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Old 10-27-2006
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forward hatch leak

In heavy weather when waves and water come over the bow of the boat, my v berth mattress gets soaked!!
I can't just buy a hatch and install it, the hatch bottom (for want of a better name) is moulded into the boat itself.
I need some type of new gasket, and better handles to hold the hatch top down. (or a whole new system).
What have others done?

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Old 10-27-2006
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woops, its a morgan 30, 1969 vintage

woops, its a morgan 30, 1969 vintage
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Old 10-28-2006
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough the water coming through the gasket area or from around the base of the hatch itself? You might try simply gluing up some new rubber stipping to the lid and perhaps the extra thickness will allow you to snug down the handles tighter and cure the problem. Try auto stores for the rubber stripping like they use on car doors.
I don't understand how the hatch is mounted to your hull. I've never seen a production hatch that can't be removed. Worst can cut it out and fit a slightly larger new hatch in its' place.
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Old 10-31-2006
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Been there, done that

Replace the hatch, Joe. It's the only sane answer.

I have a 1968 Morgan 30. I just replaced the forward hatch this summer, after experiencing exactly the conditions you describe while on a brisk beat to Block Island. Starting your cruise with a wet bunk the first night out really sets a tone for the rest of the trip, doesn't it?

Don't worry, just start unscrewing. The hinges come out easily and the screw holes in the deck can be plugged with epoxy. Unscrew the bottom fitting of the piston from the frame. The hatch is now loose, and can be removed from the boat. I recommend heading for the nearest dumpster immediately.

The hatch is 17" square, it's a standard opening. I was lucky enough to find a Lewmar hatch at a marine consignment store for $50, in essentially brand new condition. The flange fit the hole perfectly, except at the corners. I used small pieces of teak to fill the corner gaps, screwed into the molded frame. I had to drill about 19 holes through the molded frame, using the new hatch as a template, to allow fastening the hatch down with bolts. One or two of the holes revealed wet core material, so I cleaned them out mechanically, then with alchohol and a shop vac until I was sure they were dry. I bedded the hatch with excessive quantities of 5200 both under the flange and in the bolt holes, and used through bolts with big flat washers and lock washers.

The only tough part was the trim on the interior rim of the hatch. Morgan used a brown epoxy to fill the gaps between the trim and the curved cabin roof, and on my hatch the layer of adhesive broke off in jagged chunks when I removed the trim. I debated how to replace it, since I wanted to be able to remove the trim in the future, so in the end I used paintable silicone. I had to drill through the trim to make room for the nuts, and used 5/8" teak plugs set to the right depth in the hole with wood glue, then sanded flush. Before I reinstalled the trim, I sanded down the area and marked off an area around the hatch with tape, then painted it white. Now that the trim was revarnished an reinstalled, it looks nice, but there was more work with the trim than with replacing the hatch.

The new hatch looks cool from both inside & out, and most importantly- it doesn't leak, come noreaster or breaking wave over the bow!!

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Old 12-03-2006
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forward hatch

I believe I have the same hatches on my 1967 M45. After a lot of close watching and several tests with the garden hose I discovered that the leak was at the seal between the acrylic window and the fiberglass frame. When I took it apart I found that the silicone had dried out and was no longer adhering to the acrylic at all.The window popped right out with all the sealant intact to the fiberglass side. I cleaned it up and rebedded it with new silicone and it dosen't leak a drop. Hopefully good for another 40 years. Good luck. JP
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Old 12-22-2006
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Lightbulb the weird out island hatch

Joe, my wife and I have a 1974 out island 41'. As you described, the hatch has a trapazoidal (is that a word?) hatch sitting down on a raised combing which is molded into the fibergalss deck. A poor design with limited easy fixes for sure. We installed 3/4 x 3/4 inch closed cell foam gasket material on the underside of the hatch (home depot stuff). Just be sure to get 'closed cell' foam. Also in our case the hatch itself (mahogany with plexiglass insert) was leaking, I forced latex caulking into every joint and crack I could find - no more leaks!
This hatch is definately not very seaworthy! And we are building another with the 1/2 inch plexiglass BOLTED in place instead of just caulked in.
In order to prevent heavy water sluicing across the deck from finding it's way past the seal, the water must be diverted. We are considering making a cover that would snap onto the deck and protect the hatch from this.
Hope this helps you, let us know if you come up with any other inprovements!

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