New Lewmar 65 Installation

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Update (and final thoughts).

I just finished mounting the replacement Lewmar "Ocean" 65 hatch in my foredeck.  I'm not sure that anyone else has done this on a C34 Mark I (mine is a 1990 Mark 1.25), so I thought I would share my final thoughts.

1.  On my boat, the new hatch dropped into the opening.  In the upper corners, however, there was not a lot of overlap of the hatch frame over the cutout (maybe 3/4").  This heavily influenced my decision to go with butyl tape as a sealant vs. 4200.

2.  The holes on the new Ocean 65 hatch frame do not line up with the old holes.  You will need to fill those holes and drill new holes using a 5/32 bit for 10-24 X 3/4" mounting screws.  Also the holes for the the hinges do not line up with the old hinge holes. Those take 1/4" X 20 X 2" machine screws which are through-bolted to the v-berth ceiling.

3.  Unlike the original "Rollstop" hatch, the new Ocean hatch lid does NOT detach from the frame.  That is a problem when trying to drill and set the screws at the top of the frame.  On my boat, there is a lip on the deck which prevents the hatch lid from rotating aft past about 90 degrees. That means you have to mark the frame holes on the hinge axis, then remove the hatch and frame, and then drill pilot holes for the 4 screws.  (That required first undoing the the four screws holding the hatch lid adjusters from the the hatch lid.)  Then you remount the frame, and use a long shaft phillips screwdriver to tighten those screws by opening the hatch lid the maximum 90 degrees.

4.  When applying the butyl tape, I used two layers (doubled) and applied directly to the channel under the hatch frame.  I cut these to length in between the mounting holes, and built up little "circles" where the fastener holes are located in the hatch frame.  Unlike stanchion bases and deck hardware--where you can thread bolts through the deck fitting and then apply butyl around the bolts before pressing them into place--you can't do that with the foredeck hatch.  There are 16 screws and 4 hinge bolts to seat and tighten.  So that was my solution to ensure there would be a little butyl oozing up into the mounting holes in the frame before screwing in the fasteners.

5.  As Ron said, be ready to address some voids in the rough hatch cutout in the deck.  I had one in the upper starboard corner (under the trim piece) that I packed with marine tex and smoothed with a putty knife.

6.  Once I installed all the fasteners, and tightened everything down, I reinstalled the hatch lid adjustment arms to the hatch lid (4 screws).  The hatch sat well into the opening.  However, I was unable to dog down the hatch levers into the completely "closed and sealed"--and ready for waves over the bow--position.  I'll be contacting Lewmar about this; I hope someone answers the phone.

If I had to do it over again, I'm not sure I would replace with a new Lewmar Ocean 65 hatch. I would probably replace the hatch lens on the original hatch and use a stick to prop open the lid.  I can't speak to the Bomar replacement.  I might change my mind if I can get the hatch to close all the way.  But the fact that you can't completely remove the hatch lid from the frame really complicated the installation.