Deck Hatch Fixes and Alternatives

Date: July 24, 2000
From: Peter Gradeff

I am about to order Lewmar Ocean but not sure which one would be better for my E37, Flat base or Flange type. The condition of the wood frame is a big unknown since it behaves like a sponge when it rains. Perhaps I should look into that before ordering ; it might be advisable to to get rid of the wood frame altogether and install The Ocean using their Trim Kit. Reading what Pete Doddato and Bruce Boubright wrote last February is very helpful but I will appreciate additional input if someone wish to comment.

By the way, I was told by Atkins Hoyle that replacing the acrylic and the gaskets has to be done in their shop as it is not a do it yourself project !? Thanks to anyone who would make it easier for me to decide in this matter.

Date: July 24, 2000
From: Bill Fritz

I to am thinking about replacing the three hatches on my new (old) 37 #166. They seem to have been replace once with Vetus models which did not hold up well at all. Any shared information would be greatly appreciated.

Date: July 24, 2000
From: John Kocher

Peter, I replaced the hatches on our E32 which also had Atkins and Holye hatches. They may be identical. I replaced the Acrylic that A&H favors with Polycarbonate (smoked) which I had cut to fit by the supplier. Installation is easy. You will have to pull the hatches by removing the several screws around the perimeter of each and pry it up. I found the caulking had almost disintegrated which made it easy to remove the hatches and also was the root cause of the leaks. After cleaning up the residual caulking around the wood frame, I used poly foam to seal all the cavities. After the wood dried out over the winter, I revarnished and it looked like new.

Bought new gaskets from A&H and resealed each hatch. The only problem was butting the ends together after carefully cutting to fit using contact cement. The final step was reinstalling the hatches with silicon caulk after a thorough cleanup with a power wire brush. Be careful to leave the paper on one side of the Polycarbonate so silicon can't spread. It can be a mess otherwise.

Total job cost a little over $100 about 4 years ago, but hatches are better than new. If you're handy, it should take about two days, one on the boat and one at home. We had a cover over the winter. Hope this helps.

Date: July 24, 2000
From: Mike Miller

Afraid that Atkins and Hoyle are scamming you....I did the refit on mine and it's no big deal. Only took a day! The old Lexan needs to be pried out slowly after running a knife or razor around the edge to loosen it, as it is set with silicone, but it WILL come out. Then clean off the frames, sand lightly, lay in a thin bead of silicone, put in the new Lexan, and seal with clear silicone. HINT: you can get a beautiful professional finish on this or any other silicone work by rubbing it with an ice cube when smoothing out...produces a glassy-smooth finish!. I got the weatherseal foam strips from Atkins, but the overpriced adhesive they sell is simply black 5200 in another tube...And the local plastic shop beat their price on the Lexan by a LOT!...anyway, the frames are Al-Mag and VERY strong, so don't chuck them!

Date: July 24, 2000
From: Bob and Sandy Warren

I can't speak to replacing the acrylic on Atkins and Hoyle hatches but I ordered replacement gasketing material from them and it was very easy to install. All I had to do was pull the old stuff out and push the new stuff in. It was a round shape, about a 3/4 inch diameter. I thought it was rather overpriced and I think if I had explored around I could have gotten some weatherstripping that would have worked from an auto parts dealer. What I did not know at the time was that the shape of the "virgin" weatherstripping was round, because it takes on the shape of the groove it is shoved in as well as an impression where it is pushed down upon the fixed portion of the hatch.

Date: July 24, 2000
From: Bruce McMahon

Hello All,
I really can't help with hatches-- wish I could. But..... I have a skylight opening/locking device on my 1984 33' (just purchased 2nd hand) that is very, very tight-- almost has to be hammered to move it. It seems like something is binding. Do I take it apart or just order a new device from whom?

Date: July 25, 2000
From: Ed Blithe

Peter, we replaced both original hatches on our 32 Endeavor "Invicta" with Lewmar Oceans 55's low profile, we didn't us a trim ring. They were easy drop-in no cutting. The entire headliner was rotted on the inside as was the plywood ceiling in the cabin due to the teak trim leaking around the center hatch. We replaced the plywood and headliner when we replaced the hatches. I still have the forward teak trim and just waiting for the leak to start. Since we we're going to have the boat hull and top sides painted (Sterling) removing the teak trim ring wasn't a big decision. I just wish I removed both of them. Hatches are working great and I agree with you, expensive. Good luck.

