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Old 03-11-2018, 17:14   #1
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Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Hi all,

I'm ready to get the acrylic for the new DIY deck hatches. (3 hatches, each 550 x 550 mm, 10 mm thick) Previously the boat lived in the South Pacific and had pretty heavily tinted acrylic. But she's about to move to 43 degrees South as a live-aboard. I'm thinking daylight will be a slightly scarce commodity.

Any reason not to go clear acrylic for the deck hatches, with this in mind?

Matt
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Old 03-11-2018, 17:20   #2
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

I'd still use tinted stuff, just maybe not a strong tint. Still gets pretty bright down here in summer..
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Old 03-11-2018, 18:38   #3
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

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I'd still use tinted stuff, just maybe not a strong tint. Still gets pretty bright down here in summer..
What do you think the effect would be if living aboard through winter?
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Old 03-11-2018, 19:04   #4
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Not sure, your boat has a flush deck and minimal hull windows so it may be dark, but any hatch lets in a lot of light, and a slight tint probably only cuts the light by 10-15%. But clear would work, just add sunshade over it for summer. The slight tint just adds a bit of privacy if you are tied up to a wharf.
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Old 03-11-2018, 19:25   #5
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Matt, we have clear deck hatches and have not had a problem. Ann made up a BreezeWay cover for the mid hatch and that has worked, even in the tropics.

IMO, it's better to shade when it is too bright than be gloomy on the dull days... bad enough with clears!

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Old 03-11-2018, 20:43   #6
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

So there you go Matt. Two opposed views from experienced sailors. Don't you love forums?
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Old 03-11-2018, 21:09   #7
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Just to add to the complexity of the situation, I have to rat Jim out: Our hatches are not clear, they are a light smoke tint. Even with the slight tint, big hatches let in a lot of UV, which is heck on the fabrics, and our mid hatch is always covered with Breezeway shadecloth. It also helps prevent cracking around the screws, because it keeps the acrylic cooler. If screws are involved in your installation, make sure the clearance holes are generous.

The privacy issue, at docks, is one I have solved by making white paper cutouts that fit over the perspex on the inside, which keeps curious people unable to see in at night. They are not usually necessary, but do allow privacy.

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Old 03-11-2018, 21:12   #8
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

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I have to rat Jim out: Our hatches are not clear, they are a light smoke tint
Yet another reason to never grow old: your vision fails you! I have thought they were clear for the whole 15+ years we've owned this boat... I'll be damned!

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Old 03-11-2018, 21:46   #9
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Hmm I don't see opposed views. And my option is not in opposition. I would recommend frosted if you can find it. I'll take a picture of my main hatch tomorrow. It lets in a ton of light, total privacy, a lot less heat than if it was clear and I assume it blocks most of the ultraviolet. I've also had a clear hatch that I put a thick coat of turtle wax on in the summer that worked great until one time I kneeled down on it during a storm. I can never listen to the song Slip Sliding Away.
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Old 03-11-2018, 21:47   #10
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Ha, I think mine had a light smoke tint as well!
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Old 03-11-2018, 22:55   #11
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

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Yet another reason to never grow old: your vision fails you! I have thought they were clear for the whole 15+ years we've owned this boat... I'll be damned!

Jim
You see Jim, right there you have me worried. I mean, a guy like you, smart, scientist, great powers of observation.

And you got it all WRONG.

Your vision hasn't failed you, it is X-Ray vision. Clearly you have been seeing right THROUGH the tint.
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Old 03-11-2018, 22:57   #12
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

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So there you go Matt. Two opposed views from experienced sailors. Don't you love forums?
A wise man once said, never ask the question if you don't know the answer.

I'm not sure how it applies in this case...
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Old 03-11-2018, 22:59   #13
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Just for the record, we are flush deck, so pretty poor light levels overall.
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Old 03-11-2018, 23:00   #14
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
Hmm I don't see opposed views. And my option is not in opposition. I would recommend frosted if you can find it. I'll take a picture of my main hatch tomorrow. It lets in a ton of light, total privacy, a lot less heat than if it was clear and I assume it blocks most of the ultraviolet. I've also had a clear hatch that I put a thick coat of turtle wax on in the summer that worked great until one time I kneeled down on it during a storm. I can never listen to the song Slip Sliding Away.
Thank you, would like to see that photo. And for the caution about the wax. Like a lot of things, obvious AFTER the fact.
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Old 04-11-2018, 00:25   #15
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Re: Clear deck hatches for high latitudes?

Matt, I dunno what acrylic you are planning to use but be aware that acrylic is often a UV filter (stops UV wavelengths shorter than 400 nanometers) but some is UV transparent.

Being as the UV is pretty potent here in summer (much more so than the mainland), it might pay to check on your choice of acrylic
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