2013-03-06 Hatch Mania–A Race Against The Calendar

All of our hatches have crazing in the lens and the though only one had a real leak this is likely the last winter under shrink wrap for a while so if hatches are to be pulled and rebuilt this was the year and the best time to do it. The trick is to get all the hatches removed, repaired and re-installed before the shrink wrap comes off! Being a complete “newb” I started small and worked my way up.

I removed all the screws and then used a flexible paint scraper to slide between frame and cabin top. I was able to slowly work my way around the caulk gasket. The further I worked around the hatch the quicker it went.


I then used my Porter-Cable Multi-Tool (thank you SO MUCH Jack Tennar!) with scraper blade attached to removed most of the old caulk. Using a industrial grade green scratchy pad from Home Depot I had the mounting frame cleaned up in no time.


Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of cleaning the actual hatch frames but I used a narrow paint scraper to get off the big chunks and the a Wirebrush on my drill that cleaned the frame ups really nice.

Am currently running the hatches through Select Plastics in batches of 2-3. I ship them and they are returned with a new lens installed along with all new gaskets as well. We are using Butyl Tape rather than LifeCaulk. The cost is more but the ease of use is amazing. It is probably just me but if I get neat LifeCaulk the stuff ends up EVERYWHERE! I am just hoping in the end Butyl Tape is everything it is claimed to be!

We used 3 layers of tape around the base and wrapped a small amount around the screws just below the head of the screw. I found that it was best to drive a hole through the tape prior to placing the screw and allowing the screw to make the hole. Using the screw to puncture the tape deformed the tape more than I liked.


Now we just have to wait for the shrink wrap to come off and that first rain storm for the leak test! Wish us luck!

3 thoughts on “2013-03-06 Hatch Mania–A Race Against The Calendar

  1. Hope you have better luck with Butyl tape than I did. Never worked well for me on the side ports. I never liked life caulk either. That stuff shrinks horribly when it dries. Now that all the negativity is dispensed, nice job on those hatches!! Could you find a hose and wash them down now, so I can decide on butyl tape for my matches? : ) Don’t get too stressed about getting everything done. When the time comes, just go.
    Cheers buddy.

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