Date: July 25, 2000
From: Don Chisholm

I am in the process of upgrading the hatches on my 1980 E43, I have had no problem removing the hatches but if anyone can steer me towards a supplier for 1/2" Smoked Lexan or Acrylic(4 x 4 Sheet) it would be much appreciated. I also talked to Atkins and Hoyle and they informed me that only they could replace the Acrylic. I am living in the Mississippi area and my boat is kept in Mobile Alabama

Date: July 25, 2000
From: John Kocher

I can't supply the name of a plastics supply company in your area, but can tell you that there were several local choices when I bought ours in New Jersey. As for A&H being the only ones who can replace the Acrylic, that's nonsense. I replaced ours by cutting around the caulking with a knife and then prying out the old and crazed plastic with a large screw diver. The hard part was cleaning the old caulking from the aluminum frame in preparation for installation of the Lexan replacement.

Date: July 25, 2000
From: Tom Berardinelli

Endevour owner
I own an E-32,1978.I replaced both hatches 5 years ago with lexan or plexiglass that I got from a sign co. It was scrap from 4x8 sheets,they sold it by the pound.They even cut it to size.They had several tints (I chose smoke)to pick from. I drilled the holes for the new hinges and avoided changing the wood frame. It worked great.

Date: July 25, 2000
From: BruceMcMahon

Hi Don,
I just purchased a 1984 33 and both of my hatches are crazed. I'll have to replace them soon also. I'll keep my ears and eyes open and mail you and the forum if I find anything.

Date: July 26, 2000
From: Jim Mauzy

You should be able to find them locally I would think, but if you can't I got mine from Bay Area Glass Co. in Kemah, TX after calling all over the area I found him about a mile from my boat. I gave him the dimensions and a tracing of the corner radius.

Date: July 26, 2000
From: Don Freeman

Concerning replacing Atkins & Hoyle hatch lights, we were told the same thing by the company that their product is unsupportable in the field and that you must return your hatch to them to replace the lights. This is unacceptable. At the Miami Boat show, they later admitted the procedure they use: Remove the acrylic light from the hatch. Carefully remove all old silicone caulk. This takes several hours per hatch. Then use sand paper to further remove any residues. Then use Toluene to remove additional impurities. Then we used alumiprep followed by Allodine treatment of the aluminum. This was followed by a final wipe of the frame as well as the new acrylic hatch light with Toluene. Then we used slightly less than a large tube of caulk per light. We previously taped the adjacent areas of the hatch frame and hatch light before applying the caulk. After the hatch light was set in the frame we removed the tape and trimmed the caulk borders as soon as workable. We replaced all four hatches this way. One hatch frame was slightly out of plane and when we dropped the new acrylic in place, we weighted it down with a bucket of water. We used half inch acrylic with a slight bronze tint. The bronze color is readily available, but not grey. The bronze color appears smoke grey, not bronze. The total cost for the acrylic was about $250. We used an ordinary scrolling jig saw to cut the acrylic with a blade recommended for cutting acrylic. At the correct feed rate there was no problem and the blade did not melt or bog down in the acrylic. We lightly sanded the edges. Concerning the hatch lights we replaced, we decided to test the old lights integrity by smashing them. The old hatch lights were significantly crazed, but without any deep cracks. We compared how easily they broke with a spare piece of new acrylic. We smashed them against the pavement by throwing them from overhead. The new piece was difficult to smash, but the old pieces broke quite easily. Twenty years of sun exposure had weakened them. One of the points that Atkins made at the boat show was that only a finest quality acrylic should be used, but I could find no difference in performance specifications between extruded and poured acrylic. Good luck.

Date: July 30, 2000
From: David Jarnot

Dear Endvr owners,
When I purchased my 1981 E-37, the deck hatches were leaking. I removed all three of the hatches, and also removed the teak because it was very thin where it was exposed to the elements. I was careful in removing the teak so it could be used as a pattern to make new ones. The hatch frames were stripped of the gaskets, hardware, and the lens. I sandblasted, primed, and painted the hatch frames with Allgrip. I Purchased a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 inch smoked Lexan and cut out the lenses using the old ones as patterns. When it came to installing the Lexan I learned that Lexan releases gasses that will not allow the sealant to bond. The edges of the Lexan have to be primed first, and then they were glazed in with silicone. This allowed the silicone to bond with the Lexan.

The new teak was bedded with 5200, and I screwed it to the deck so that all the screws would be hidden by the hatches base flange. I then bedded the hatches with 5200 and fastened them. New gaskets were installed in the hatches. Then we used the rest of the Lexan to redo the companion way and the teak trim.

