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Old 01-01-2015, 08:13   #1
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Hatch Breakwater

I am in the process of building fiberglass breakwaters for our hatches, especially the large forward one.

Just thought to ask if anyone has built them for their boats or have them already installed/molded in from deck mold.

Considered the aluminum track for covers but passed on the idea...
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:03   #2
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

I like to take a 2X4, rip it in half at a 45 degree angle lengthwise, then ease the sharp edges, fitting the right angle side adjacent to the hatch lid and the bevel facing outwards. I leave 3/8" gaps between the adjoining sides to drain water. My coamings are made of teak, which are now epoxied with West System using the 207 hardener. After I'm done painting the nonskid decks, I will coat the coamings with clear LPU paint, followed by a coat of Cloud White LPU to protect the clear. If I ever want to show off the teak, in the distant future, I just have one layer of paint to sand off to get to the clear coat for a refresher. One can also use foam to fabricate the coamings, though you have to use more glass to give them protection against crushing and bashing.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:45   #3
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

I also like Cloud white...no too gray. Sanding one coat of LPU, though, is like sanding 3 coats of alkyd -quite hard!
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:30   #4
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Hi, I built breakwaters for all 9 hatches on my alloy sailboat. It was easy on metal and they can be made from formed extrusions and welded down. I made them so a canvas pram hood can be lashed on, allowing the hatches to be cracked open even during rainy weather. The small green batten would hold the shape at the aft end of the hatch. Note the burglar bar, allowing the hatch to be left opened when leaving the boat un-attended.
Greg
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Old 01-01-2015, 20:49   #5
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Mirar, those look really good. I will try to do same out of 1/4" , "L" shaped fiberglass stock.
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Old 01-01-2015, 21:09   #6
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Remember what it might be like if you step on an L-shaped extrusion rather than a softer edged form.
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Old 01-01-2015, 21:41   #7
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

silverp40,

Our boat has them built in for all the hatches. Be sure and allow drain holes port and starboard, ours have two per side. Our forward and mid hatch open forward and our galley hatch, aft. That white thing is a hatch cover to cut down on UV So far, none have leaked, but we've only been cruising this boat 11 yrs.

Ann
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Old 01-01-2015, 22:38   #8
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
silverp40,

Our boat has them built in for all the hatches. Be sure and allow drain holes port and starboard, ours have two per side. Our forward and mid hatch open forward and our galley hatch, aft. That white thing is a hatch cover to cut down on UV So far, none have leaked, but we've only been cruising this boat 11 yrs.

Ann
Seems like she forgot to post pix, so here they are:

They are timber, glassed and painted the same as the deck. They stand around 5 cm high, same height as the hatches themselves. They contribute greatly to the waterproofness of the hatches IMO, for the seals on the hatches are pretty simple and they have never leaked (again touching wood surreptitiously)

No photo of the one with the hatch shade cover that she mentioned... sorry 'bout that!

Cheers,

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Old 02-01-2015, 07:02   #9
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

We have a 34" x 34" opening Bomar cast hatch on the foredeck. It worried me so about 10 years ago I built a wave break. I had a length of 6061 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" 1/4" L shape. I used 1/4" stainless bolts on 3" long pieces on the forward section to bolt them through the deck as I could not bend the aluminum to match the deck camber. The sides were made full length. Then I cut full length front and side pieces out of 1/2" starboard. These were bolted to the pads with 1/4" bolts and mounted about 1/4" up off the deck. The boards are 3" high and I radiused the top so as not to rip sails or my feet. Not very elegant but they have served well and were made from materials we had on board at the time.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:45   #10
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

The starboard is mounted flush to the pads not raised off the pads.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:19   #11
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Ripped some lumber to 2"x2" square, bull nosed one edge with a 3/4" router bit, cut the pieces so that there was 1/2" or so of clearance between it & the hatch for drainage.
The pieces were mounted on 3 sides, open to the rear, & just cut at 45 degree angles to fit together at the front corners. Screwed & epoxied them to the deck, & put a layer of 8oz cloth over the wood, filling in the weave with neat epoxy. Prime, paint, done.

Thought about routing them for some recessed aluminum bolt rope track, so that I could put on canvas storm covers, but since it was a trimaran, I passed on said task.

If your deck has a lot of camber, you can mark out where the pieces will go, tape off the area around their footprints, & bed them in structural bog, making sure that they're level, prior to it curing. Then, once they're set, put some bog filets around their bases, prior to glassing, for a clean & tidy finish.
See "Hardware Bonding" in the book On Boat Construction which is free for download at the WEST System site.

Too leave yourself the option of being able to take them off, just put down some packing or duct tape where they'll be epoxied, before you start the mounting process. The screws will hold'em in place well enough as the epoxy cures, & they'll lift off clean due to the tape.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:58   #12
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

All great points...thanks much for all also photos are quite helpful.

I am currently building the sides and bases from epoxied 4" biax tape and will form some "L" shapes this weekend.

The point of stepping on them with bare feet is something I am thinking about, hence the rounding off of tops - I'll try to make them smooth, nice rounded edges.

Maybe I should post some fotos of the progress? will try to finish next week!
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:29   #13
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Perhaps some pvc pipe would work as a mould for the curve.d parts. Just a thought
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Old 08-01-2015, 18:49   #14
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

Here are some fotos of the progress...I built 4" "battens" from biglass and epoxy, trimmed to size and installed. Carbon tape is for stiffness.

I think it'll be a good idea to round the tops of the sides - they are between 1/4" (side hatches) and 3/8" (fwd one).
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Old 09-01-2015, 17:21   #15
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Re: Hatch Breakwater

HI Jim Cate, you mentioned in your post that you had a storm cover fit on your hatch breakwater?

Perhaps you also have a photo??

Thanks
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