Winter project..see-through hatch boards - SailNet Community

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Old 03-04-2012
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Winter project..see-through hatch boards



They are made out of Lexan sheet, with the frame being red oak finish board sandwiching the plastic.

The Lexan was quite expensive in thicker grades so I used 3/16" - still seems plenty strong, with two layers of 1/4" oak making the thickness up to that of the solid hatch boards. The two layers are handy as you can make the stepped joint between the two boards, easily.

These windows are for use in the dock and at anchor anyway, otherwise I'd have used thicker Lexan.
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Last edited by MarkSF; 03-04-2012 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 03-04-2012
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Nice work!
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Old 03-04-2012
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Looks great..

Just remember that at the dock in the dark those will become absolutely clear/see-through with lights on below.. the smoked colour is only effective 'privacy' when it's brighter outside than in.
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Old 03-04-2012
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Ewwww.. TMI.

BL,

Why not make a one-piece hatch, since it's not for offshore use? It would be a lot earier to "open" and "close" since you wouldn't be juggling 2 boards.

How much was the thicker Lexan? I'm about to replace some hatch lenses. (And your boards look excellent.)

Regards,
Brad
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Old 03-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Ewwww.. TMI.

BL,

Why not make a one-piece hatch, since it's not for offshore use? It would be a lot earier to "open" and "close" since you wouldn't be juggling 2 boards.

How much was the thicker Lexan? I'm about to replace some hatch lenses. (And your boards look excellent.)

Regards,
Brad

Regards,
Brad
I didn't make it one piece as I thought it would be too hard to store in the boat. As it is, the 2 pieces just fit under the salon cushion which is where I store the solid boards when under way.

I was thinking I could get some automotive window tint if I want them less transparent.
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Old 03-04-2012
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Nice project, looks good.

I did this for my last boat many years ago and learned a few things:

First I did 2 layers of acrylic, ostensibly for insulation like a double pained window. I quickly had to remove the inside layer as it became impossible to see through because of condensation. Drilling several holes in inside layer to let it "breathe" also didn't work. Perhaps if it had been better sealed and I stapled a package of silica gel between....

I also found that smoke plastic didn't deter viewers/voyeurs very much. If it's light below, they can see in. My solution was to put 4 one inch velcro tabs on it, (one per corner) and made up a piece of fabric to velcro in place as a curtain. The curtain could be made of layers of heavy polar fleece or wool for a modicum of insulation.

Why use expensive Lexan? Acrylic is much cheaper, plenty strong for your application, easier to work with (doesn't shatter as easily) and isn't as chemically sensitive as Lexan (Windex instantly ruins Lexan for example).

I loved my transparent hatch. It was amazing how much extra light it let through. Nice project!

MedSailor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Nice project, looks good.

My solution was to put 4 one inch velcro tabs on it, (one per corner) and made up a piece of fabric to velcro in place as a curtain. The curtain could be made of layers of heavy polar fleece or wool for a modicum of insulation.

MedSailor
I like the idea for the curtain. It would also protect the plastic in storage a little.

Luckily I had access to a bandsaw which cuts the Lexan like a hot knife through butter. The long blade doesn't get hot and overheat the plastic. I expect it would work well for acrylic too.

I forgot to mention my prime motivation for making these hatches - now I can take the solid boards home and refinish them at my leisure. They need sanding and varnishing.
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Lightbulb

Cruising Concept's specializes in quality teak accessories for your new or used sailboat or powerboat.

I have no connection with this company, but their opening set of doors looks really nice. A friend of our has the solid teak version (might be same company, or not) and this makes it really handy to access the interior on a rainy or cold day. In the open position, they lift out of the hinges for total removal if desired.
Notice that they sell an acrylic version.
Not cheap, but OTOH they look like something that an owner could make with some thought and time...

L
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Winter project..see-through hatch boards

Yes I do like those too.
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