Replacement hatch lenses for 1984 Ericson 30+

flycavalry

Junior Member
Hi I am a new to me owner of a 1984 Ericson 30+. I am interested in replacing my forward and aft hatch lenses as they are severely crazed. I have heard that they were manufactured by Lewmar but dont have a part number to cross reference to find a replacement. Can anyone who has replaced theirs tell me where I might be able to find some? I do not want to remove the entire hatch to send out for rebuild. Rather I would like to remove the old and replace with the new while it is still on my boat. Any hints or suggestions would be much appreciated. I live near the San Francisco area. Thanks in advance.:)
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
If I read your post correctly, you are not wanting to remove the hatches, just buy new lenses to install in your existing frames. If that is correct, several owners on this site (and in your yacht club as well) have carefully removed the lenses by cutting through the black caulking on the old hatches, removing the lense and taking it to a local plastics shop or perhaps even an auto glass shop where they can cut acrylic to size for you. There are choices to make about colour (clear, grey, smoked, light brown, etc.). The new lenses are best installed using Dow Corning 795 caulking, which seems made for this application. I had a local marine general repair person cut a 4 inch hole in the centre of my main hatch on my E30+ and installed a stainless steel Nicro solar vent, which has worked well for many years to increase ventilation in the boat.

I am not aware that Lewmar sells just the lenses for their hatches, so if I'm right, you would have to purchase and replace the entire hatch. In that case it might be cheaper to send them to Select Plastics who refinish hatches like ours to look like new, though it's not cheap and you had mentioned that you didn't want to remove the existing hatches from the boat.

Others may have additional or more up to date information, but this may give you an option to think about.

Finally, congrats on your E30+ purchase--we have had ours for 13 years and love it!!

Frank
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Here is a blog post on the topic. Note especially the links in the first paragraph. I think the link to "earlier video" is the most basic DIY stuff.

 
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Ken Haneline

Member II
30+ Hatch Replacement

Couple years back we looked at replacing the glass in the hatches. We started looking closely at the hatch hinges and seals and decided to do a complete replacement. Not particularly hard. We did two hatches in one afternoon. Ken
 

zagnut

Junior Member
I am in the process of replacing the crazed hatches on my Ericson 30+ as well. I spoke with Hatch Masters last summer and they quoted me $319 for the forward hatch and $539 for the larger. With the cost of shipping and the tutorial video Christian provided us, I decided to take the task on myself. I am ordering new cast acrylic from Tap Plastics. With shipping it is right around $150 for both cut to size. It was simple to take the hinge off the frame and bring the hatches home so that I can work on them in the comforts of my home.
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
One thing to watch out for when going the DIY route is the size of the holes for the latch handles. TAP drilled those for me but with an undersize drill bit (they said it was the closest they had). They may be metric but I didn’t have the right drill bit size either and went with the closest I had. I remember it was a bit of a pain getting it all sorted out.
 
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markvone

Sustaining Member
DIY is easier than it looks

I replaced two hatch lenses and the seals myself and the hardest part is getting the old caulk out of the frame and cleaning up that surface for the new caulk. I had the lenses cut by a local plastic shop but I would cut them myself knowing what I know now.

For my second job, my only Bomar opening port, I bought a small piece of 3/16 cast acrylic on Ebay for ~ $10 and cut it rectangular with a fine (22t) jig saw blade on medium speed and rounded the corners and smoothed the edges with my palm sander and 36 grit paper. It was as easy as cutting 1/4 plywood. The sanding was similar to hardwood except a little harder.

I recently cut an acrylic companionway entry board from a sheet of 1/2 inch, grey cast acrylic using my circular saw and a fine 60 tooth blade (Oldham B7254760 - $14.50 on eBay) recommended by someone on the internet. I sanded the edges and adjusted the size with my palm sander and 36 grit paper. I drilled holes for the hasp with new cobalt bits without any issues.

I didn't have any issues cutting or drilling the acrylic. It didn't splinter or crack when cutting. It was similar to plywood of the same thickness. Going slower prevents heat build up and melting in thinner pieces. It sands like wood, only it's harder.

Before you commit to replacing the acrylic, make sure you are happy with the condition of the hatch or port frames and bases, particularly if they are extruded aluminum which can corrode. My hatches and opening ports were all cast aluminum and in good shape. I didn't like the basic design of my (4) Gioit cast aluminum opening ports or the way Ericson chopped the openings into the cabin side. The sealing area is very small on the ports and the spigot is part of the interior half, leaving a second gap to seal on the outside. Mine had leaked and had destroyed the interior teak. I decided to change to new stainless size 1 Lewmars while I re-did the interior teak instead of committing any more time and money to the Gioits.

Mark
 
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supersailor

Contributing Partner
Hi! I am going to cut a piece of plywood the size of the openings and tape down clear plastic wrap to the deck.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
I think anything like that works. Three or 4-mill plastic from HD, sold as drop cloths, is a great all-around product. Might not even need the plywood.

My hatches were going to be off for a long time, so I cut overhanging plywood lids, put a 2x4 across the interior opening, and used a long threaded rod to connect them. (At the time I thought I needed emergency replacement hatches for offshore--which turned out to be over-think.)
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
What Christian did.

I used 1/2 inch plywood because I didn't know how long I would have the lids off the boat and it was winter. You can add sticky back foam weather stripping as a seal but mine were pretty water tight without it. I used a galvanized 3/8 inch carriage bolt about 6 inches long, std washers and a larger washer, std nut as the clamp/lock. Cheap from Home Depot. Keep the hole in the plywood tight to your carriage bolt size and the bolt head will dig into the plywood and tightening the nut will be a one person, inside job.

