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Old 01-04-2024, 05:11   #1
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Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

One of the things I always loved my boat for was her absolute watertight deck. This bliss was shattered last year when I started to get a drip of nasty brown water onto my bunk from behind the headliner.

I tried and tried to find the source of this. Finally today I removed the headlining around the hatch in my aft cabin, which consists of upholstered panels clipped to screwed-on plywood panels which are themselves screwed onto some kind of GRP liner.

Hose test with all of this removes shows a drip from the hatch. Which had been making its way through all this headlining to my bunk. Ick.

Now I can't quite figure out what causes this drip. Does it come through the rubber seal? That doesn't seem quite likely since the lip of the hatch stands quite proud of the deck, and the hatch itself overhangs the seal. Maybe some kind of capillary action?

Or the screws which hold the hatch in? One of them has become unsealed maybe?

My inclination is to replace the seal, and rebed all the screws, eliminating every possible source which I can think of.

But maybe someone has experienced something like this and has some tips?


I'm lucky, I guess, that I found this before the plywood had substantially rotted or mildew had formed. Looking at the bright side.
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Old 01-04-2024, 05:18   #2
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Highly likely the rubber seal, they loose flexibility over the years, which means less compressive force to seal.

We did fix such temporarily with a bit of grease on the seal. Unfortunately that risks grease getting onto the deck or anything passed through the hatch.
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Old 01-04-2024, 05:36   #3
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Highly likely the rubber seal, they loose flexibility over the years, which means less compressive force to seal.

We did fix such temporarily with a bit of grease on the seal. Unfortunately that risks grease getting onto the deck or anything passed through the hatch.

Thanks. I'm going to try the grease trick.
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Old 01-04-2024, 05:38   #4
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Over the years we have had several of these leaks, they have been either the hatch handles or the rubber rim seal. In our experience these last about 5 years in tropical weather. The only way to fix is to replace all the seals, and they are not cheap. Wind will drive rain up past an imperfect seal. We have found no other solutions from sealants or tapes, they last a season at best.
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Old 01-04-2024, 05:38   #5
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Couple of questions, in case anyone knows:


1. How do you tell the difference between the "medium profile" Ocean hatch, and the "low profile" one? The seals are different.


2. Does anyone make tempered glass replacements for the acrylic glazing panels for these hatches? I understand that I will be taking the glazing panel out so this would be a good time to get rid of the old crazed one.
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Old 01-04-2024, 05:39   #6
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

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Originally Posted by Tin Tin View Post
Over the years we have had several of these leaks, they have been either the hatch handles or the rubber rim seal. In our experience these last about 5 years in tropical weather. The only way to fix is to replace all the seals, and they are not cheap. Wind will drive rain up past an imperfect seal. We have found no other solutions from sealants or tapes, they last a season at best.

Thanks!
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Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 01-04-2024, 06:36   #7
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

I've verified that some water comes through the seal.


But I'm getting a drip through these screw holes too:


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I don't see how water can get from there to there.


Does this mean that the seal is not the only problem? Anyone encounter this?
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Old 01-04-2024, 08:32   #8
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Rebed the hatch frame and the screws will stop leaking. New seals will usually fix the seal leakage, but be sure that the frame is flat. New o rings in the handles.

New acrylic is way cheaper and easier, and should last 10 years without crazing IF you keep it away from hydrocarbon solvents/cleaners.
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Old 01-04-2024, 08:42   #9
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Rebed the hatch frame and the screws will stop leaking. New seals will usually fix the seal leakage, but be sure that the frame is flat. New o rings in the handles.

New acrylic is way cheaper and easier, and should last 10 years without crazing IF you keep it away from hydrocarbon solvents/cleaners.

Thanks. I am coming to the conclusion that I need to rebed the hatch frame, which is a pretty big job.


I have rebedded all of the screws with fresh Sikaflex and found some of them somewhat loose and the sealant gone dusty. I vaselined the hatch seal.


The Vaseline seems to have stopped the hatch from leaking, but I'm still getting a slight drip through those holes. I guess rebedding the hatch frame is in my future.


There is no leak around the handles.


On the bright side, I seem to have found the problem, and I seem to have caught it before it did a lot more damage.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 01-04-2024, 08:51   #10
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks. I am coming to the conclusion that I need to rebed the hatch frame, which is a pretty big job.


