#1 2021-11-22 23:06:47

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 31

Frances 26 fore hatch.

Has anyone replaced the fore hatch on a Frances 26?

Initially, I thought of simply turning it 180 degrees, so that it hinged from the aft side, instead of the fore side.
As built, the hatch, when opened, is very vulnerable, and if inadvertently stood on, would break. My hatch is showing it’s age, and as it is also a rather “Mickey Mouse” plastic hatch, I would be happier with a cast aluminum, or stainless steel framed hatch, hinged aft.

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#2 2021-11-23 11:16:23

Kevin_Misselbrook
Member
Registered: 2017-05-26
Posts: 34

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Hi Bill,
I had the same dilemma.  The deck hatch on my F26 was a "Hood" deck hatch with dodgy deals, a broken lock handle, and because it hinged towards the prow also has some stress crazing on the acrylic. 
My understanding is that it was designed deliberately to hinge that way to provide more security and less interference if you popped up through the hatch to put a reef in at sea.  Parts for the hatch were available but had to be shipped in from the USA to the UK from http://www.hoodyachtsystems.com/ .  Parts were expensive.

In the end I found and fitted a Lewmar deck hatch as per the link below and hinged it towards the mast which has worked out far better.
It does mean that my 15 year old son can get up onto the foredeck without me fretting about him standing on the hatch !
It's a good and solid quality unit.
Please see the link below.
https://www.marinescene.co.uk/en/produc … -l39950020

The size is a pretty close replacement for the Hood Hatch I had in.  I did have a shipwright put in a very thin fillet of wood round the inside of the aperture in the boat  but on reflection I could have just been more generous with the Sikaflex and saved the bother.
Although, I would strongly recommend you measure your hatch carefully as there may have been variations in supply and fit in the original builds. 
I hope this helps.

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#3 2021-11-23 21:51:58

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 31

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Hi Kevin,
As always, you have come through with exactly the information that I need, thank you.
I will be re launching Inyoni tomorrow, after a hectic 10 week haul out. She still needs a fair bit of work, but the main things are done. I will measure my hatch today, I could see no brand name on it, but the frame has been painted so that may be covering something. I found the Lewmar hatch for £340 from Defender in the USA, which is a lot cheaper than the UK prices.
When I was building my Ebbtide 36 in South Africa, the regulatory authority insisted on deck hatches being hinged from the forward end. I put in only 2 screws on inspection day, and it was turned around again before the inspector had left the parking lot!
I have virtually rebuilt my boat now, so I know a lot more about Victoria built Frances 26 boats. I hope to be able pass along some of my knowledge and experience. The association members have been a huge help to me in so many ways.
Kind regards,
Bill.

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#4 2021-11-24 01:06:47

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 31

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Hi again Kevin,
Could I ask you to measure the inside dimensions of your fore hatch frame please?
On Inyoni the measurements are 497mm x 337mm, and the cut out size for the Lewmar 50 is given as 507mm x 337mm.
Not an insurmountable problem, but before I order a hatch, it would be good to get you boat’s sizes.
Regards,
Bill.

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#5 2021-11-24 17:55:48

Kevin_Misselbrook
Member
Registered: 2017-05-26
Posts: 34

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Hi Bill,
I hope to get down to the boat tomorrow with my tape measure but suspect that you don't have the same Hood Hatch.Hood_Hatch_Datasheet.pdf
I've attached the ancient datasheet for the Hood Hatch which might help to identify yours.
I'll let you have measurements tomorrow. 
All the best, Kevin.

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#6 2021-11-26 17:00:21

Kevin_Misselbrook
Member
Registered: 2017-05-26
Posts: 34

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Hi Bill,

It will be worth checking the spec. on your US sourced Lewmar hatch as mine is 377 x 507.

I will email you the Lewmar Installation instructions which might help as this includes the dimensions- but better check that the US sourced product is the same.   This sizing of 377 x 507 matched exactly the dimensions on the old "Hood" datasheet (5th row down on the table on page 2), and matches the internal cut-out on Pintail (re-measured yesterday)

However, when I took the Hood one out the radius curve on the corners was slightly different and the carpenter put some curved corners in with a very fine fillet in the ends.  I seem to have reached my limit on uploads so I will email you a photo of the hatch taken yesterday. If you zoom in you can see the added corner profiles in white. 
But ... it probably would have fitted OK without ... just more sikaflex to fill the gaps !

Certainly worth re-measuring your aperture as it sounds like your may be significantly different !

Kevin.

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#7 2021-11-28 16:43:01

Admin
Kraken
From: Dublin Bay
Registered: 2011-02-24
Posts: 396

Re: Frances 26 fore hatch.

Kevin_Misselbrook wrote:

I seem to have reached my limit on uploads so I will email you a photo of the hatch taken yesterday.

I checked your account Kevin, and you've used 500 kB of 512 MB, so 1/1000th of the space allocated to you. Very odd if you're getting error messages.

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