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Old 05-02-2008, 20:43   #1
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window storm boards

Seems I've read about storm boards before... but I can't find the thread.

Looking to make some permanent, clear, storm boards.
what is the best material? plexiglass?
appropriate thickness?

Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2008, 19:19   #2
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Maybe I left out too much.
We plan to do more extended offshore sailing. Our boat is seaworthy, except for the large windows in the cabin top. I doubt their ability to take a wave, or in the worst case scenario a roll. The windows are our weakest link. preparing them against waves is not so hard, but preparing them to take the pressure of a roll is something I know nothing about.

It might seem drastic to prepare for such an event, but I'd much rather play it safe.

Perhaps we should just play it safe in the caribbean for the next few years, and then upgrade to a boat more suited for deep water sailing. the trouble with that is, we love this boat, and it's cheaper to keep this one than to buy a new one.

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Old 06-02-2008, 20:48   #3
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Chad, Instead of storm boards you might consider just replacing the windows with the appropriate thickness of Lexan in a UV resistant type. You also need to look at the overall structure and decide if it will take a roll over or heavy seas.It may very well. Plywood sealed with epoxy and painted would also do quite well. You will just need to devise a system to attach and remove them when not needed. You will also need to stow them someplace on board.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:27   #4
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Look, thats a beautiful looking boat. Don't bugger it up by taking it in waters its not designed.
If you need to cement over the main deck to keep water out then you ought sell it and buy something appropriate.

To lose a boat like that to the world, if its as old and historic as it looks, is nigh on sacrilege.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:15   #5
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Without looking at the details of the hatches they may be OK unless they were totally home built.

Looks like a traditional butterfly hatch. Is it home built? It's the frame not the glass that might be a problem with a large wave. The spine along the top will take a tremendous amount of stress. The lower frame will transfer a serious load to the box around the perimeter. Thicker panes may be good but it's the frame that will fail. If it can't handle 3 or 4 folks jumping up and down along the peak it won't be able to take a big wave.

If you were to imaging a house falling on the peak, it would flatten the frame and cause it to collapse inward as the perimeter went outward in all 4 directions. It could fail with all the glass perfectly fine.Small panes can handle it if they were 3/8 in. or better. I can't tell the fore / aft span of the glass. It could be divided to make the panes smaller. This would add more triangles inside to divide the long fore aft hatch and would help support the spine.

Aft of the mast is about as protected as you might find so at least the big ones over the bow are not going to get a straight shot at them. It's the long hatch that seems the most worry. Were that made into two you might have something that could stand more action than you could. After all, that would be strong enough.

We have two butterfly wood hatches. The forward one is smaller than your bigger one and the smaller one is about the size of your smaller one. The bigger one is forward of the mast. It's taken some big ones.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:41   #6
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The butterfly hatches, as well as the rest of the boat is totally home built, from the fiberglass hull up, entirely out of teak. I can't imagine how much that would cost these days! The boat was left for 10 years, and in bad shape when we bought it.

Thanks for the help on this guys.

Here is a closer view from the outside of what we are talking about



A view from the inside of the large butterfly hatch:


An inside view of the flat window directly to the stern of the butterfly hatch, and the companionway hatch:


And a wider view of a beautiful boat for Mark:

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Old 07-02-2008, 09:20   #7
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It's nice to know you won't be winning the ugly boat contest any place you go. Given the location of the hatch it is in the most protected part of the boat. I would check the forward hatch in front of the mast I would want 1/2 inch material on that.

Looks like the larger part of the hatch aft isn't really suitable for jumping up and down on. You could make a "tent" from 3/4 plywood and add some structural parts on the under side to transfer an loads to the deck. Making it come apart and storing it is of course the problem.

You might look into adding metal to make up for the tlack of hicknes of the wood. I can't tell if the panes are the size of the openings or in the supports are under the glass. Anything you try to do needs to connect to the deck better than it is. You could make the hatch strong enough but it still could punch itself through. Bronze or stainless would be the better choice. I don't see how you could do it in teak without a toal replacement.

Here is a picture of a hatch we have forward of the mast. Notice the external stucture compared to the size of the glass. The wider frames carries a bit more of the load.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...iginal=1&c=500

You can see there are 4 sections of glass and each one is structured seperate.

Perhaps adding to the outside and the inside could make up the difference but I think you'll need to reduce the sizes of the individual panes. The above hatch operates so that adds complesxity you won't require. When closed the hatch sits directly on the frame so the hinge does not have to carry much load.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:58   #8
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I would say that you have good reason for concern. I wouldn't be as concerned about the thickness of the glass as I would be the mere unsupported expanse of that structure. I doubt very much if that roof will withstand a really big wave over the side. Waves over the bow tend to be more broken up into spay although you can get green water too. The big problem is, if you broach that boat and take solid water over the side, you could be talking about SEVERAL tons of water. If (God forbid) the boat rolls, that structure will have to support the weight of the boat without collapsing.

If it were just the forward hatch (aft of the mast) that would be one thing. However, everything aft of that seems to be an after-thought and has degraded the enegrity of that roof tremendously. It ads a lot of light to the cabin but at quite a cost.

I agree with Pblais that there may be the need for some serious changes there. You may be well advised to consult a marine architect about that.

I had a similar dog house on my Passport 45 (although not nearly that long) and I used 3/4" Lexan panels in it. My coach house was a lot more substantial in that it had a lot of curvature that gave it a tremendous amount of strength. Your deck seems relatively flat and I just don't see a lot of structural integrity there........sorry.

