Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-11-2017, 10:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 42
Escape Hatch Failure

I was recently on passage from the US to Antigua when a Helia 44 in VFH range radio'ed that an escape hatch had abruptly failed and that they were taking on water. Apparently the sealant around the hatch had completely failed and the only thing holding the plexiglass in was the handles. The captain relayed that underway the hatch is partially below water and when lying waves still sloshed up through the opening. We stood by and provided assistance while the attempted to fix the hatch with underwater epoxy, 5200, and a wood brace pulling the plexiglass in. This required the captain to launch his dinghy and get under the vessel in the middle of the night in 3-4ft seas and 15-20 knots of wind. Precarious to say the least. After about 5 hours of work, the fix was in place and they lied ahull the remainder of the night for the epoxy to dry.

I have no dog in the fight, but thought this might be valuable to share. Apparently the owner had already replaced the other escape hatch because of a slow leak.
__________________

jls095 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2017, 17:08   #2
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 15,443
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Thank you for posting.

It is interesting, and a "heads up," as well.

Ann
__________________

__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2017, 15:21   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: FP Helia 44
Posts: 29
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Would you care to share the vessel name? It might be worthwhile for us to follow up with the owner.
Heliades is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2017, 21:40   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sydney, NSW
Boat: FreeFlow 50 cat
Posts: 1,026
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Anyone have any opinion on putting the escape hatch on the bridgedeck like on some Lightwaves?

Has always worried me to have them right at the water level, this isn't the first case of failure or breakage when placed low down.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
BigBeakie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2017, 21:48   #5
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 6,059
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
Anyone have any opinion on putting the escape hatch on the bridgedeck like on some Lightwaves?

Has always worried me to have them right at the water level, this isn't the first case of failure or breakage when placed low down.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
The point is to place the hatch at the highest point when the boat is inverted. That way it will be above the new waterline. Thus, they have to be very near the water.

It occurs to me that such a hatch should be built to a very special standard, something that would not be glazed and would not be a selling feature. And that is a problem for builders. They want them to be easy to open for ventilation and to be fun.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2017, 23:12   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,729
Images: 69
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

On a lot of cats the bridgedeck would be well above the waterline when inverted.
__________________
"You CANNOT be serious!"


John McEnroe
44'cruisingcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2017, 01:15   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sydney, NSW
Boat: FreeFlow 50 cat
Posts: 1,026
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

I guess if there is alot of weight in the ends, large diesels etc. then when inverted the sterns will be underwater, but I think bridgedeck escape hatch placed with analysis by the designer of more performance focused designs showing the inverted waterline could work well.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
BigBeakie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2017, 16:51   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
Posts: 187
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

As a follow up, the boat is mine; Gémeaux hull #16. The hatch is a Gioit escape hatch. The hatch's aluminum frame is screwed to hull with 22 screws but the plexiglass pane is only glued with silicone or rtv adhesive to the frame These hatches are notorious for leaking at the gasket or the handles, I had no idea the entire plexiglass panel could exit the boat

When I hauled the boat and removed the hatch and disassembled the frame, I found the silicone was adhered well to the aluminum frame but just peeled off the plexiglass. I replaced the hatch with the same model, but I plan on attaching the glass to the frame with an aluminum bar that spans the frame near the top of the plexiglass. The plexiglass would be attached to the bar with screws that are through blocks of acrylic glued to the pane. The hatch would still be functional, but the plexiglass would not be able to come out of the frame because the bar is pulling it into the frame. The pane at the bottom already gets similar support from the handles.

My suggestion to owners of boats that have this same hatch is to have a clear plan on what you are going to do if the pane comes out of the frame. We fortunately had enough stuff to solve the problem. In big seas going to outside to do anything is not really an option, you have to fix it from the inside.
AllenRbrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2017, 17:04   #9
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 6,059
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
On a lot of cats the bridgedeck would be well above the waterline when inverted.
Above the water, yes, but probably not livably above the water, which is the intention.

The idea is fine, but the rule is problematic unless it specifies the integrity of the hatches. Many of the hatches I have seen were never designed for this. They also were not intended for placement where people could easily step on or fall against the inside surface.

Could be done. I'm not confident it is being done.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2017, 17:41   #10
Registered User
 
Fiveslide's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Boat: JBW club 420, MFG Bandit, Snark
Posts: 839
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenRbrts View Post
As a follow up, the boat is mine; Gémeaux hull #16. The hatch is a Gioit escape hatch. The hatch's aluminum frame is screwed to hull with 22 screws but the plexiglass pane is only glued with silicone or rtv adhesive to the frame These hatches are notorious for leaking at the gasket or the handles, I had no idea the entire plexiglass panel could exit the boat

When I hauled the boat and removed the hatch and disassembled the frame, I found the silicone was adhered well to the aluminum frame but just peeled off the plexiglass. I replaced the hatch with the same model, but I plan on attaching the glass to the frame with an aluminum bar that spans the frame near the top of the plexiglass. The plexiglass would be attached to the bar with screws that are through blocks of acrylic glued to the pane. The hatch would still be functional, but the plexiglass would not be able to come out of the frame because the bar is pulling it into the frame. The pane at the bottom already gets similar support from the handles.

