Hatch opening not flat

Canopus

Junior Member
Hi everyone. I recently acquired a 1989 35-3 that I am in the process of replacing the hatches on. My problem is that the forward part of the main hatch is not flat. It's concave with the middle about 2-3mm lower than the sides (lewmar states no more than 1mm for ocean series hatches). The aft part is flat as are all sides of the v-berth hatch opening.
I don't have any apparent delamination aft of the mast and I even tested the core in that area and it's dry.
I suspect that the PO really cranked down on the tie-rod and distorted the deck. I'm thinking that it may flatten back out with the tie-rod disconnected and halyard tension pulling up. Does anyone have any experience with this situation or have any ideas how to fix it?
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi everyone. I recently acquired a 1989 35-3 that I am in the process of replacing the hatches on. My problem is that the forward part of the main hatch is not flat. It's concave with the middle about 2-3mm lower than the sides (lewmar states no more than 1mm for ocean series hatches). The aft part is flat as are all sides of the v-berth hatch opening.
I don't have any apparent delamination aft of the mast and I even tested the core in that area and it's dry.
I suspect that the PO really cranked down on the tie-rod and distorted the deck. I'm thinking that it may flatten back out with the tie-rod disconnected and halyard tension pulling up. Does anyone have any experience with this situation or have any ideas how to fix it?
Hi,
I'm wondering if there are any signs of the tie rods being over tensioned, like cracks in gelcoat, joint around the hatch showing gaps, etc.? if so, loosening the tie rods may ease the tension a bit. It may be possible to deploy a pole support (like the ones supporting joists in a house). You would need to spread the weight across a large area of the cabin sole to avoid damage, and at least a 2 x 4 under the hatch area to support it. There is a risk with this method, of doing more damage than good.
If there are no other signs of deformity, is it an option to simply build up the hatch area with fibreglass and gelcoat - - it might not take much to get it even.
Did you have the boat surveyed when you bought it, and if so, did the surveyor notice any deformation?
Let us know what you decide. Others may have more helpful advice in coming days.
Frank
 

sharonov

Member II
Had the same issue with my 32-3. I just stuffed the gap with butyl tape and disregarded Lemar's recommendation. Seems to be working fine.
 

Canopus

Junior Member
Hi,
I'm wondering if there are any signs of the tie rods being over tensioned, like cracks in gelcoat, joint around the hatch showing gaps, etc.? if so, loosening the tie rods may ease the tension a bit. It may be possible to deploy a pole support (like the ones supporting joists in a house). You would need to spread the weight across a large area of the cabin sole to avoid damage, and at least a 2 x 4 under the hatch area to support it. There is a risk with this method, of doing more damage than good.
If there are no other signs of deformity, is it an option to simply build up the hatch area with fibreglass and gelcoat - - it might not take much to get it even.
Did you have the boat surveyed when you bought it, and if so, did the surveyor notice any deformation?
Let us know what you decide. Others may have more helpful advice in coming days.
Frank
There is some divoting around the tie-rod deck plate as if the core there has been slightly squished. I did have it surveyed, but he missed some things (like loose bulkhead tabbing) that I've found.
I have the tie rod loose and will see if it comes up any. If not I may just go with the suggestion to add an extra thick layer of butyl tape when bedding it and see how that goes.
 

gadangit

Member III
We had a pretty serious divot from our tie rod as well. I ended up removing the through deck fitting and re-doing the deck in that area to re-flatten like what Frank said above. My hatch wasn't in the way, but the divot was affecting the mast collar seal a bit.
 

Canopus

Junior Member
Had the same issue with my 32-3. I just stuffed the gap with butyl tape and disregarded Lemar's recommendation. Seems to be working fine.
I ended going this route and put extra butyl tape in the gap. After 2 solid days of rain, so far no apparent leaks. Haven't been sailing yet so we'll see how it goes after things start flexing
 
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