It was a lot of work but we are very pleased with the results. No more leaks. If you want to order any parts, including the lenses, Bomar in Vermont offers many of these parts for their old hatches. You must supply them with all the measurements, including height so they can identify your hatch. Hope this helps.. Happy Sailing...

Date: March 24, 2001
From: Andy and Brenda Schulkind

Anyone ever replace Vetus deck hatches on an E32? Thanks

Date: March 31, 2001
From: Albert Augustine

i replaced the hatches on my 76 with Bomar hatches that i purchased at JSI here in florida. since then I've come across another source that may have the sizes that you need. and the prices aren't bad either.

Date: June 26, 2001
From: Joe Hrobuchak

I need to replace the original 2 deck hatches on our 1978 E32. Any suggestions or experiences??? Thanks,

Date: June 27, 2001
From: Mike Sneath

Purchased Bomar (thru BoatUS) hatches. Worth every penny, couldn't be happier with decision. Also replaced teak exterior trim to ensure watertight fit.

Date: June 27, 2001
From: Tom Gilbert

Joe, I am in the middle of replacing the main salon hatch due to a broken hinge. I shopped at Atkins and Hoyle and ordered the one hatch. It's pricey.

Date: June 27, 2001
From: Don Reeder

I used Bomar and they worked fine. You just have to measure the cut out to get the right size. I used 5200 to seal them down and that's probably not the best thing to use I discovered later. The 5200 will eventually begin to crack and leak. A good marine grade silicone sealant may work better. Or maybe someone else can suggest something better. Good luck.

Date: June 27, 2001
From: John Chapman

About plexiglas hatches:
I replaced the plexiglas hatch cover portions in my E32 within the last 6 months with 1/2 " thick plexiglas "blank" material measuring 19 5/8 " square ordered from a plexiglas vendor. I replaced the Vetus hinges and gasket material. Round the corners to match the originals by tracing an original upon the paper, then try your skil-saw to follow the contour. The saw cuts thru the 1/2 " stuff easily but will leave a white trail of re-fused plexiglas which can be snapped off afterwards. Use a 90 grit belt sander to remove the white residue on the corners and then bevel the edges slightly to remove burrs.I used stainless bolts with lock nuts for the re-fastening . Its real easy to fit a solar fan in the aft hatch cover too. The hatch frames on my boat didn't leak so they are still the originals. By the way, my motivation to perform this task was precipitated whilst tacking the 150 Genoa, the sheet grabbed the original cover and flew it like a frisbee!! (Plexiglas is more dense than water !) Its easy to get motivated by such a loss when the gaping hole remains in your foredeck!!!!!!!! (one original cover still remains as a spare) Other vendors besides VETUS offer new hatches so explore this option also since original eqpt.seems to vary from other accounts I've read on this site. Lots of luck & happy sailing,

Date: June 27, 2001
From: Terry Brant

Hi - replaced our hatches last year on our 1977 Endeavour 32' sloop. Here's what I found/how I did it. You may have the same hinges/hatches.

The hatches had sun crazing and had darkened so it was hard to see out, so replacement was needed. #1 thing I discovered was that it was VERY expensive to replace with new parts/plastic. #2, I learned that I had Vetus hinges that were discontinued. When I called them and described the hinge, they told me that they also still had a supply and I ordered replacements plus a couple of spares. They were relatively inexpensive, costing $3.00 each thru my company. You can call Vetus at (410)712-0740, FAX (410)712-0985, Website, E-Mail

The hinges come in two parts, the hooked part and the bar part that goes on hatch cover. One is (VL13Z) hinge black hippo: frame part, and the second is (VL12Z) hinge black hippo hatch part (Retail was $4.20 each at the time of my purchase). These hinges are the type that allow you to lift off the hatch after it is opened completely without having to remove anything. My plastic is the hatch and just sits down in the frame when lowered. The frame usually doesn't leak because it has two holes on each of the four sides, allowing the water to run out as fast as it collects. Next I went to a commercial plastic company with the old hatches in hand and had them duplicated. The size is a fraction (like 1/16th or 1/8th) less thick, but it doesn't matter. Vetus had numerous calls on this thickness problem, and they seemed happy to receive my info to pass along to other customers with the same concern. I don't remember the exact cost on the plastic, but it was around $48.00 each. I also added two 17 - 21" holders on each side at $17.50 each from Westmarine, giving me a total cost of under $100 each, doing the work myself. The price for me to replace with someone else doing the work was around $1,300 including new frames/hatches.

