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Old 26-07-2018, 01:00   #1
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Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

Hi Everyone, i'm just after some general information about the escape hatches on my 2011 Lagoon 450 F. These hatches are permanently mounted, ie they cant be opened or closed.

How are they fixed in place? Are they glued ? If so should they be removed and re-glued or checked at any specific intervals?

I assume the material used is substantial enough not to break from wave impact, however what chance does someone have of breaking it with the small hammer situated next to it.

Has anybody heard of one of these style of escape hatches failing while at sea?
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Old 26-07-2018, 03:36   #2
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

Is your hammer pointed or sharp? Ever the seen the video of a guy trying to break a car window with a baseball bat? Couldn't do it, but throw a sharp little piece of porcelain or hit it with a centerpunch and it shatters.
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Old 26-07-2018, 03:51   #3
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

It would make sense to do a thorough inspection of escape hatches at every haul out, easily overlooked. The L450 also has a third hammer under the cockpit life raft slot for breaking the hatch from the outside.
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Old 26-07-2018, 04:42   #4
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

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Originally Posted by 664895ss View Post
....should they be removed [?]....

...
Yes, just sales and marketting gimmicks...plenty of ways to exit a capsized cat which do not involve a hole on your boat waiting to fail.
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Old 26-07-2018, 04:50   #5
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

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Yes, just sales and marketting gimmicks...plenty of ways to exit a capsized cat which do not involve a hole on your boat waiting to fail.
I think this is due to CE "China Export" regulations. These have very little to do with safety, more with protecting the EU boat industry from competition.
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Old 26-07-2018, 04:50   #6
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

I did Newport to Antigua last fall and a Helia 44 that we had been in contact with radio'ed us late one night that one of their escape hatches had failed. Since it was right at the waterline a good deal of water from waves and chop was freely entering. We stayed with them all night troubleshooting a fix Apollo 13 style. Eventually they were able to reattach the hatch with quick setting epoxy and a large piece of interior flooring. This involved launching the dinghy in the middle of the night, 15-20 knots of breeze and a confused sea. Not fun. Not a Lagoon, but I'd guess the construction is the same.
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Old 26-07-2018, 05:23   #7
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

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I did Newport to Antigua last fall and a Helia 44 that we had been in contact with radio'ed us late one night that one of their escape hatches had failed. Since it was right at the waterline a good deal of water from waves and chop was freely entering. We stayed with them all night troubleshooting a fix Apollo 13 style. Eventually they were able to reattach the hatch with quick setting epoxy and a large piece of interior flooring. This involved launching the dinghy in the middle of the night, 15-20 knots of breeze and a confused sea. Not fun. Not a Lagoon, but I'd guess the construction is the same.
The primary function I have seen such hatches serve, regardless of make/model...is to flood boats. For long offshore runs I think its best to remove them or at least make up a good dead eye cover for them....and bolt it in place before the crossing. (I plan to make a crossing on a Lagoon 38 next April and hope to convince the owner to do this so we can avoid a crisis like described above).

I dont recall in any capsize events Ive read about of crew using such hatches. Anybody know of such use?
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Old 26-07-2018, 06:22   #8
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

I apologize for the slight topic drift...I've never used my escape hatches and hope that I shall never have to, but the thought of having to use them in a survival situation scares the beezasus out of me. Currently, if I open the hatch regularly to keep the handles from becoming too stiff, then the rubber seal doesn't seal as tight and lets in dribbles of water when sailing.
I've decided upon a plan 'B'. I recently bought four of these 'spare airs'. I got them for a $100 each, second-hand but unused. They fill from an ordinary scuba tank in a matter of seconds and are good for a minutes' worth of breathing. I now have a couple attached to the underside of each stairway.


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Old 26-07-2018, 08:33   #9
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

IIRC, the underbridge escape hatches are in case of fire, not capsizing. EU regs call for escape available from every compartment.
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Old 26-07-2018, 09:22   #10
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

Hi,
I was crew on a Lagoon 440 that presumably lost an escape hatch (divers report) in fair weather and capsized within less than 10 minutes.
The hatches were of the type that is fixed and need to be broken by hammer.
This thread has a long discussion of the event: Charter Lagoon 440 Takes on water and flips


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Old 26-07-2018, 09:59   #11
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

Putting a hole in a perfectly good hull? It sounds more like politics than common sense.
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Old 26-07-2018, 11:19   #12
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

On a related note, I sailed on a vessel where the owner opted to have S/S rods permanently installed at all the hatches to deter uninvited intruders. The only means of escape, should there be an emergency, would be through the main companionway. If there would be anything blocking the entryway, there would be no means of escaping the craft. I suggested that the owner invest in a aircraft style "crash ax" or a battery operated sawzall should he ever need another means of departing the vessel.
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Old 26-07-2018, 12:07   #13
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Re: Lagoon escape hatches, the questions i've always wanted to ask

My brand new L450 hatch windows would leak and hold water along the lower edge. When I reported it to my dealer who reported it to Lagoon they didn't believe me, so I provided pictures of water sitting in the lower lip edge. (I would post the picture here if I could figure out how to do it).

Lagoon repaired them both under warranty. However, the hatch windows were a bitch to remove. In the end they had to be cut out. The Lagoon dealer in Martinique did the repair and did a nice job. They never leaked again. After the repair I was told I was the first of a few L450's who reported the same issue.

In summary, the hatch windows may leak, but I seriously doubt they would ever fall out.
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