Lewmar Low profile hatch seals: Alternatives?

dukes4monny

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Hi all, I am a volunteer skipper for the Disabled Sailing Association in Torbay, and we are just running through the winter service list for their 3 year old Hanse 350.
We've just checked out the Lewmar Low profile hatches that are fitted to her, and they are in very poor shape. Two of them the glass has completely separated from the aluminium frame, and the seals on all of them are coming away.
I have contacted Seals + Direct for replacement seals (Lewmar originals) and it works out at £250 for 4 hatches!!!!
They are looking into possible alternatives, so I thought I would throw the question out to the learned YBW forumites: Does anyone now of a suitable alternative replacement seal (sponge rubber) that can be used on the Lewmar Low Profile hatches?

As a side note, I am stunned that these 3 year old Lewmar hatches appear to be in such poor shape. Has anyone else had these problems with the low profile hatches?

Thanks.
 

Seajet

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There have been several threads on this subject recently; if you don't get more replies, try a search for 'replacement seals' or 'hatches' etc, both here and scuttlebutt.

3 years does sound awful; I was seriously miffed when my Lewmar ocean hatch began to fail around 10 years !

Do be very wary of chandleries offering 'direct replacement' hatches, I and several chums have been stung this way; keep to just seals if at all poss !
 

GrahamM376

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I rebuilt a Lewmar Rollstop hatch, obtained new seal rubber (you cut to length and superglue the ends), lock "O" rings and hinge inserts from Seaclear Windows -www.seaclear.co.uk/ - Took the old piece of perspex to a supplier and he cut a new piece to shape, IIRC around £18. Used Arobosil 1096 sealant from EC Smith, much cheaper than Sik.

I've also used C & J International Windows for rebuilding Westerly windows in the past www.candjinternationalwindows.com/ they gave excellent service.
 

dukes4monny

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Thank you both for your replies. We will avoid replacement windows unless we really have to. Will rebond the aluminium frames to the glazing and hopefully this will solve the main problems.
Thanks for the links for the two window repairers / rebuilders, I will send them an e-mail to see if they can provide non Lewmar replacement seals.

Dave
 

dukes4monny

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Just a quick update regarding these Lewmar 'Flush' hatches. (I was originally told that they were 'Low Profile') We spent Saturday rebuilding these hatches which appears to have been successful.
I obtained one roll of 19 x 10mm neoprene from Seals + Direct (their PN: PEN 21) and some of their waterproof impact adhesive, total cost £27 inc. vat and delivery which seems to be a good replacement for the Lewmar version seals (£250 inc. vat and delivery). We used Sikaflex 291 to bond the acrylic glazing back in place.

These hatches do have a manufacturers recommendation that the seals be lubricated to prevent them sticking (silicon spray - vaseline etc.).
However, this was not the cause of the problem with these hatches. What we found is that the original black paint that had been applied to the aluminium frames was just flaking off, and because everything else (seals - glazing) was bonded to this, they were just falling apart! It was clear that oxidization has taken place........

If you have a yacht fitted with these Lewmar 'Flush' hatches, I would strongly recommend that you check them carefully for signs of flaking paint as this could be a first sign of problems to come. I have pictures and video of what we found. Please send me a PM if you would like to see them so you know what to look for.

We might just have been unlucky, and we have the only set of dodgy hatches, but I do feel that this is potentially a safety issue, hence this follow up post.

Dave
 
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