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  #1  
Old 10-07-2011
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Hatch lens replacement

Hey Gang,
I have a few badly scratched / crazed hatch lenses that are in need of attention.
The options seem to be replacement lids - 12 week delivery from Lewmar or lens replacement of my lids by company called Hatch Masters in Connecticut. The price is about 70% of new lids and the delivery is about half.
Has any one dealt with this Company (or any other) for replacement hatch lenses?
Pros / cons of lens replacement?

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2011
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Hatch Lens Replacement

I think that you are referring to Select Plastics. Yes, I have used them and know of others who have as well. Quality and service was very good.

Two years ago they were quoting 4-6 weeks.
If you send them in February, figure much much longer as their pre-season business explodes.

Mike G.
Oasis
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Old 10-07-2011
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Yes Mike, Select Plastics appears to be the parent company or they just market the hatch business as "Hatch Masters".
I did get the feeling from talking to the owner today that they knew what they were doing. Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-07-2011
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+1 for Hatch masters. Select....great work, and great guys...
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another option is doing it yourself

I donít have any experience with either company but have replaced them myself. It is not a very complicated task so I would imagine any company that does it as there business would do a great job. I would shop based on price or turn around time which ever was more important

If you do it yourself it is rather straight forward

1) Using a thin knife blade cut through the older sealer to remove the existing piece of acrylic. Takes less than an hour for most hatches

2) Take the old piece of acrylic to a local supply shop, most cities have at least on supplier. They will use the old piece as a template to cut you a new piece. Usual turn around time is 24 hours or less. My local supplier will do it while I wait if there not back up with other jobs.

3) Get some sealer ( multiple options are available)

4) Remove all old sealer from existing frame (very important to ensure no leaks). Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours on this.

5) Place a bead of sealer around the base of the frame where the acrylic will sit, set the new piece of acrylic in sealer and allow to cure. Takes about 20 minutes, then cure time varies on sealer I usually just wait overnight.

6) After sealer has cured, come back and add additional sealer between the edges of acrylic and the frame, this is the sealer you will see when the job is complete. You could do this step before the initial application of sealer has cured, but letting it cure first just helps to ensure good alignment.

These are just the high level details of what the job entails but not to complex.

Regards
Greg
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Old 10-07-2011
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Select plastics is GREAT!

I had two old Lewmar Ocean Series hatches that replacement handles cannot be obtained for. Select Plastics retrofitted new handles to these hatches for cheap, while they replaced the lenses.

This:


to looking like NEW.
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Old 10-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdettmer View Post
I donít have any experience with either company but have replaced them myself. It is not a very complicated task so I would imagine any company that does it as there business would do a great job. I would shop based on price or turn around time which ever was more important

If you do it yourself it is rather straight forward

1) Using a thin knife blade cut through the older sealer to remove the existing piece of acrylic. Takes less than an hour for most hatches

2) Take the old piece of acrylic to a local supply shop, most cities have at least on supplier. They will use the old piece as a template to cut you a new piece. Usual turn around time is 24 hours or less. My local supplier will do it while I wait if there not back up with other jobs.

3) Get some sealer ( multiple options are available)

4) Remove all old sealer from existing frame (very important to ensure no leaks). Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours on this.

5) Place a bead of sealer around the base of the frame where the acrylic will sit, set the new piece of acrylic in sealer and allow to cure. Takes about 20 minutes, then cure time varies on sealer I usually just wait overnight.

6) After sealer has cured, come back and add additional sealer between the edges of acrylic and the frame, this is the sealer you will see when the job is complete. You could do this step before the initial application of sealer has cured, but letting it cure first just helps to ensure good alignment.

These are just the high level details of what the job entails but not to complex.

Regards
Greg
s/v Spirit Soul
e38
Absolutely. Further to Greg's comments, if you can use a router, you can do it all yourself very easily. I was given a good Lewmar hatch with a crazed lens. I got an offcut of smoked plexi of the right thickness and cut it to fit with a router - just stick them together with double sided tape (don't remove the mask from the new piece before doing this) and rout around it using the old piece to guide the bearing on the router bit.

Before separating them, be sure you have drilled all the hinge and or handle holes as applicable, using the holes on the old lens as drill guides.

Separate the two, fit the new piece in the hatch frame and mark the edge with pencil on the mask. Remove the lens, trim the mask to the pencil line with a razor knife and peel off the thin strip of mask around the perimeter - this leaves the surface of the lens protected from drips of sealant etc.

Remove the lens and mask the hatch frame top & bottom alongside where the sealant will go. Put sealant in the mounting lip and fit the lens back in place, LIGHTLY clamped to ensure a snug fit - over clamping will squeeze out too much sealant which must bond the lens in as well as seal it from leaks. I used cheap spring clamps with all the strength of clothespins. Be sure to run a wet finger around the top seam to smooth the sealant.

When the sealant has tacked off, peel off the mask on both sides, put the latches and hinges back on, et viola - a new hatch.

This is a very easy and satisfying job. Doing the routing and drilling yourself makes a major savings (percentage wise) over having a plastics shop doing it. I asked about it and it would have doubled the cost compared to buying the plastic off cut. The whole thing cost me about $90 including the expensive tube of adhesive glazing sealant. You must be careful with your selection of adhesive sealant - many will eat acrylic, many won't bond well etc. Industrial glazing sealant, namely Dow Corning 795 was recommended and worked well for me. It's silicone but it is used for installing curtain wall glazing on highrises so I think it will hold a hatch lens in.

Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2011
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one of those 175 dollars VS 1200 dollar projects that was pretty easy
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Old 10-07-2011
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Just some cautions on DIYing this;

#1 You want to use cast acrylic not cheap extruded acrylic. Cyro's Acrylite is pretty much the industry standard. There are only a few hatches that used polycarbonate and they are made by Bomar and have cross bracing to support it.

#2 These hatches are most often bedded in silicone. The old silicone MUST be 100% removed. This is no easy task. New silicone will not adhere well to old silicone contamination. This job is all about prep.

#3 Do not use 4200, 5200 etc. You want to use Dow Corning 795, GE SG-4000 or Sikaflex 295 UV with the special primer. Tony at Select Plastics repairs more hatches than anyone and these are the only sealants he will use.

#4 You'll want to use thin spacers under the lens to keep enough thickness for the sealant bond to not fail. Placement is tricky and they often fall out. I now use double sided 3M body molding tape cut thin and place on the inner edge of the lip so I still get plenty of silicone bond. The acrylic moves quite a bit and you need enough thickness to allow this movement.

#5 Once the fame is clean you can do one last wipe with acetone or another strong other but don't use them on the lens. Tony like a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and distilled water for cleaning the acrylic prior to bonding. Do not touch any of the bonding surfaces with your fingers after cleaning.

#6 Allow the sealant plenty of time to cure before putting into use. The temps should not drop below 50f during the 20+ day cure window for products like SG-4000 or Dow 795.

#7 Let Tony and his crew at Select Plastics do it. They use factory authorized repair techniques and a special bonding agent to physically glue the lens to the frame which is multiples stronger than DOW 795 or other sealants. They do great work and do it right.
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Old 10-07-2011
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Select is essentially around the corner from us, so we've had occasion to drop in more than once. They are helpful with valuable advice and have enabled us to keep our ancient Lewmar forward hatch working and dry. I'm pretty sure that they would be fully capable of rebuilding it to company specs, as new, if we wanted to spend the money. We need new sails first, though.
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