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Old 19-04-2019, 14:59   #1
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Location: Kent Narrows, Chesapeake Bay, MD
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 400 1991
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Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Hi all,

We need to re-bed the hatches on our new to us 1991 Bene O400. They all leak to some degree. We will diagnose whether the leaks are coming from the fasteners, glass or frames.

A boat captain we know and trust tells us when he replaces a hatch, he uninstalls the old one and sends off to the manufacturer. In the meantime, he epoxies a plywood board over the hatch opening until the replacement arrives. Sometimes I get stuck in a project and if cannot re-bed right away want to secure the hatch opening.

This made me curious, do other do this and is so, which epoxy? Are there other ways of doing this? Thanks,

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Old 19-04-2019, 15:39   #2
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Are you planning on sailing with the patch in place? If not, why not use something easier to remove than epoxy? I’d use a simple caulking to keep the water out that was easy to remove without a residue like silicone can sometimes leave.
My hatches have a raised rim so I have simple plywood boxes that fit over and are lashed tight inside the boat to a crosspiece. I use them when I take a hatch off to revarnish. It’s a boatyard fix though- not suited to passages.

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Old 19-04-2019, 20:46   #3
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Butyl rubber sealant is easy to remove. Depends on the hatch, though, if it stands proud of the deck, a tarp and bricks will keep the water out.

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Old 20-04-2019, 05:00   #4
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

When we pull our hatches I cut a scrap of 24x24 plywood. Then drill a single hole in the middle, insert an eyebolt (eye down). Then cover the nut with cheap hardware store sealing goo.

This square then gets placed over the hatch opening. Inside the boat I tie the eye to a scrap 2x4 that spans the hatch opening to anchor the plywood in place.

No epoxy, no extra goop to clean up, just untie the 2x4 and the cover is gone.
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Old 20-04-2019, 09:06   #5
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Select Plastics is the name of the company that will redo the green Lewmar acrylic from the earlier Beneteaus. They are on your side of the country and have been very helpful explaining how to disassemble and pack hatches to ship to them. They had about a two week backlog last summer. It gets longer in the winter.

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Old 20-04-2019, 09:12   #6
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

No i wouldn't epoxy a cover in place. Never heard of that.

(If you are sailing) I would make a sturdy ply cover and use some of the bolt holes the hatch used to hold it on. As mentioned, Butyl tape to seal it or something like that. If not sailing, you dont have to be so careful.
But.. You need to seal all the screw holes up so water doesn't get into the deck core.

You might find someone to polish the plastic like new if that needs done. (no heavy crazing/cracks) There is a process to do that and in fact that is what is done to aircraft windows. My son in law used to have a company that did that, he came to my boat and polished them in place.

IME it is unusual for the leak to come from the plastic seal, most often fasteners or frame bedding.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 20-04-2019, 09:33   #7
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

I have removed all five of our hatches at least once each. The longest they have been removed is probably two weeks. I simply put a piece of plywood across the hole then a sheet of plastic over that and taped down the edges. If I thought there were High winds coming I put scuba weights or something heavy on the plastic to help hold it down. Of course this was sitting in the marina and not sailing.


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Old 20-04-2019, 10:21   #8
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Unless you need a semi-permanent solution epoxy seems radical. I use 3M waterproof tape and plastic for temporary seals but that stuff is expensive.
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Old 20-04-2019, 13:05   #9
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

All the hatches were crazed on my boat when bought. So a couple of years later, I stored the boat indoors over the winter and pulled all the hatches.

Select Plastics rebuilt them with new seals and lenses, they looked factory fresh when the work was completed. I highly recommend them.

My opinion, epoxy should only be used for permanent applications.
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Old 20-04-2019, 17:11   #10
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Re: Hatch Opening Temporary Cover

Buytel tape works well on flush mount hatches ply 4mm for the cover and either bolt or screw through existing mounting holes I have also used sailmonkeys method for raised hatches
I found most my leaks were from the aged bedding material either hatch to deck or hatch raised surround to deck remove and rebed everything
I have recently reglazed all my lewmar hatches for a fraction of the cost of replacement or repair
Tip have hatches re anodised mine are now satin black
Hatchmasters google it great for spare parts and seals
Lens speak to a plastics supplier old lens is your template
You tube worth a look at some info online

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