19 January 2017

Hatch Lens Replacement

Removing the old lenses from the hatches.
After 30 years, it was time to replace the acrylic lenses in Katmai's hatches.  We spent two weeks in January finally completing the project.  The original lenses were crazed and a couple had small cracks.  In 2015, we tried to source new acyclic in Australia but were unable to get 'cast' acrylic as recommended by boat manufacturer. 

Installing the bedding compound
Back in the USA, Beneteau recommended we contact Tony at SelectPlastics.com who specializes in repairing and replacing marine hatch and porthole lenses.  Tony provided a lot of advice and supplied cut  ChemCast GP Cast Acrylic in slightly oversized blanks of the various sizes and thicknesses we needed.  He shipped them to us in Seattle before our departure and we carried them, well packed/padded, as checked luggage when we flew to Perth late last year.  Yes, it was a bit awkward travelling with about 75 lbs of acrylic lenses in two rather large boxes, but it was worth it!  (and the airlines were fantastic by the way with these oversized 'bags'!)

New lenses in the deck top hatches
We removed the old lenses and used them as templates to shape the new ones.  Fortunately, woodworking tools can be used to shape cast acrylic and on Tony's advice we used new plastic drill bits and new router bits.  We also greatly appreciate the advice and help we got from Tracey at Perth Wood School! We are very fortunate to have the Perth Wood School as a resource for various woodworking projects when we are in Perth.  It is a fantastic facility, with wonderful people and really nicely arranged workshop/tools. 

Meanwhile the big job of preparing the hatch hardware to receive new lenses commenced.  The hatches were cleaned, serviced and all the old silicone removed in preparation of bedding the new lenses.  We used the recommendations from Tony again, and bedded the main deck hatch new lenses with Sika 295UV and applied the manufacturer recommended primers etc.  For the small side portlights we installed the new lenses using Dow 795, the same product that is used to attach windows into skyscrapers,  that should be good enough for us!

It was a big project that took 14 very long days, but we are really happy with the results.

And now, it is back to sailing with the arrival of our nephew and his friend! 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you are keeping the "old gal" up to snuff! You left during the right winter! Last few have been wonderfully mild but we've made up for it this year. Just this week starting to get nice again the bulbs are getting ready to flower in some places.
    I will be heading to Europe (Czech Republic, Germany and France) April 25-May 25 with my mom and uncle. Clyde will be joining us for about 10 days. Happy trails! April