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Discussion Starter #1
Few questions for those in the know- I need to replace the forward hatch, and I think I've read somewhere that the proper orientation is with the hinges forward (so it opens facing aft). I suspect the previous owners flipped it around to facilitate launching/dousing the kite in buoy racing, which I'll still do, but the safety of having it oriented with hinges forward I think is more appealing in my case.

The other thing- these hatches (Ocean series 60) are not supported with anything to prop it open, so when it passes the vertical position, it will keep opening until laying on the deck in the fully open position, and it slams down straining the hinges (which have cracked and is why I'm having to replace it).

Does anyone know if there is a method to support it so that it won't strain those aluminum hinges and break again? The only thing I've thought of doing is placing some sort of padded block on the deck to serve as a support so it won't completely clam shell open.

Ray
 

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Ray are you aware of these guys?

- Hatchmasters - Norwalk, CT - Lewmar Hatch Repair Specialists

They can refurbish Lewmar hatches, possibly for considerably less than buying new, and also supply parts - if your hinges are the only point of failure they may have them.

Worth an email or a phone call if you haven't already purcha$ed a new hatch...

EDIT: btw, we like the ventilation aspect of a forward opening hatch (hinges aft)...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the link, Ron- I called them and the guy who does the tig welding for these aluminum frames told me they do around 200 Lewmar hatches/month, so they are the obvious choice... but they would charge around $430 for getting this hatch turned around (it would essentially be new, but with an original frame with the cracks welded together). I can get a new one from Defender (including brand new base frame) for about $630, so I'll just do it that way and replace the whole enchilada.

I like the ventilation of it oriented the way it is now, too...

Ray
 

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The solution with orientation is obvious: have two hatches, one each way.
There are arguments for hinges both back and fore, also for ventilation. With two hatches there will always be possibilities (I have three, but the aft one must be oriented with the hinges forward due to the kick).

I did the same as you, bought new hatches as the price difference is not significant.

And then the straining the hinges. Hm, afraid there is no good solution. That is, there are solutions - easy to come up with some first ideas, but they are not good. Lewmar has removed the support they had earlier - it was always in the way.
Actually, I have not had any of these problems with my hatches, at least one opens 180 degress.

When you mount check very carefully that the deck or mounting place is perfectly plane otherwise stress will be built into the frames resulting in leakage and other nasty things.

/J
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, J- I might just glass in a strip of wood (well-sealed, so it won't rot) to use as a bumper of sorts.. I recall a slot in the catch for the handles below deck, that I remember (now I remember) using as a way to leave sheets/halyard attached to the kite for buoy racing, so I think I'll leave the hatch in the current orientation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another issue just popped up- what to bed the new frame with-- polysulfide (Lifecaulk) or a silicone compound. This is the aluminum frame to fiberglass/gelcoat deck (not going to even touch the acrylic). Threads on this topic are all over the place, and I would never even consider the polyurethane products (3M 4200 or 5200). For some reason, Lewmar suggests using silicone, but I'm hesitant to use it and I have several varieties of Lifecaulk just waiting for some purpose... Does anyone have experience with this kind of project?
 

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I would use Dow Corning 795 - it's a quality silicone (non-vinegar smelling) that is recommended for cabin ports etc.. I've used it on all our hatches and portlights over the years.

Alternatively a quality Butyl tape such as that which SNer Maine Sail sells would be another good call.
 

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On my boat the hatch can open both forward and aft with just a change of the hinge pins. I am sure there must be a current supplier that has that option. Supporting the hatch so as to not overextend the hinges is best. I use a string attached from the latch on the hatch to the frame. This allows me to gently open the hatch from inside and also to grab and close the hatch from inside. With the string just the right length, it will hold the hatch open in a 120 deg position and or like a shock cord and slows the opening of the hatch just before touchdown.

For keeping the hatch part open I use a 2x6x10 block, I know not pretty, but it has three different opening positions and is simple. I have had this block of over 30+ years, it's amazing it has not gone overboard, but with the hatch only open in nice weather you I can understand why. And, of course it has no value so why would Davy Jones want it? See block in pic...also not the double hinge and string setup.

 

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Another issue just popped up- what to bed the new frame with-- ..... For some reason, Lewmar suggests using silicone, but I'm hesitant to use it and I have several varieties of Lifecaulk just waiting for some purpose... Does anyone have experience with this kind of project?

Hmpf! You are of curse perfectly rigt, silicone has no place (well, nearly no) on board. I would use Sika. Use Sika to almost everything.
Ok, it depends on what you want. Sike is also a glue. A very strong one, it turns out, using it on thru-hulls is an experience.
Still, I expect to remove my hatches in some 25 years so ... glue is good. => Sika.

Butyl - works very good, but not a glue. If you do not want gleu go for butyl.
3M 42xx or 52xx, probably a very good alternative to Sika. (It just so that thare are not represented here).

/J
 

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We just rebedded our forward hatch, (it was screwed down and we wished to through bolt it) it had a white adhesive that was so adhesive it took off some gelcoat and cracked out some previous repairs to the fibreglass.....
We used Butyl tape when reseating in order to avoid any future issues should we need to replace the existing hatch.
I can recommend the butyl sold by Mainesail. I used a locally purchased buytl tape on another hatch rebedding and it is too soft and tends to ooze down.
Have fun,
T
 

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We just rebedded our forward hatch, (it was screwed down and we wished to through bolt it) it had a white adhesive that was so adhesive it took off some gelcoat and cracked out some previous repairs to the fibreglass.....
We used Butyl tape when reseating in order to avoid any future issues should we need to replace the existing hatch.
I can recommend the butyl sold by Mainesail. I used a locally purchased buytl tape on another hatch rebedding and it is too soft and tends to ooze down.
Have fun,
T
That would be the 3M 5200 you had a hard time with removing. As a suggestion to others trying to remove something that is glued down, use a wire saw.

3M 5200 is for permanent installations above and below the water line. 5200 is the only adhesive that I have found that states it will stick to Teak.

3M 4200 is half the strength of 5200. And, is for above the water line and somewhat removable.

Once open, these adhesives will dry up in the tub within days.

But the safe thing to do when removing items is to cut the adhesive first.
 
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