I have rebedded all of the screws with fresh Sikaflex and found some of them somewhat loose and the sealant gone dusty. I vaselined the hatch seal.


The Vaseline seems to have stopped the hatch from leaking, but I'm still getting a slight drip through those holes. I guess rebedding the hatch frame is in my future.


There is no leak around the handles.


On the bright side, I seem to have found the problem, and I seem to have caught it before it did a lot more damage.
We had a similar leak. Removing the hatch, cleaning the old sealant and re-bedding was the answer. Took me about 1 day per hatch, but I go at a slow steady pace. Removing the old hatch was the hardest job and is dependant on what sealant was used. In my case they were bedded with 5200.
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Old 01-04-2024, 08:57   #11
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Not sure this leak was the same as yours, but here's my story.....

As part of a major refit, I had a Lewmar Ocean 60 installed over the v-berth. It dripped. Rebedded the hatch. Still dripped. Removed the lens and rebedded it with some sort of special window glazing caulk. Still dripped.

I called Lewmar and they said the lens cannot be rebedded - I needed to replace the entire half of the hatch. Although over a year out of warranty, they reluctantly agreed to replace it under warranty since it has been installed professionally by a boatyard and Covid caused much of the time delay

That solved the drip.

I will never buy another Lewmar hatch. Yes, they were kind enough to extend the warranty but seriously, cannot be rebedded?
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:12   #12
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuru View Post
We had a similar leak. Removing the hatch, cleaning the old sealant and re-bedding was the answer. Took me about 1 day per hatch, but I go at a slow steady pace. Removing the old hatch was the hardest job and is dependant on what sealant was used. In my case they were bedded with 5200.

Thanks. That's encouraging. A day's work is not too bad.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:15   #13
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Not sure this leak was the same as yours, but here's my story.....

As part of a major refit, I had a Lewmar Ocean 60 installed over the v-berth. It dripped. Rebedded the hatch. Still dripped. Removed the lens and rebedded it with some sort of special window glazing caulk. Still dripped.

I called Lewmar and they said the lens cannot be rebedded - I needed to replace the entire half of the hatch. Although over a year out of warranty, they reluctantly agreed to replace it under warranty since it has been installed professionally by a boatyard and Covid caused much of the time delay

That solved the drip.

I will never buy another Lewmar hatch. Yes, they were kind enough to extend the warranty but seriously, cannot be rebedded?

The lens can't be replaced? But you remove the lens when you change the seal. That doesn't make sense.


I have, however, thought about just replacing the entire hatch. A new one is about 1100, which is not cheap, but it would be a guaranteed solution to the problem. If rebedding doesn't do it, then this may be the answer.


I could also in this case opt for something other than Lewmar, if others are available in this size.
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I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:23   #14
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

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The lens can't be replaced? But you remove the lens when you change the seal. That doesn't make sense.
Makes no sense to me either. All I can tell you is what Lewmar told me. I challenged them to make sure I understood. They were not specific so all I can surmise is the lens is pressed in using a gasket vs caulk. The yard was very fastidious about trying to caulk the lens. The new lens/frame half of the assembly did the trick.

But I agree. It makes no sense. I know a guy with a new Nordhavn 68 that had a dozen Lewmar hatches which also had issues leaking. He ended up having them replaced with Manship 316 SS hatches which is the route I would have taken had Lewmar not sent the replacement lens/frame half.
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Old 01-04-2024, 10:20   #15
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Re: Leaking Lewmar "Ocean" Hatch

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Makes no sense to me either. All I can tell you is what Lewmar told me. I challenged them to make sure I understood. They were not specific so all I can surmise is the lens is pressed in using a gasket vs caulk. The yard was very fastidious about trying to caulk the lens. The new lens/frame half of the assembly did the trick.

But I agree. It makes no sense. I know a guy with a new Nordhavn 68 that had a dozen Lewmar hatches which also had issues leaking. He ended up having them replaced with Manship 316 SS hatches which is the route I would have taken had Lewmar not sent the replacement lens/frame half.
Depends on the age of the hatch. It is not possible to replace the lens seal or lens alone on some of the older Ocean models. There should be an identifying marking on one corner of the lens (open hatch and lay the lens flat on the deck to see the marking). Send that info to Lewmar and they will tell you the part number(s) that you need, they are very helpful.
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