Replacing Forward Hatch, Need help - SailNet Community

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Old 06-21-2011
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Replacing Forward Hatch, Need help

I am the original owner of a 1978 Hunter 27.

I need to replace the forward hatch. I see nproblem installing a new one, but getting the old one out is the issue.

It appears that the hatch is recessed and form fitted to the deck cut out.
I am considering trying to pry it out with putty knives (to break the water tight seal) or cutting it with a Multitool from the top, and taking it out in pieces. Obviously I do not want to damage the deck, or I will have difficulty making a water tight seal with the new hatch.

Has anyone had experience with something like this?

THANK YOU.
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Old 06-21-2011
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We replaced our main salon hatch and had the same quandry about getting the old frame out without damaging the cabintop. Prying with putty knives and a utility knife seemed to work the best. We attacked from both above and below deck, cutting along the join as best we could with the utility knife, and then inserting the putty knife (perhaps with a light hammer assist.) Chisels were too thick. Remember when you go to install the new hatch not to use stuff you can't cut through!
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Old 06-21-2011
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Get an epoxy syringe and some MEK. Use a painters pry bar and a painter knife to break the seal. The squirt some MEK into t he gap and wait about 30 min. The MEK will break down the adhesive and allow you to go around the hatch further, then apply a little more MEK. Be careful MEK is :HOT: stuff; but it works wonders.
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Old 06-22-2011
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I've used debond to soften the seal and the cut and pryed. It comes in a pump spray bottle. It worked on 5200 ok. Makes it gummy and easy to cut.
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Old 09-22-2011
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Debond works wonders!

I ordered a can directly from the company. You can Google to find the particulars. Turned out removal. was the easiest part of the job. Used small oak wedges and a hammer to get old hatch out. Took 30 min. Followed instructions that came with DeBond. Not the same as Antibond. Don' t use that product.
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Old 09-22-2011
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Exclamation Apply Heat

After using up a pile of putty knives and a lot of cuss words while trying un-stick a large fore hatch...
I tried a heat gun on the metal flange. Worked like a charm. Heat each section just enough to start to loosen it and move a putty knife blade further along.
Wear gloves -- the metal gets hot.

If you have a situation where the edge of the frame is in a molded-in recess, prebend several blades 90 deg. in your vice and find somewhere to start each one along and under the flange.

LB
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Old 09-22-2011
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I've always used putty knives and dish soap. The putty knives cut the seal, and the dish soap keeps it from re-sticking.
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Old 09-23-2011
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All good to know. i also have that project on my list this winter.
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