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Author Topic: Lewmar Salon Hatch - Lewmar replacement instructions (see reply #12)  (Read 673 times)

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Breakin Away

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Hi all,

Today was a nice day with 55F temps (and warmer under the boat cover), so I decided to replace my broken-and-unfixable solar vent that's in my salon hatch. I had already removed the old vent and cleaned off the bedding, so I applied butyl tape to the mounting flange, pressed it on, and pressed the 3 bolts through the same screw holes that were there from the old flange. I had to push a little to pop the screws through the butyl tape, and all of a sudden I heard a little "crack". The damage went all the way from that screw hole to the dog handle. Whoever installed the prior solar vent had done a very poor job, with a very ragged hole with lots of jagged edges and cracks just waiting to propagate. I'm actually relieved that this happened now, since I sometimes step on the hatch when dropping the sails, and I could imagine a catastrophic failure might have happened at some point. I now have to replace the hatch lens, and am considering NOT installing the solar fan in the replacement lens because of how the required hole could disrupt the integrity of the lens.

I'm looking for advice on buying and installing a replacement hatch and/or lens. A few things first:
  • The salon hatch measures out as a Lewmar Low Profile Size 44
  • Lewmar specs this as 5/16" thick acrylic, but my hatch is DEFINITELY only 1/4" thick. I wonder: Was my acrylic an (inferior) aftermarket replacement installed by prior owner, or did Lewmar change the thickness spec from 1/4" to 5/16" after mine was made?
  • My boat was made right around the time Lewmar transitioned their hatches from their MK1 design to their MK2 design. Based on their identification guide, I have the older MK1 version, because I have a "roll pin" next to the hinge. https://www.lewmar.com/sites/default/files/Low%20%26%20Med%20Pro%20-%20Mk1-Mk2%20identiification.pdf
  • Their guide also refers to a "lens code" stamped near one of the dog handles, but my hatch does not have one. These codes were apparently stamped starting in 1998. So my hatch was either made before 1998 (odd for a 2001 model boat), or the lens is an aftermarket replacement.
  • Lewmar's replacement lens sold by many dealers (their part #361058990) works with the MK2 model only, so I cannot use this. https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1&id=4202468 I wonder what it is about the design change that makes the new lens incompatible.
  • For this reason, I may have to replace the whole hatch and frame, which will be a MK2 version: https://www.lewmar.com/node/11296?v=24362
Do any of you have advice about using third-party fabricators? How fast are they? (Boat's under cover now, but not for too much longer.) How about installing a MK2 hatch and frame in a MK1 opening? (Are corner radii a perfect match?) Other advice on installation tips? (I searched and found a couple of things, but nothing on these MK1 and MK2 questions.)

I may post some pictures tomorrow, but I'm out of time for now.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 09:58:43 AM by Stu Jackson »
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jmcdonald

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 10:04:15 AM »

I had a similar problem with my hatch. Removed the dogs. Gently cut the sealant holding the lens in the frame, and gently pried the lens out. Took it to a plastics supply & fabricating shop. Made a appointment with them so
I could get it back later the same day. Using the old lens, they cut a new one with all the holes. It fit perfect.
Used black rtv from a auto parts store to re bed & seal the new lens in place. Didnít have to remove the frame
from the cabin top. 2 years later itís still perfect. Less than $75 for everything & only took a little time & patience.
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Breakin Away

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 10:10:21 AM »

Thanks, Iíll check that out.

Do you remember the thickness of your acrylic?
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jmcdonald

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 02:08:00 PM »

I saved the damaged one in case I screwed up installing the new one.
Went out in the barn and measured the thickness. It is a 1/4 inch.
Your supplier will have different tints and should have some with us protection.
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jmcdonald

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 02:08:55 PM »

Thatís UV protection.
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Breakin Away

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 02:30:53 PM »

Thatís UV protection.
Thanks, that's a big help to know that 1/4" was the spec at the time, and not an inferior replacement that someone swapped out. Perhaps that's why the MK2 lens won't work, as upping the spec to 5/16" could make all peripheral hardware too short to re-attach.

I really like your idea to pop out the lens without messing with the frame. This isn't rocket science, and there must be some acrylic sheet fabricators around. I can also have them cut a clean hole for the new solar vent, not a hack job like was done for the prior one (see pics below). I called a few this afternoon, but it was too late and they were all closed.

What kind of tool did you use to pry out the old lens? Any additional tricks I should know about?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 02:35:14 PM by Breakin Away »
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Ed Shankle

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 02:47:19 PM »

Iíve used Select Plastics, who are in CT, for the forward hatch. Very good results. Used them for the fixed ports as well. Turnaround time depends on the time of year.

Regards,
Ed
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Ed Shankle
Tail Wind #866 1989
Salem, MA

Ed Shankle

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 02:49:25 PM »

Forgot to note, you just send them the hatch, and they return it with lens replaced.

Ed
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Ed Shankle
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Salem, MA

Ron Hill

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2020, 04:52:38 PM »

Breaking : I also used and would recommend Select Plastics - they did a great job.
However, I'm sure that in the Annapolis area there must be someone that does that same work - check with a local Marina or Faucetts.

A thought
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 12:32:22 PM by Ron Hill »
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jmcdonald

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2020, 05:22:44 PM »

I just used a single sided razor blade. Went all around the edge and then very gently pried with a small screw
driver, a little at a time. Came out surprisingly easy.
Did the lens myself so I didnít have to screw with the frame or rebed it to the cabin top.
If the lens had not come out easily, Iím sure I would have removed the whole thing.
Either way, itís a job easily tackled.
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Breakin Away

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2020, 05:33:06 PM »

Breaking : I also used and would recommend Select Plastics - they did a great job.
However, I'm sure that in the Annapolis area there must be someone that does that same work - check with a local Marina or Fawfetts.

