Cabin skylight / portlight replacement glass or plexiglass??

LeifThor

Member II
1972 E 35-2
Before I have again if anyone knows the exact proper nomenclature for this artifact on our boats I would appreciate the right name for it.

If I say the word hatch everyone thinks the entry hatch, if I say port light everyone thinks it’s one of the windows. It is the two overhead port lights, one in the main cabin area and one over the V Berth. Do each of these have their own distinct labeling and if so what is it?

I have the old style which were wood framed with plexiglass or glass so the boat has a fiberglass lip. I’ve noticed on later models the hatches are more modern aluminum or steel with rounded corners, but they do Not have the fiberglass lip protruding up from the deck.
I would like as many examples of replacements that people have done in this group I can see. As often is the case with our boats there are many ways to solve a single problem, and I would love to see how other Ericson owners here have replaced their skylights or whatever they are properly called. Thanks





I would like as many examples of replacements that people have done in this group I can see. As often is the case with our boats there are many ways to solve a single problem, and I would love to see how other Erickson owners here have replaced the skylights or whatever they are properly
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
On a boat, a hatch is on deck and provides access to below (cargo hatch). Sailboats have "opening" hatches and "sliding hatches." To be a hatch they must provide entry to something.

A portlight, or light, or port, or porthole (ugh), may be "opening" or "sliding" or "fixed," and usually that function makes the specific name. They provide light and air, not access.

That's my stirring of the old can of worms. Usage is fluid, but pedants say there are no windows or skylights on a boat. And also that "Grand Central Station is not a station at all, my dear, but a terminal." (pedantry example by Theodore Bernstein, "The Careful Writer.")
 
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LeifThor

Member II
On a boat, a hatch is on deck and provides access to below (cargo hatch). Sailboats have "opening" hatches and "sliding hatches." To be a hatch they must provide entry to something.

A portlight, or light, or port, or porthole (ugh), may be "opening" or "sliding" or "fixed," and usually that function makes the specific name.

That's my stirring of the old can of worms. Usage is fluid, but pedants say there are no windows or skylights on a boat. And also that "Grand Central Station is not a station at all, my dear, but a terminal." (pedantry example by Theodore Bernstein, "The Careful Writer.")
So overhead hatches forward and aft? Is that the accurate nomenclature for these?
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Sure, although I'd say "overhead" is unnecessary. (It's not overhead if standing on the deck).

"Main hatch" is useful, as compared to "forward hatch" on our sorts of boats. I say "companionway hatch" to denote the sliding hatch over the companionway.

The nautical terminology is important, but only works if everybody on board happens to have an interest in it. Therefore, "Please open that big overhead window (main hatch) using the thingamabobgs that you have to turn to release it (the hatch dogs) and be careful on the stairway (companionway ladder) and please hold on with the things on the end of both arms (hands).

 

gadangit

Member III
I would like as many examples of replacements that people have done in this group I can see. As often is the case with our boats there are many ways to solve a single problem, and I would love to see how other Erickson owners here have replaced the skylights or whatever they are properly
We had the same exact hatches you described. Replacing with modern hatches was one modification that really made our boat look much newer than it is. I bought the largest hatch that would fit, furred out the opening to the requirements of the hatch and had instant sealing hatches.

Chris20200519_130546.jpg
 

LeifThor

Member II
Wow! That’s exactly the solution I’m looking for. Yet furring out the opening I’m not too clear on. Did your opening have that 2-3in lip going up off the deck? Do you have any other photos of what you did to the opening before adding the hatch?? Did you need to modify the hatch you bought? Thanks for responding and yeah your hatch looks tip top!
 

gadangit

Member III
Wow! That’s exactly the solution I’m looking for. Yet furring out the opening I’m not too clear on. Did your opening have that 2-3in lip going up off the deck? Do you have any other photos of what you did to the opening before adding the hatch?? Did you need to modify the hatch you bought? Thanks for responding and yeah your hatch looks tip top!
Sorry, I was/am terrible at documenting as I am going. Yep, that raised lip is there and is great for when the green water rolls down the deck.
I did not modify the hatch. Furring is just adding strips of, in this case, marine grade plywood to make up the gap between the outer edge of the metal hatch and the opening of the hatch. I cut the inside corners with a jigsaw and epoxied in. Then a few layers of biax glass to hold it all together. This was all prior to the deck paint, so we were not messing around.

20200519_151328.jpg20200519_151157.jpgOur shipwright made us look good from the inside. Not a perfect fit in the corners, but one does have to stop at some point.
 

LeifThor

Member II
Sorry, I was/am terrible at documenting as I am going. Yep, that raised lip is there and is great for when the green water rolls down the deck.
I did not modify the hatch. Furring is just adding strips of, in this case, marine grade plywood to make up the gap between the outer edge of the metal hatch and the opening of the hatch. I cut the inside corners with a jigsaw and epoxied in. Then a few layers of biax glass to hold it all together. This was all prior to the deck paint, so we were not messing around.

View attachment 33924View attachment 33925Our shipwright made us look good from the inside. Not a perfect fit in the corners, but one does have to stop at some point.
Ah now I get it! I may be wrong but it looks like the ceiling inside your cabin area is that sort of cloth with holes in it (sorry don’t know the name) that uses strips of hardwood holding it in? Am I right? We have the fiberglass inner shell so it’s a little bit different looking around the window inside I think but I could do something like that no problem everything is fixable on a boat. Do you happen to remember what your hatch cost you?
 

