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the dream of dawn

How not to retrofit a hatch: Installation

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The new Lewmar hatch fit into the new opening without much fuss. Next, we drill seventeen holes for the mounting screws. The directions say that the screws on the hinge-side must be through-bolted, while the other sides can be screwed into the deck, but I would rather through-bolt all of them. Here, the inner riser comes into focus again, as its diagonal curving sides fall in the path of most of the screw holes. I was getting a little shell-shocked at this point. You probably wouldn't believe how much time I spent thinking about entirely unlikely solutions and driving to the hardware store to buy long screws and aluminum flanges and stuff to try.

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All of that was clearly ludicrous, so I bit the bullet and drilled seventeen 1-inch access holes in the liner riser. (First ensuring that the two wrenches required would fit through 1-inch openings.) With a generous amount of butyl tape up top, this made short work of finally installing the hatch. While creating an incredible mess in the forward cabin. I am still somewhat at a loss as to how I am going to trim this out to conceal the butchery. Short of even more butchery, as noted in the previous posts. Or even after such butchery. The ideas may have to incubate for a while. Plenty of room at the sides, but very tight fore and aft. And all those odd curves...

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Well, finally it was time to test this ever-escalating train-wreck of a project. I gave it the five-minute hose-down test, using a dock hose to blast it from every angle. Miraculously (?) I couldn't find a drop of leakage inside! The thing appears to be functional and stronger than the old hatch. And having a clear view through the hatch certainly gives a new perspective of the rigging, from the V-berth.

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Assuming that the self-inflicted cosmetic problems get cleaned up, I think that the new hatch does look better than the old one. I'm not sure it really adds much to the visual appeal of the boat, but perhaps it subtracts less than the old hatch did. And it's water-tight! Maybe the dark lens of the hatch will complement the small solar panels that I have to go on the (forthcoming) sea-hood and (eventually) dodger.

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Comments

  1. Christian Williams's Avatar
    Inventive solution, and looks good to me. Leaking hatches no fun at all.

    For those holes--Rockler has a variety of sticky-back veneers in any wood you like. Just cut with scissors to form a "wood" base. Then vanish the veneer. Might work well, and if not--peel it off.
  2. Loren Beach's Avatar
    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...&referrerid=28

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...&referrerid=28

    The "barrel nut" solution worked for us but our boat has a flat surface inside for them to recess into.
  3. toddster's Avatar
    Yes, there are no straight or flat surfaces anywhere in this project except for the flange that I built/extended. Some of these details were in another post that apparently did not get "approved."
    Also, that the hatch in question is a Lewmar #50 medium profile.
  4. texlan's Avatar
    I have Ericson 29 hull #8, and am in the middle of a pretty serious refit. Coming up with a plan for the forward hatch is one of the items on my agenda, and your posts on the subject have been incredibly informative. As a fellow E29 owner...thank you.

    -- Sean
  5. frick's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by texlan
    I have Ericson 29 hull #8, and am in the middle of a pretty serious refit. Coming up with a plan for the forward hatch is one of the items on my agenda, and your posts on the subject have been incredibly informative. As a fellow E29 owner...thank you.

    -- Sean
    I put a new lens on my old 29 forward hatch it looks great
    Rick