded the sink with the last time around was adhering in certain spots, making removal of the sink a tad challenging, but obviously as it was still leaking, it was not sealing all the way around the sink.

As I showed in the post I linked above, when we first removed the sink, the bolts which held it fixed to the countertop had all rusted through. My friend Kirk and I spent a fair amount of mental energy yesterday trying to come up with an alternative method of bolting it down. Sadly, we did not come up with any easy solutions.

I even went so far as to price out new sinks, thinking that if we purchased a slightly larger one, we could modify the countertop for it and start anew. After reviewing Boat Bits’ post on the subject I knew what the result was going to be, that being, sinks cost WAY too much dinero! We’ll make the one we have work if it kills me.

Even as a young boy I was a fan of a well-functioning sink.

What am I doing differently this time? To begin, at Kirk’s urging, I spent a lot of time on surface prep yesterday, making sure that both the bottom of the sink and the countertop were free from any dirt or oils which may affect the adhesive bonding. Our Dremel tool got some work during this task and I’m happy to report that both surfaces are now pristine.

I also intend to put down a lot more adhesive/sealant this time around. I’ll be masking the area outside where the sink sits to catch any spillover. I might even end up drilling several new holes in the sink so that I can add new bolts to fix it to the counter top. We’ll see.

We do hope to have this situation resolved today because with the sink out and the faucet removed, we also have our water turned off. Although we have drinking water in a jerry can that we have been using, the lack of running water makes living aboard a tad less comfortable.


  1. That picture is precious!

  2. Also for a good bond put adhesive on both surfaces, sink and counter, don’t be stingy!

  3. 5200… 🙂

    Are you using a water based latex adhesive? Or silicone?

  4. I have been installing and replacing sinks for years. Unless you are allowing large amounts of water to stand on the counter top I would look at the faucet. A lot of faucets leak at the swivel point. Some have o rings that need to be lubricated. Allowed to swivel dry causes the o ring to bunch up and leak around that pivot point. Also look at the aerator. They get plugged and place a lot of back pressure in the spout also forcing water past the swivel seal. Did you bed the faucet with putty? A leaking spout will run under the faucet. Also remember if you have supply lines under the sink over tight joints will leak as they also have o rings that can bunch up. Stop tightening when they stop dripping. Lube your sink bolts, no one can see them. I wouldn’t recommend adhesives or silicones to bed a sink. Plumber’s putty is the recommended method, as it easily removed because it never hardens.Take a photo of the sink bolts I can send you some in the mail.

    • You may very well be correct but in our case, it is not the faucet, that is installed on the bulkhead behind the sink. It is most definitely the sink’s perimeter. The bolts holding the sink, as I showed in the post I linked, broke off and can not be re-used due to the rust. I have since drilled 6 new holes for 6 new bolts.

  5. Looking at that picture – Where did it all go wrong?



  6. To me the solution is obvious. Everyone says 5200 is a permenant water-proof sealant/adhesive. Why not use 5200 to hold the sink in place and seal the joint around the edge of the sink? No bolts to mess with and no leaks.

    • As far as I’m concerned, 5200 is the Antichrist for just about all boat jobs! If we ever wanted to get the sink out again after using that to seal it we’d need to use a reciprocating saw. No thanks.

  7. Wow ! I hope that radio is unplugged.
    This would make a great mothers day card

  8. Is that a laminate countertop? If so, then while you’ve got the sink out I’d go to the extra trouble of applying some epoxy to the raw wood edges that are exposed. I know that once you put the sink back in this time it’ll never leak again :-), but just in case it ever did the epoxy would protect that wood and prevent a hidden rot problem from developing.

  9. Ironic that there is an ad for a $399.99 s/s sink on the sidebar of your webpage.

  10. i also have install many a sink and you shouldn’t be bolting it down at all. the sink will expand and contract at different rate to the counter, unless they are made of the same material? the bolts will hold tight but the unbolted areas will have to move for the bolted area. don’t bolt.

    • Are you talking about installing them on boats or in houses, VERY different things in my opinion. Boats flex. The sink was bolted down by the manufacturer so one would assume they knew what they were doing.

  11. This sounds like a great application for butyl rubber tape for bedding the sink. It has great elasticity and never gets hard. It’s great to work with as it creates no mess at all. It’s also inexpensive and a roll can be used a little at a time and won’t go bad for a long time.

    • A good read on butyl tape use is here>>

      I have just ordered some…Sunday I was stuck* for 90 minutes, on the hard, due to a a T-storm that came up suddenly. While sitting in the cabin during the downpour I made note of all the leaks around the two windows, one stanchion and one cleat. Two new windows will be installed with the butyl tape as will the reset hardware.

      Storm was sudden and wild. One boat was towed back into the Scarborough Bluffs marina minus its mast.

      *Stuck because an hour earlier a marine surveyor asked to borrow my ladder. He did come back eventually during a lull and sat below with me and offered a few tips.

      • I have that link bookmarked. We have butyl take on board and I’ll use I’d use it for bedding hatches, etc. In this case I felt there was too big of a gap to easily use it.

  12. Have you considered having some local guy weld SS studs on the sink? Might be pretty cheap.

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