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Old 30-03-2014, 09:40   #1
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Lewmar Escape Hatches

I have some disturbing news to share with all owners of older Lagoon 380's and possibly some other Lagoons as well. The escape hatches that are located in the aft cabins on my Lagoon 380 hull number 265 are no longer being made. The cut out dimension of these hatches is roughly 17,1/2" x 17,1/2 inches. I have contacted both Lewmar and Multi-Tech in Fla and have heard from both of these that the hatch is no longer being made. I have also written to Club Lagoon and received notice that they received my inquiry and their promise to look into it. I have had no further response from them.

These hatches are located inches above the waterline and thus are constantly covered in salt water and rinsed only if the owner goes under the hull or sails in fresh water. I have replaced one a few years ago due to corrosion and leakage and when I wanted to replace the other for the same reasons I learned there were none available.

I find this very disturbing and evidence of a lack of commitment to customer service on the part of Lagoon. When a client makes such a significant investment as we make in our boats and are then told that " Too bad, we don't make this part any more, you will have to make a major modification to your hull to accept a new design or risk sinking." is shamefull. Imagine if the maker of your 10 year old car told you that you can no longer buy a new engine head and must replace the motor.

Please comment and share any insights you may have on this issue as it is bound to effect many Lagoon owners and represents the possibility of a potentially dangerous and life threatening situation. It could even result in the loss of life due to the lack of commitment by Lagoon to past customers.

Dave Thomas
SV MoonPearl
Lagoon 380 # 265
dave@dptconstruction.com
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Old 30-03-2014, 15:52   #2
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Dave, Select Plastics has all the spares and lenses for these unless I'm mistaken. Great company with great service. Ask for Tony. I just rebuilt most of my Lewmar hinges with their parts. Hope this helps..

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Old 30-03-2014, 16:00   #3
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

I have the same issues for my Lewmar Ocean hatches. I happened into a pile of misc hatches and replacement lights & screens at Wolf's Marine. Call - Perhaps you can get lucky.

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Old 30-03-2014, 19:25   #4
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

The Lewmar escape hatches have not proved suitable for repair. Do to hull shape around hatch, removal is not easily accomplished without damage to hull or hatch. The plastic lenses can not be removed as hinge screws can not be loosened in order to remove lenses. The one we replaced two years ago required cutting the corners of the mounting frame to allow for leverage to work from an end point.
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Old 30-03-2014, 19:33   #5
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

I assume the thing is glued in. I have removed 5200 and other such tough glue using a torch and great care. You need to raise the metal to glue bond to about 400 to 500 degrees and the bond is broken.
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Old 31-03-2014, 07:00   #6
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Thank you for your suggestion of heat. It would be quite challenging to uniformly heat the entire frame of this hatch so as to remove it without distorting it or damaging the hull. It might be possible with four men with four torches and heat sensing instruments. Unfortunately the removal will not solve the main issue which is that the frame for the lens can not be taken apart due to the fact that the joints in the hatch are bracketed at the top by the hinges. The hinge bolts are so corroded that they are not coming out. The aluminum frame and stainless bolts have seized inside the long screw housing of the hinge. The frame itself also is corroded around the outside where the rubber gasket of the lens meets that frame.
We have tried heat and chemicals to loosen bolts but to no avail.

I'm hoping that enough traffic and concern on this forum will encourage Lagoon to have enough pride and integrity in their product that they will arrange with Lewmar to make a limited production of these hatches so they can have them on had for owners of their boats.

I purchased the boat used in St. Martin in 2012 and sailed it back to Charleston in 10 days. during this time the starboard escape hatch continually leaked. Upon arriving in Wilmington, NC I ordered a replacement from Lagoon's east coast rep and was not told that they were running out or would have no more. Had I known, I would have purchased at least two.

It really is unacceptable for owners of Lagoon catamarans who have not only purchased their boats but keep them in first class order to be forced to live with leaky, corroded, dangerous, escape hatches or do several thousand dollars of hull modification to accept a new product. I intend to spread the word on every forum and every publication that will publish this story. Hopefully someone at Lagoon will have the professionalism to acknowledge that this problem was overlooked during a design change and they will take steps to provide solutions to their who are experiencing this problem.

Thanks and keep them coming,
Dave
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Old 31-03-2014, 18:26   #7
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

The heat only needs to be on long enough to destroy the bond. Use a putty blade or screwdrivers to coax the bezel away progressively.