My suggestion to owners of boats that have this same hatch is to have a clear plan on what you are going to do if the pane comes out of the frame. We fortunately had enough stuff to solve the problem. In big seas going to outside to do anything is not really an option, you have to fix it from the inside.
Thanks for coming on here and following up. Good to know the facts.
Fiveslide is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2017, 18:21   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Emerald Sea's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Live-aboard Cruiser
Boat: Lagoon 450
Posts: 628
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

A Lagoon had sunk in Seychelles a few years ago from water ingress from its escape hatches which were at the water line. Its clearly a high risk event.

Lagoon's later models, including our L450, have replaced the hatch with sealed safety glass windows with a hammer next to them. This appears to be a fool proof method to prevent any forgetfulness as well as degradation of materials, such as the case the OP reports. It doesn't seem like a difficult upgrade to make this replacement and have peace of mind.
__________________
Steve
SV Emerald Sea
L450
Emerald Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 05:23   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
Posts: 187
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
A Lagoon had sunk in Seychelles a few years ago from water ingress from its escape hatches which were at the water line. Its clearly a high risk event.

Lagoon's later models, including our L450, have replaced the hatch with sealed safety glass windows with a hammer next to them. This appears to be a fool proof method to prevent any forgetfulness as well as degradation of materials, such as the case the OP reports. It doesn't seem like a difficult upgrade to make this replacement and have peace of mind.

The yard where I hauled out had lots of cats on the hard and I toured many of them looking at escape hatches. It seemed to me the lagoon hatch has an aluminum frame glassed into the boat, but the safety glass seemed to be glued into that frame with no other attachment. Is that how your boat is?

I don't know the underlying cause of my failure, was it due to the differing thermal expansion of acrylic and aluminum or is it difficult to bond silicone to acrylic? Could be very different situation with glass. However, I'm much more aware that just some silicone is keeping a 4sq foot hole from appearing at the waterline. I'm going to insure that something other than just silicone is holding it in place in the future.
AllenRbrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 05:42   #13
Registered User
 
Sawbonz's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Florida
Boat: 2015 Shearwater 25LTZ
Posts: 179
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Leopard seems to have never been able to keep the escape hatches from leaking so, with the current iteration, we’re able to secure approval to eliminate them. They demonstrated the unlikeliness of inversion I think. To wit, our 45 on order will be without the hatches and ones already produced have a kit to permanently seal them.
Sawbonz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 07:50   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 450
Posts: 846
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

I met a cruiser who had his hatch stove in by a dolphin colliding with a hatch. This post made me have a look at the L450 escape hatch (sealed glass and hammer system) - yet to determine if a sealant failure could occur and have the glass drop out - I'll have a look next time we are in a calm anchorage in warm water. The interior of the hatch is surrounded by flat timber so if I get a piece of 3/8" ply cut to shape 17" * 17" with a flange this could be screwed into place from the inside with self tappers and a layer of adhesive silicone. Cost - $20 or less for an emergency cover.
Bean Counter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 15:24   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sydney, NSW
Boat: FreeFlow 50 cat
Posts: 1,026
Re: Escape Hatch Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawbonz View Post
Leopard seems to have never been able to keep the escape hatches from leaking so, with the current iteration, we’re able to secure approval to eliminate them. They demonstrated the unlikeliness of inversion I think. To wit, our 45 on order will be without the hatches and ones already produced have a kit to permanently seal them.
Sawbonz,

Can you expand on that? Was it Leopard that approved eliminating escape hatches, or was it your insurance, or (unlikely) was it allowed by the CE certification? If it was Leopard that approved it, do you still have CE approval on your boat?

Re insurance, my understanding is that for a bluewater cruiser, i.e. venturing more than 200nm offshore, the boat needs to meet Cat 1 regulations in order to get Pantaenius insurance. And I believe Cat 1 calls for an escape hatch in each hull.

Can anyone shed any light on this issue and the ramifications for !. marine insurance and, 2. CE cerification?
__________________

BigBeakie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hatch

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bahia 46: Bahia 46 escape hatch Alphabob Fountaine Pajot 12 23-10-2015 12:26
Ever Heard of Catamaran losing its escape hatch in a seaway? AquatiCat Multihull Sailboats 48 05-04-2013 14:45
Rebedding Goiot Escape Hatch Windows Jon Hacking Construction, Maintenance & Refit 11 03-02-2013 13:16
410: Escape hatch seals threadkiller Lagoon Catamarans 0 06-05-2012 20:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.