I thought I'd show how refurbishment can transform an old hatch into a good as new refurbished one. The subjects here are a pair of Lewmar Superhatch Size 50 lids (1982-87), though the same could apply to later Rollstop (1987-92) and Ocean (1992-) models.
These had clearly been leaking through the acrylic/frame seal for some time and had been smothered with both tape and clear silicone in an effort to arrest the leaks, one presumes with limited success. They were thus sticky and dirty....
First job is to remove the handles and hinges. On the Superhatch the latter have straps which are fastened through the acrylic with machine screws and recessed nuts. The nuts are slotted and made from chromed brass so will easily split. Best to use some mole grips around the periphery to avoid this when releasing.
Note how the original sealant is squeezing past the acrylic leaving a bead of stickiness on the inside of the lid. Not pleasant to use in this state.
Next we remove the old closing seal from the lid. As with the other models this clips over the aluminium but can be pulled away once cut.
Then it's a Stanley knife around the seal and pop the acrylic out. This will normally just press out at this stage with a hand. Next we remove the bulk of the remaining sealant prior to a proper clean.
Next is a mechanical clean with a blade and rounded screwdriver. This gets most of the remaining sealant off. Then it's white sprit and a suitable abrasive (but not too abrasive) pad to remove the remaining traces. At this stage it is CRUCIAL that any traces of old sealant are removed as the new Silicone WILL NOT ADHERE to old sealant. This is the point where most DIY jobs fail. CLEAN means NO TRACES. Don't say I didn't tell you!
We now have some clean frames looking as good as new. Though they looked a mess to start with this pair actually cleaned up very well with no obvious mechanical damage.
Next Tim fits the new Closing Seal - We have the Superhatch seal specially manufactured in the UK using our tooling (checked by Lewmar) as Lewmar no longer supply this. This is quite a chunky seal so it does pucka up in the corners. This is normal and pretty much flattens out once the new acrylic is fitted.
Tim then cuts the new Acrylics on the CNC, ready for fitting and sealing. Spoiler Alert - I'm not going to tell you how to do this part! The image to the right shows the new Acrylic (Perspex GREY 9T21 tint) in and sealed prior to cleaning. The protective film is cut away from the edges to get a nice smooth finish at this stage.
Lastly we replace the handles and hinge straps, adding a little sealant under the latter to ensure a lasting seal. We then remove the protective film and clean the whole acrylic prior to replacing the film with new for protection during shipping and fitting.
Finally they are ready for another 30+ years of use with the added benefit of no leaks and a lens you can actually see through! Don't they look fabulous and even the hinges work perfectly!
Last but not least, packed and ready to ship in a custom box...