Houdini hatch leak

blackfish

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I know that this topic has been discussed elsewhere on the forum.

But I have a specific question. I'm pretty sure that the hatch is leaking because the sealant between the glass and the aluminium frame has degraded. Has anyone had any success in removing the glass and re-seating? If so, how did you go about it?
 

pete

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I stripped mine down a good few years ago, removed the glass and cleaned everything up. After taking advice from a mate who has a windscreen company I used an etching primer in the alloy channel, fitted packers to keep the glass centred in the channel, sealed around the glass with a windscreen sealer cartridge and then painted something black (it looked like paint) around the glass to alloy joint with a round sponge on a stick to make a neat border. It solved the leak for years later while I owned the boat.
Pete
 

Seajet

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There must be other places as well, but Seateach at Emsworth offer ' Houdini Direct Replacement ' hatches; I'm told they really are that nowadays but it's worth doing all the checking you can, as a chum bought one of these ' direct replacement ' jobs - years ago - and found it required a different size hole with different bolt spacings !

Seateach also do a lot of other hatches like Lewmar at good prices - no connection apart from distinctly unsatisfied customer over something else a lot more major - I only mention them here if it helps people with hatch problems - do grill them thoroughly re all measurements.
 

blackfish

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Thanks to everyone who has replied. I guess I'll go with the suggestion to give it a go anyway and replace with a new one if unsuccessful.

Cheers,

Tom.

(It's on a Virgo Voyager 23, by the way.)
 

blackfish

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Further to all of this (and three years on), I "cured" the leak with copious quantities of Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure. It was fine until last night's heavy rain after the prolonged hot dry spell. I'm minded to replace the whole hatch now with another Houdini (I know, I know!) for aesthetic reasons as much as anything else. I reckon the current one has been in there for 43 years now, so if the new one lasts that long, it'll certainly see me out.
 

Praxinoscope

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I have just replaced the original 1980 Houdini hatch with a new Houdini hatch and found that there was still a small amount of difference in the fitting dimensions and had to ‘chew’ some GRP out of the original aperture to get the new one to fit.
It might be worth trying to reseat the glass, if it works great if not you need a new hatch anyway.
 

Dougal

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We have two that leaked badly. I replaced the glass with 9mm tinted perspex, bedding with sika295UV. Worked a treat for 6 years but they now leak again.
I will pull out perspex, clean and reset. I MIGHT try CT1 this time;)
 

blackfish

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I have just replaced the original 1980 Houdini hatch with a new Houdini hatch and found that there was still a small amount of difference in the fitting dimensions and had to ‘chew’ some GRP out of the original aperture to get the new one to fit.
It might be worth trying to reseat the glass, if it works great if not you need a new hatch anyway.

Did the original holes line up for the screws/bolts? Is your boat in Aberaeron? We're just down the road at Sarnau.
 

blackfish

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We have two that leaked badly. I replaced the glass with 9mm tinted perspex, bedding with sika295UV. Worked a treat for 6 years but they now leak again.
I will pull out perspex, clean and reset. I MIGHT try CT1 this time;)

Were they on the same boat, i.e., was one a replacement for an original leaky version?
 

LittleSister

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I have just replaced the original 1980 Houdini hatch with a new Houdini hatch and found that there was still a small amount of difference in the fitting dimensions and had to ‘chew’ some GRP out of the original aperture to get the new one to fit.

Did the original holes line up for the screws/bolts?

I replaced a leaking Houdini with another the same, partly because the look suited the boat, but mainly to make it a straight swap. Unfortunately it wasn't: the dimensions of the new frame were slightly different, and the holes in slightly different places. The new frame didn't quite fit into the deck recess. After a couple of attempts to grind back the timber and grp in order to get it in (and each time having to rebed and refit the old hatch until next time I could visit the boat), I swopped the bits over so I had the new hatch on the old frame. That sorted the fit to the boat, but I then had to make some alteration (can't remember details) because the wedges on which the handles close didn't suit the new handles.

It all worked out in the end, but you have been warned!
 

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