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gadangit

Member III
Ah now I get it! I may be wrong but it looks like the ceiling inside your cabin area is that sort of cloth with holes in it (sorry don’t know the name) that uses strips of hardwood holding it in? Am I right? We have the fiberglass inner shell so it’s a little bit different looking around the window inside I think but I could do something like that no problem everything is fixable on a boat. Do you happen to remember what your hatch cost you?
The previous owner thought that one stopped water coming into the boat by duct taping up tears and rips in the fabric. Needless to say, that fabric was ripped out within a week of owning the boat. This a melamine panel with the wood trim to hide the seams. Same concept, but infinitely easier to unscrew everything and drill more holes in the deck.

I don't remember how much the hatches were, but I do remember being excited that I actually found the exact size I wanted and they were on clearance. Yay for the little victories!
 

LeifThor

Member II
Sorry, I was/am terrible at documenting as I am going. Yep, that raised lip is there and is great for when the green water rolls down the deck.
I did not modify the hatch. Furring is just adding strips of, in this case, marine grade plywood to make up the gap between the outer edge of the metal hatch and the opening of the hatch. I cut the inside corners with a jigsaw and epoxied in. Then a few layers of biax glass to hold it all together. This was all prior to the deck paint, so we were not messing around.

View attachment 33924View attachment 33925Our shipwright made us look good from the inside. Not a perfect fit in the corners, but one does have to stop at some point.
Wow, that’s one expensive hatch! Be glad you got it for a killer deal:) I could only find it for $1,200-$1,600 and I’m pretty sure it’s not rated for bluewater (not that the old style was either).

If I build it similar to the old one, I think I can do the two for around $600-$700. But I’d only build one if I could stand safely and it could withstand blue water storm forces.

I sure wish more ow era who had solved the problem other ways could pitch in. Your solution is certainly tip top beautiful and sturdy, it’s just way over my budget.
 

gadangit

Member III
I agree that getting those old hatches to be pseudo blue water capable is problematic. Which is why we went the direction we did.

My recollection is that "blue water" rated hatches have a lip extrusion that is much higher than the non "blue water"rated hatches. I think the theory being that a rolling wave of green water banging against a hatch flush mounted to the deck would put the seal under a lot of pressure. So having the wave bang into an aluminum extrusion would help reduce the load on the seal. Plus the hatch would be inherently stiffer, for whatever that gains you. Our little head hatch is flush mounted and of the blue water variety.

I applied my little theory to our boat and took the 3" of raised fiberglass to act as the raised extrusion. At least, that is how I justified what I did.

I don't recall spending that much, but I can't bear to look at what we spend on boat things anymore.

Good luck, I hope you find a good solution!
Chris
 

LeifThor

Member II
As I fix this old girl I realize many solutions captains use wouldn’t hold up in heavy conditions. I just talked to a buddy with an E32-2 and his overhead hatch has a 1/4” wood frame which points to a lightweight though low stress tolerant solution.

it’s both fun and challenging to build for our boats envisioning it operating under the harshest conditions. If the overhead hatch in the main cabin area was to criticality fail in a heavy storm, the boat could very possibly sink within an hour of waves unhindered entering the cabin area!
Whatever I build, it will be able to blue water (the point of getting this boat), and practicing the exercise of envisioning this extreme conditions really helps in which materials to use and how attachment points are done. As an example, the solution I come up with will be able to lock the frame to the interior of the cabin outside of the normal locking mechanisms similar to how a machine screw and bolt is stronger than just a wood screw. Sorry at this point I’m probably just talking to myself, but I really appreciate your awesome hatch as inspiration!
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Well, any hatch that's new or rendered thoroughly sound is plenty good enough, seems to me, for anything short of Cape Horn.

As a practical matter our boat will not get buried in 100,000 pounds of breaking 30-foot wave, and if it does there will be other issues. In the worst case scenario of being run over by a hurricane the real solution is to avoid being run over by a hurricane, because if you don't you weren't paying attention. Modern weather forecasting and reliable offshore communication makes that possible and necessary.

Just my take on things, of course, and a new hatch is a joy for many reasons. I doubt ultimate survival is high on the list.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Lewmar hatches seem to go on sale at West Marine once a year or so for (IIRC) 40 - 50% off regular price. Not all size and style combinations though.

My (mis)adventures in hatch installation are here 1 2 3 - cutting off the inner lip was necessary in this case - this was about the smallest hatch that could still be used for emergency egress. And the closest to the original size.
 

LeifThor

Member II
Good points. Did you ever replace you hatch over the V berth with a proper Lewmar or bomar hatch and if so what model???

I may have found a solution to the bigger one we’ll see.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Yes, there are three links in that last post. I used a Lewmar size 50 medium profile hatch.
Chris’s explanation of the “Ocean Hatch” make sense- if you put a lot of force on it, the extrusion would slam against the deck and limit deformation of the seal. With the “medium” or “low profile” hatches, all the force would go onto the seal. Medium has the same thickness of acrylic as Ocean - just the frame extrusion is different. Also, when the time comes to replace the lens, the frame of the “Medium” can be disassembled in the field, but the “Ocean” hatch has to be returned to the factory. And of course, “Medium” is cheaper.
 

frick

Member III
My forward hatch on my e29 had turned milk white and starting to crack. I did some quick measurements and found the right sized and thickness of a polycarbonate replacement on ebay. Cut it size, used my router to remove the sharp edges and drilled and screwed it back on. I use that rubbery self sticking tape as a gasket. Total cost of the repair.. $45.
 

vcirelli

Member II
Blogs Author
In the worst case scenario of being run over by a hurricane the real solution is to avoid being run over by a hurricane, because if you don't you weren't paying attention. Modern weather forecasting and reliable offshore communication makes that possible and necessary.
Thanks, that made me chuckle - needed that. Well said and simply put. I get wrapped up in discussions about engineering tolerances and forces too, but then I remember I'm just floating around in Santa Monica Bay most of the time. I need to do the hatches as well, this thread is a great reminder...and one I'd like to forget ;)
 
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