BTW.....it is not "drastic" to prepare for such an event.....it is essential to your survival IMO, if you plan to cross oceans.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:12   #9
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With the span of the hatch a single glass thickness won't work unless you can find some fish tank glass like they use at the large aquariums (inch thick and bigger). The force could even shear off the hatch as one piece from the deck into the boat without breaking the glass. That is where the expanse of it gets to be a problem and integration to the dog house structure needs to be looked at. It makes up the majority of the doghouse top so it has to tie to the edges and the corners. Once you get past that the glass can be solved as a basic engineering lbs / sq ft computation.

If you could separate it into thirds it would be of the proportion of conventional hatches. I wouldn't just cover it over as I'm sure below it has a nice feeling to it.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:29   #10
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With the span of the hatch a single glass thickness won't work unless you can find some fish tank glass like they use at the large aquariums (inch thick and bigger). The force could even shear off the hatch as one piece from the deck into the boat without breaking the glass. That is where the expanse of it gets to be a problem and integration to the dog house structure needs to be looked at. It makes up the majority of the doghouse top so it has to tie to the edges and the corners. Once you get past that the glass can be solved as a basic engineering lbs / sq ft computation.

If you could separate it into thirds it would be of the proportion of conventional hatches. I wouldn't just cover it over as I'm sure below it has a nice feeling to it.
It's not the span of any single hatch that would concern me. It is the combination of the 3 parts causing one big (relatively) unsupported hole in the cabin top. It is the section between the doghouse and the companionway that would concern me most. It seems that someone cut out the original deck and added that in after the boat was built.

IMO just that doghouse (on it's own) is far to large for that cabin top and would be quite vulnerable to being ripped off by a big wave or at least in need of some very substantail latches and hinges to keep the doors from being ripped open (which is rather common). Although, it looks like this is non-opening, which could be good but seems like a shame. When you then remove the (apparent) original deck aft of that to put in that "Skylight" the integrity of the entire roof is greatly diminshied below it's original (rather questionable) design.

I would feel better rebuilding that entire roof with contiguous stringers across the entire roof. I would also like to see a couple of knees going from the cabin top to the cabin sides and tying into the deck. The current construction does not have one contiguous stringer across the roof or one knee, aft of the mast (that I can see) making the integrity of the entire coach-roof questionable in my mind. I would also install a much smaller, opening doghouse. That would allow some light and ventilation as well. It would also give you some peace of mind knowing that you would be better protected against a catostrophic event.
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Old 07-02-2008, 13:30   #11
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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post

And a wider view of a beautiful boat for Mark:
Ahh, thank you! That is indeed a pretty boat! As Paul says you ain't gunna win an ugly contest
How does it sail?


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Old 08-02-2008, 07:41   #12
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Sails well. she has a relatively short water line compared to her overall length. long overhangs.

The big butterfly hatch does open guys.

The cabin top was modified from the original plans. but the boat itself was built this way.

So it sounds like it's not safe. and I agree with mark, I shouldn't "make" this boat into what I want, I should just get one designed correctly for what I plan to do.

Really that's no big deal. We can still do a lot of cruising in this boat. sailing the east coast, Bahamas, Caribbean. Hell we could probably even hit up central america and northern south america. So we have years of unexplored area that we can get to traveling relatively short passages.

I think I might contact the navel architect who designed the boat and see what he thinks about the modifications that have been made to his plans.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:04   #13
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Contacting the architect sounds perfect. The only thing you can't do in this boat is get yourself slammed really bad. I think you would try to do that in any boat.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:35   #14
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Sails well. she has a relatively short water line compared to her overall length. long overhangs.

The big butterfly hatch does open guys.

The cabin top was modified from the original plans. but the boat itself was built this way.

So it sounds like it's not safe. and I agree with mark, I shouldn't "make" this boat into what I want, I should just get one designed correctly for what I plan to do.

Really that's no big deal. We can still do a lot of cruising in this boat. sailing the east coast, Bahamas, Caribbean. Hell we could probably even hit up central america and northern south america. So we have years of unexplored area that we can get to traveling relatively short passages.

I think I might contact the navel architect who designed the boat and see what he thinks about the modifications that have been made to his plans.
That sounds like a good idea but I think that I would also get a 2nd opinion. It might be worth a couple hundred bucks to just have a different architect have a look at her and render an informal opinion.

Just from looking at these pics (which means little), I would be concerned about the distance between the bulkheads with the lack of knees in the stringers. That wouldn't be all that hard to correct. The tough part is that center section but you you may be pleasantly surprised at a professional opinion.

I'm glad that the hatches open. I just couldn't see the hardware. I would have thought that I would be able to see 3 (rather substantial) solid brass dogs on the inside of each hatch, on a hatch that size.

She is a classy looking yacht. I'm not trying to knock her at all. You asked for an opinion and I did my best. However, actually seeing the vessel could reveal things that just can't be seen in these pictures. That's why professional advise and a personal inspection of the boat is critical. You'll sleep much better at night having the facts.
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Old 08-02-2008, 18:05   #15
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It's a big piece of glass on the inside, so there is nothing to attach dogs to. There is one latch on the outside. I had it off for varnish work.
I could easily put more latches on the outside.

I know you're not trying to knock her. I asked your opinion because I was worried myself.
I'm not too worried though. the boat is really pretty sound. the cabin top is fine. I just didn't think it was safe to cross an ocean with, and now my concern is more justified. next step is to ask a pro. But like I said before, there are still plenty of places we can sail to.
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