Author Topic: Transparent hatches  (Read 449 times)

Jules Shockley

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Transparent hatches
« on: May 12, 2017, 01:38:45 PM »
For those of you who have not painted the tops of the hatches- I would like to maintain the transparency to allow light to pass thru but need to coat them with something to protect the fiberglass. Don't care for varnish, Awl Grip clear coat is good but labor intensive, and resin doesn't have UV protection. Any ideas? Am coming down to the wire preparing for a summer trip.

svsurprise

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 09:33:32 PM »
I've tried spray on clear enamel and clear lacquer and neither lasted in direct sunlight.  There is UV resistant clear epoxy but I haven't tried it yet.  I need to find something, sitting on the unprotected hatches in shorts leads to a scratchy butt...or so my crew tells me.

Don
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Jules Shockley

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 08:10:48 AM »
There is a product called Toon-Brite at Overtons and EBay. A marine clear coat. Runs between 68 and 75/gal. Awl Grip is around 100 for a 1 qt kit. A 2 part will probably last longer. Maybe I will fin the time and money.
Jules

Thane

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 06:54:30 PM »
We coated ours with epoxy. Worked well but after about 5 years it's starting to take on a yellow tint.
I'm interested in trying something new.
Thane Gilliam
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Matthew Balch

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 11:14:12 AM »
Jules, I gave mine a light sanding to smooth down and remove the deteriorated stuff in the translucent part. Then put another coat of resin on them.  On the worst ones, I also put a layer of fiberglass on the underside too.  After curing, I sprayed clear acrylic, obtained from an auto discount store, over the resined part.  This looked great, like new.  This treatment lasts for about a year, and is beginning to discolor now, although the resin and glass are fine.  Next time, I will try using the Awlgrip clear acrylic paint as that should hold up much longer than the auto spray paint.  Matthew

Jules Shockley

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 05:23:03 PM »
Matthew,
I have decided to use the awl grip clear. A bit more money but will last as long as I need it. Not much more effort either.
Jules

Matthew Balch

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 10:34:07 PM »
Hi Jules,  from my research, Awlgrip makes different clear finishes.  Please try the Alwgrip clear acrylic finish.  A year or so ago, I asked this forum about the same question and Dave from Soggy Paws said that Acrylic paint is the only one that will hold up in the sun and salt.  He was right of course, but I used a cheap automotive spray paint one that did not hold up in the sun for very long.  The hatches that are in the shade still look excellent, but the 2 forward ones need some new treatment after a year or so.  Matthew

Peter Hibbard

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 08:57:25 PM »
I took another route.  I am doing a complete awl-grip and non-skid on the deck In this process I am cutting out and removing the semi-transparent fiberglass from the top of the hatches and will be covering with 3/8" bronze acrylic with 50% light transfer. 19" X19" panels bolted through the top and sealed with butyl. I will provide pics soon.
Peter

Matthew Balch

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 12:45:43 PM »
Hi Peter, that's an interesting approach.  But how will you deal with the nut end of the bolts and the top of the opening?  Seems very close, and that part needs to be waterproof.  Matthew

Peter Hibbard

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Re: Transparent hatches
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2017, 08:10:32 PM »
Hatch Update - All hatches have been cut and an insert replaced with a "bronze" tinted 3/8" thick acrylic 19" X 19"sealed with butyl and stainless steel screws. There was a transition period to tighten and re-tighten the screws to seat the butyl and also to trim the butyl. Now all hatches are tight and leak free. A significant amount of light now enters the saloon, sleeping area and head.  To modify this entry during high sun, we snap on screens to help moderate this.

Thanks.....Peter