Mark
 

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tenders

Innocent Bystander
I used Select Plastics in Connecticut and was very pleased with the outcome. My hatch was/is very old and they immediately dated the hatch as an early 1970s vintage, and noted that modern adhesives were more than enough to hold the new lens in place - the throughbolts were potential sources of leaks and were not used in the fix, just the sealant. I would not have known this if I’d DIY.

It wasn’t cheap but it was easy; I didn’t pay freight since they’re within driving distance (Norwalk, CT). There were more hatches in various stages of repair in their little shop than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, including one that I could probably have walked through with minimal stooping.

I noticed while replacing the hatch that the frame was slightly bent, probably due to some warping of the deck due to core rot (which was repaired during the several winter months that the hatch was out). It doesn’t seem to matter as far as leakage is concerned now, but f I had to do this over again, I would have looked more carefully at complete hatch replacement.

Actually the tricky part of the job was recreating the nearly square wooden frame on which the flat metal hatch base rests on deck. It was constructed of four pieces of teak, with biscuit joints in the corners. (The biscuits were obviously not teak and were well on their way to rotting and leaking.) The forward and aft arms are curved to run along the camber of the deck, and are thus fairly thin in the middle. I rebuilt this frame from a single and rather expensive piece of 1” thick StarBoard, using a router to trim the outer edge along the hatch frame and a router/fence and jigsaw to cut the inner edge. Then I used a bandsaw to cut the camber, sweating heavily at each step due to my lack of experience with woodworking tools, the high cost of the materials, and the lack of a Plan B. But it turned out reasonably well, and I’m left with a hefty square of thick StarBoard for winch mounting bases and who knows what else.
 
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lschill

Member I
Select Plastics

I used Select Plastics in Connecticut and was very pleased with the outcome. My hatch was/is very old and they immediately dated the hatch as an early 1970s vintage, and noted that modern adhesives were more than enough to hold the new lens in place - the throughbolts were potential sources of leaks and were not used in the fix, just the sealant. I would not have known this if I’d DIY.

It wasn’t cheap but it was easy; I didn’t pay freight since they’re within driving distance (Norwalk, CT). There were more hatches in various stages of repair in their little shop than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, including one that I could probably have walked through with minimal stooping.

I noticed while replacing the hatch that the frame was slightly bent, probably due to some warping of the deck due to core rot (which was repaired during the several winter months that the hatch was out). It doesn’t seem to matter as far as leakage is concerned now, but f I had to do this over again, I would have looked more carefully at complete hatch replacement.

Actually the tricky part of the job was recreating the nearly square wooden frame on which the flat metal hatch base rests on deck. It was constructed of four pieces of teak, with biscuit joints in the corners. (The biscuits were obviously not teak and were well on their way to rotting and leaking.) The forward and aft arms are curved to run along the camber of the deck, and are thus fairly thin in the middle. I rebuilt this frame from a single and rather expensive piece of 1” thick StarBoard, using a router to trim the outer edge along the hatch frame and a router/fence and jigsaw to cut the inner edge. Then I used a bandsaw to cut the camber, sweating heavily at each step due to my lack of experience with woodworking tools, the high cost of the materials, and the lack of a Plan B. But it turned out reasonably well, and I’m left with a hefty square of thick StarBoard for winch mounting bases and who knows what else.


I also sent mine to Select Plastics and it came back like new. I loved it. I also secured the hatch as Christian did.
 

mjsouleman

Member III
Moderator
One more accolade for Select Plastics. I had both the salon and v-berth hatch lens replaced two years ago. Again, expensive but well worth it, and the owner was more that happy to talk.

MJS
 

flycavalry

Junior Member
I am in the process of replacing the crazed hatches on my Ericson 30+ as well. I spoke with Hatch Masters last summer and they quoted me $319 for the forward hatch and $539 for the larger. With the cost of shipping and the tutorial video Christian provided us, I decided to take the task on myself. I am ordering new cast acrylic from Tap Plastics. With shipping it is right around $150 for both cut to size. It was simple to take the hinge off the frame and bring the hatches home so that I can work on them in the comforts of my home.
I am finally starting the hatch lense replacement. What is the thickness of the acrylic you ordered from Tap Plastics?
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Or--Find a local plastics shop and take the existing acrylic to them. They will simply match the original, holes and all. Beats shipping to and from Connecticut and if they have suitable scrap in house it will be much cheaper. Every community has such plastic fabricators and there's a lot of application for plastic on our boats.

plstic Capture.JPG
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
A word of warning about Christians advice to take the old hatch lens to be duplicated: in my case Tap Plastics did not have a metric drill bit to match the hinge screw holes so they used the closest size they had which was slightly too big. I did not realize this until I got them home and installed them. So I have struggled with some minor leakage issues due to the gap around the bolts (solved by using hatch covers). So ask if they have the right drill bit before you let them do the work! Otherwise they turned out great.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Man, that's just wrong. How about a wrap of butyl tape around the bolts? That ought to seal them. And nothing wrong with a washer on the interior side, if necessary.
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Correction, I misremembered- it was the handle holes that were oversized, thus the rubber O-rings don't seal properly. I did use plenty of butyl in the bolt holes and they do not leak. It is absolutely wrong, but I did not discover the problem until they had been bedded into the frame and I am not willing to re-do both hatches! I am sure I could figure out a solution, but most of our sailing is done during the dry season and the hatch covers take care of the rain during the rest of the year. So I will live with it until I can't and only then do something about it. Still, it's annoying.
 

zagnut

Junior Member
The thickness that I ordered from Tap Plastics were 3/8" for the front, smaller hatch and 1/2" for the larger. If I had it to do over, I would get both at 3/8". The half inch had to be really clamped down so that it was even the the top of the hatch frame. I had them drill out the handle holes as well and to date have had zero leaks.
 
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