A thought
Annapolis is about 2.5 hours away, so Iíll be looking for Philly area fabricators first. Failing that, Iíll ship it out to someone, but turnaround time will be critical. I canít gat into a situation where Iím missing sailing season waiting for slow turnaround.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2020, 03:02:00 PM »

Breaking : Look in the Annapolis "Port Book" and see it there is anyone listed.

A thought
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Breakin Away

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Re: Cracked Salon Hatch - need to replace
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2020, 05:59:44 PM »

Hi all, thanks for the advice. I've made a number of calls to custom fabricators and dealers over the past couple of days. All were coming in within about 20% of each other for price. My decision is based almost entirely on speed, since no price can compensate me for lost time on the water if things are delayed.

Select Plastics has a great reputation and is universally praised for their quality of work (even by Lewmar dealers), but their 4-6 week estimate of backlog was cutting it too close. Other local fabricators concerned me because they didn't seem to know the marine durability/strength needs.

I learned that Lewmar has one hatch lens+gasket in their warehouse in NY, so I had Fawcett order it for me. Lewmar's order fulfillment is slow these days because they consolidated their warehouse with their parent company, but if it gets here in the next 2 weeks or so I'll have plenty of time to cut a hole for the solar vent and pop it into the frame.

One needs to be very careful in ordering replacement lenses from Lewmar. The lenses that Defender shows on their website are almost all the newer MK2 design, and will not work in older MK1 hatches. If you call Lewmar they will give you the part number for the MK1 version, and look up its availability. Lewmar changed from MK1 to MK2 mid-year 2000, but Catalina apparently kept a few years worth of inventory, so most of our boats have the MK1. Lewmar's part number for size 44 low profile replacement hatch MK1 lens+gasket is #360849990. The guy informed me that Lewmar did, in fact, increase the thickness from 1/4" on the MK1 to 5/16" on the MK2, but the MK1 replacements are also upgraded to 5/16" thick. They apparently fit in the frame because the edge is beveled in a way that the top face of the lens can be a little higher than the aluminum frame. I'll check on this when the hatch arrives.

Lewmar also emailed me some detailed instructions on disassembly and adjustment, which I've attached below.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 10:05:35 PM by Breakin Away »
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Breakin Away

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Re: Lewmar Salon Hatch - Lewmar replacement instructions (see reply #12)
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 08:16:20 PM »

I should update you all on the replacement of my cracked salon hatch, which was the original topic of this thread before someone changed it.  :razz: :wink: :think

I finished the job today, and have a number of things to note, and some pictures:

Lewmar was slow to fulfill the order from Fawcett Marine. Things are apparently still chaotic since they were acquired by another company and consolidate the CT warehouse to NY. After a couple weeks of no acknowledgment of Fawcett's order, I called Lewmar's sales number and got somebody who was REALLY helpful and offered to personally expedite it. Fawcett received it two days later, and then shipped it to me about a week ago. It's a good thing they expedited it, because the COVID-19 stuff really cranked up in NY, and another day delay might mean I'm still waiting.

There was one pleasant surprise: The hatch not only had a new seal (as promised) but it had new hardware - handles and lifter bracket! I didn't have to re-use these items from my old hatch.

Less pleasant surprise: The new lens is still 1/4" thick. The reported upgrade to 5/16" thick for the replacement lenses isn't true.

I needed a 4-3/4" hole for a new solar vent (which, if you go back to the OP, is why I ended up cracking the old hatch), I had shopped around to all the plastic fabricators to see if they'd be willing to cut this hatch, and they all either weren't willing or wanted $75-100 to do it. So I watched a bunch of videos on how to safely cut acrylic (it's not as simple as it sounds, due to melting and cracking), then bought a 4-3/4" hole saw and mandrel. Once I opened the mandrel, I discovered the reported shank size was the width of the hexagon,not the full diameter of the bit (which meant it was too big for my drill), so I also had to buy a 1/2" drill (no loaners available, and renting one would cost me more than a new one at Harbor Freight). But even with hole saw+mandrel+cheap drill, I was in for only $38, much less than quoted cost to have someone else cut it for me.

Some tricks for cutting into acrylic:

  • Lubricate all drilling and sawing with dish detergent. As cutting proceeds, dilute the detergent with water to provide cooling, and stop frequently to apply more with an artists' brush. This prevents overheating, and the foam generated helps to disperse the acrylic bits instead of them re-welding together.
  • Cut the pilot hole and screw holes (for the solar vent flange) very gradually, starting with 1/16" bit and increasing by 1/64" each time, up to 1/4" (for the mandrel) or appropriate size for #8 or #10 machine screws.
  • Be very careful to avoid overheating with the 1/16" bit, because it can fuse in the hole and will be very difficult to remove.
  • You can buy a custom designed plastic bit that would get your hole in one step, but it's very expensive for a single use.
  • Alternatively, you can also make your own plastic bit by running a normal drill bit backwards on a grinder to taper the point to an angle of about 70 degrees. I opted not to do this for this one-off job.

Below are some pictures showing removal of the old lens, practice hole that I drilled in the old lens, the origin of the crack on the old lens due to a very poorly executed hole (which is why I was so paranoid about getting clean, stress-free holes on the new hatch), pictures of the new holes and other things along the way:



« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 02:24:51 PM by Breakin Away »
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Breakin Away

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Re: Lewmar Salon Hatch - Lewmar replacement instructions (see reply #12)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 08:17:09 PM »

Two more pictures of the finishing touches:
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