Date: June 28, 2001
From: Ed Blithe

On Invicta our 1978, 32 Endeavour we used Lewmar I believe they were model 55's for both hatches. They measured 21-3/16 x 21-3/16 and dropped in perfectly. I needed to trim one or two corners about 1/4" but that was all. I did remove the teak trim ring as it was leaking amidships. The leak resulted in replacing the plywood under the headliner and replacing the headliner and then the hatches. (nothing is easy). We ordered the hatches from BOW Pompano Beach, and it took about 6 weeks as they were not in stock. Hope this helps.

Date: July 7, 2001
From: Bob McManis

I have Atkins & Hoyle hatches on my 84 E-33 and have had good luck in getting replacement hatch support arms for both my deck hatches. Atkins & Hoyle is a Canadian company and I last communicated with them in 1999. Here is the address and phone number I used. 71 Portland Street; Toronto, Ontario; Canada M5V 2M9 Phone: 416-596-1818. I hope this helps. Cheers, Bob

Date: August 3, 2001
From: Tom Gilbert

Hi Paul
I just replaced my main overhead hatch. The old one's hinge broke, and had to go. Atkins/Hoyle of Canada knew exactly what I needed and gave me a few options too. Cost ended up being about $550.00, but it looks terrific. The old screw holes don't match, but they told me they wouldn't. So I drilled them and plugged them with a dowel, and then reset the new hatch. New screws in a week later, and viola !!!! Done. What a pretty sight! No crazed hatch, yet.

Date: July 30, 2001
From: Mark Mineo

Hi folks,
I need to replace the two forward hatch covers on my E-37. Can anybody point me to an equivalent hatch, metal frame, of the same quality and dimensions?

Date: August 30, 2001
From: Carl Hibbard

If you have looked at prices for aluminum framed hatchs you are probably still experiencing sticker shock, as well as finding out that there aren't any real good applicants for replacements that come close to the original dimensions without a lot of work.

Are your aluminum frames and latching handles still intact?

Your E37 had Adkins and Hoyle (Canada- listed in E32 pages) hatchs if between '77 and '82. There were two designs, the older one is no longer available. The later design was/is available in '82. They were changable to go forward or backward as far as the hatch itself, and you can purchase replacement support rods. One writer said that the sizes were just a hair larger requiring some woodwork modification at the opening...this also written up in E32 pages.

Many have replaced the weatherstrips (me included) and reglazed with new Lexan, on either design. This is obviously the most cost efficient if dollars are a factor. Hardest problem for the Lexan replacement is the proper sealant and its retention to the aluminum frame. If you are a confirmed DIYer and want more instruction let me know .

However, Adkins & Hoyle will do all of it for you (for a fee of course), typical problems would be removal which -could -can-was be a bear. Second was the sheet vinyl covering the holes while the hatchs were out precluded the non use of the boat. One guy used the hatch as a pattern and made plywood he could do during his winter storage period.

My decision (and my wife agreed) after looking at everything involved was to leave the crazed Lexan alone and have me reseal. "She doesn't like people standing on the docks and looking through anyway."

NOTE : Materials for DIYers.
Just the new Lexan with the grade/tint , and minimum dollar requirement wound up being about $250...they did cut to size though. I'll supply source and contact person if anyone wants to obtain from the Dayton, OH area. My new weather strips were sourced through "Beckson" as bulk cut, they have lots of sizes and types, and direct shipped with billing through West Marine. Hope this helps a little, let us on the Endeavour list know....

Date: September 3, 2002
Tony D'Andrea

Gentleman, please see my web site WWW.SELECTPLASTICS.COM and specifically the FAQs page. The reason all major manufacturers do not recommend (Polycarbonate) Lexan is that it is the wrong material for hatch re-glazing. 5200 is definitely not the correct sealant. Beckson, Atkins Hoyle, and companies such as West Marine can give you more information.

Beware of cheap way out and quick fixes when the barometer is dropping like a stone and no land is in sight.

Date: February 5, 2005
From: Paul Uhl

Atkins Hoyle will recondition existing deck hatches replacing the Lexan lens and the gasket for roughly $200. That of course depends upon port size and lens thickness but it's considerable less money (and work) than replacing it with a new one.

Date: February 26, 2005
Jon Richards

For those Endeavour owners in the NY metro, CT and RI area there is a company in Norwalk, CT called Select Plastics that also reconditions all hatches.  Price two years ago was about the same and they did a beautiful job on my four E38 A-K deck hatches.  They have a website