I would be tempted to use a die grinder and tiny burrs to cut away parts. Drill out the pins, etc. If the screws are an obstacle, get rid of them. You might wind up with oversized screws on the re-build. I have found that good, tiny carbide bits at 20,000 rpm will cut stuff like butter. You need a steady hand and patients.
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Old 03-06-2014, 17:09   #8
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Greetings All,
The situation here is that Lagoon used special Lewmar escape hatches. Escape hatches are exposed to continuous salt water immersion. As they age the frames, hinges, and associated parts break down due to the corrosive environment of continual salt water dousing. Getting the hatch out is a challenge but not an insurmountable one. What is to be done after that is the challenge. If the frames are pitted, the gaskets deteriorated, the hinge pins corroded, and the latches likewise, how does one arrive with a long term quality solution?. I've just heard from friends cruising currently off Columbia with a 2000 4100 who have a similar problem.

I've spent a lifetime as a historic restoration contractor. This follows the usual stints in construction including interior finish work for West Sail on the 32's, marine construction, all phases of residential, dock building and dredging. A week in the yard with myself or another mechanic would find a good jack leg hatch back in the boat. The point here is that Lagoon and Lewmar should have an arrangement where these hatches can be special ordered. I don't want to spend days refurbishing a product that the frame is still in poor shape on. I want a quality first class product after either labor or finances are committed.

Some of you want to tell me how to jack rig these hatches. I appreciate your willingness to coach me through this. I do not want a jack rigged escape hatch and I don't want to spend many thousands to alter the hull to accept the new sizes. I want accountability and business integrity from manufacturers that represent themselves as being first class. To be first class one has to stand by their product. Lagoon owners should be able to count on this service.

Fellow Lagoon owners, you are the ones who can stand up and let Lagoon know that discontinuing products for your boats where there are no alternatives other than expensive retrofits is not first class service. You can support the concept I am espousing here and perhaps benefit from appropriate support from Lagoon and Lewmar in the future. Your silence condemns you to be victims and you will suffer similar fates in the future.

Please respond with a note of support or acknowlege that you may have the same problem and assert that you too feel entitled to some consideration after you plunk down your money. The alternative is not pretty.

I'll not continue to beat this drum if none of you feel it appropriate.

dave
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:19   #9
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

I'm all for quality customer service, but expecting lagoon to carry spares for every boat they have built in the last 20 years ? Good luck !
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Old 15-06-2014, 02:51   #10
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

CE marking of the boats from oct 95 , has rules for this, any maker of parts has to keep supplyes for 10 years, of the mod they made, So Lewmar has to have parts.
But i also had a Beneteau oceanis where i needed parts for the window made by Lewmar, this was a 1998mod, and i was asking for parts in 2006, but no way, lewmar did not have them or would do anything about it.
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Old 15-06-2014, 03:57   #11
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Dave; Are you a member of the lagoon owners group? I would bring this issue up on that forum as well. I too am going to be in need of replacing both escape hatches soon. Did you ask lewmar how many of these hatches it would take for them to do a "run off" on them. ??? There has to be a point at which they would be willing to do a production run.
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Old 15-06-2014, 04:18   #12
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Dave; Do you happen to have that Part Number for the Lewmar escape Hatch?
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Old 15-06-2014, 06:33   #13
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Dave; Upon further investigation it looks like the escape hatch on the 380 is a Lewmar Size 44 medium hatch Part # 3944020 That was modified at the factory.
(at least mine was) . If you will look closely the hatch blocks were welded in place and there are is one additional medium profile handles. there are two handles on the sides and one in the middle were as the new 44 has just two handles. That is he only difference that I can see from a Size 44 hatch you can buy today and the Original escape hatches. So.... Maybe lewmar would be willing to make those modifications (They already have the hatch. if not....You would have to find a machine shop to machine some aluminum hatch blocks and weld them on or Maybe just the standard 44 hatch would work.?
The Cut out for the 44 is 17 3/8 x 17 3/8
Let me know your thoughts
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Old 15-06-2014, 06:37   #14
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Part # is 39944020 ...Sorry
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Old 16-06-2014, 05:25   #15
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Re: Lewmar Escape Hatches

Dave; You might want to give Hi Tide Manufacturing a Call. They may be able to help you find a solution.
Jim Black 16" x 16" Escape Hatch - HiTide Manufacturing Group
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