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Old 14-08-2011, 20:58   #1
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Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Our escape hatches are almost impossible to open. We did manage to open one of them with great difficulty before leaving Tahiti. The handles are extremely stiff and with much WD40 and a wrench we opened the starboard hatch only to have great difficulty shutting it again. It sort of skewed and contorted about 3 or 4 mm and we had to lever it shut with a screwdriver.

As we were about to leave Tahiti we decided not to pursue the matter further until back in NZ. We consoled ourselves with the fact that some cats are not even fitted with escape hatches. The hatches do not leak but we have to get them working freely in order to attain NZ Cat 1 safety at some time in the future.

Any suggestion please
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Old 15-08-2011, 20:37   #2
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Escape hatches on my Lavezzi are very stiff to open also
Don't know the answer...hope someone does?
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Old 16-08-2011, 08:37   #3
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

We have the same problem. We do open ours everytime we anchor,but it is becoming harder and harder to move the handles.I was thinking about unscrewing the handles and try to understand why it is doing what it is doing. Has anybody done anything to solve the problem?.
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Old 16-08-2011, 08:52   #4
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

The handles on my escape hatches are quite ok...they move easily.
However the hinges are extremely tight, one hull more so than the other. I see there is some sort of spring arrangement in the hinges but haven't yet figured out exactly how they work.
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Old 16-08-2011, 09:26   #5
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisin Cat View Post
Escape hatches on my Lavezzi are very stiff to open also...
Our escape hatches are Goiot & also too stiff. Apparently these things list at $2,600 each! First off, we replaced the plastic handles with aluminum ones, as we heard someone broke their plastic handles (on passage!) & had a real problem with water coming in. The handles just bolt through the plexiglass so they're pretty easy to remove & service.

If the problem is turning the handles, take them off & grease them & put them back. If the problem is in the hinges, then you'll have to lube them somehow at your next haulout.

FWIW, we're going to have our hatches removed & completely serviced, but then we're going to replace them with a thick sheet of Lexan. They're just too much hassle. When we eventually sell Ocelot, if the new owner wants excape hatches, he can put the repaired hatches back, but we'd rather sail without.
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Old 22-08-2011, 21:33   #6
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Piling on ... our Orana's are all but impossible to open; I've added a small ballpeen hammer to my "go" bag in case we need to access after a turn-turtle ...

For us it's the handles ... three of the four (2 on each side) are tight beyond belief ... I've also tried WD and T-9 to no avail.

I worry that removing and greasing the handles will result in either a loss of a part into the briny deep or a failure of FAT waterproofness (FAT -- frog's ass tight).

Ideas welcome ... has anyone contacted FP or Goiot?

/jon
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Old 23-08-2011, 00:47   #7
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

We also worry about doing anything whilst in the water and will wait until we have to haul out before doing any major attempt at repairs.
Firstly we want to get the exact model/size etc, and will then contact the local Goiot agent here on the Gold Coast Oz. We are heading back to the boat tomorrow after several weeks away from her. If we still have no joy the next step will be an attempt to contact Goiot and FP themselves.
It may take some time but we will keep you posted on any results.

Thanks for the replies. Just wondering if it is worth posting on the main Multihulls forum rather than just here on FP?

Cheers
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Old 26-08-2011, 14:28   #8
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwikat View Post
Our escape hatches are almost impossible to open. We did manage to open one of them with great difficulty before leaving Tahiti. The handles are extremely stiff and with much WD40 and a wrench we opened the starboard hatch only to have great difficulty shutting it again. It sort of skewed and contorted about 3 or 4 mm and we had to lever it shut with a screwdriver.

As we were about to leave Tahiti we decided not to pursue the matter further until back in NZ. We consoled ourselves with the fact that some cats are not even fitted with escape hatches. The hatches do not leak but we have to get them working freely in order to attain NZ Cat 1 safety at some time in the future.

Any suggestion please
The hinges are ' adjustable' like any hinges on the Goiot range of hatches , you will need a small socket set to adjust the spindle ( small nilstop nuts on each side) , if not adjusted properly eg too much pressure on one side , this will cause the hatch to slightly warp making it difficult to close . Same issue with the handles ( aluminium one) they are also adjustable as far as tension is concerned .
Hope that this help .
Cheers
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Old 26-08-2011, 21:56   #9
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Re: Escape Hatches: Advice Required

Thanks Le Doume ... our problem is that no amount of adjusting the hex screws on the handles seems to relieve the pressure ... few have issues with the hinges -- it's the handles that are stuck, despite loosening the set screws via hex ...

Ideas welcome!

Thanks / jon
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