Renewing all the hatches

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Back to Home or s/v Stella Blue home or Deck Stuff or Projects

June 2008--

Here's a picture of a totally crazed hatch. They've all been like this since I bought the boat, but since they didn't leak they were priority 3 projects.

Actually, the two Atkins and Hoyle hatches leaked a little bit when a hose blasted the edges. That's just the gasket, though. Since I didn't have any intention of taking the boat into conditions where water would be coming at me sideways for hours on end, it was no big deal.

I didn't renew the anodized finish. It would have been a royal pain.

I didn't rebed the frames. There's no leak, and they are really well attached, so why mess with it?

The acrylic is 1/2" Acrylite, manufactured by CYRO.

After some work removing the lids, I sent them to Hammerhead in Canada. Despite the internataional shipping hassles, they were very affordable, and did a good job replacing the Acrylic and gaskets.

This time, I mounted the cabin top hatch backwards. Atkins and Hoyle hatches are designed to be mounted either way.

This particular hatch tends to be left accidentally open when underway a lot, so I'll try it backwards.

Well, that's better.


I've never
seen out this window before.

Then I loosely attached the hinges and set the lenses into the frame, so I'd have a chance of having them fit when they were finished.
I used washers all around the lens to approximate the finished position.

Then I traced around the fittings with
an exacto knife, being careful
not to score the plastic.

The hardware is bedded in silicone.

I did a three step process, to leave a large gasket of silicone between the parts. In step one, I just set the hardware over the tracing, and let the silicone
cure for a day.

For the first hatch, I managed to get some silicone on the wrong parts of the fitting.

There are special drill bits for plastics, which cut a lot cleaner with less risk of creating tiny stress fractures that could eventually make the plastic crack.

I overdrilled all the holes, so there would be
plenty of room for the acrylic to
expand and contract around the fittings.

The second step was to do the same thing on the other side.

Now all the hardware has a thick gasket of cured silicone between the metal and the plastic.

I set the bolts and/or screws into place, but didn't tighten them down. I just wanted to keep everything lined up
and keep the threads clean.

So, for the second hatch, I covered the hinge fitting with masking tape.

Cranking down on the fittings really compressed the silicone gaskets. That's good.

Step three was to install new fasteners, well bedded in silicone, and crank down hard.

I used new screws, as the ones I'd use to line up the parts were contaminated with cured silicone. I wanted a really good, watertight seal.

Two days later, when the silicone was all fully cured,
I trimmed the excess with an exacto knife.

The two small hatches, one over the galley and the other in the head, actually involved some work on my part. A few years ago, another C&C Landfall owner had made new lenses for his boat, and made some for me as well. They've been sitting in the box waiting for me to get around to it.

Note that I'm laying new non skid on the cabin top at the same time as this picture. The boat doesn't normally look like this.