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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    17,624

    Question Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    Can you guys think of any reason why the escape hatches normally used on the ceiling of bow cabins are made of transparent perspex?
    Ok, it's often somewhat darkened/coloured, and so is mine - greyish, in fact.
    But still transparent anyway, for reasons that I struggle to understand.

    Now, bear with me.
    A transparent hatch means that in order to not have light waking you up in the early morning, you must keep the internal sliding panel closed.
    No big deal of course, but I'm noticing that (depending on the temperature differential), sometimes in the morning I find the internal structure of the hatch itself wet with condensation, possibly to the point of having some drops of water falling down.
    This doesn't seem to happen if I leave the sliding panel under the hatch opened, I guess because air circulates better along the internal hatch surfaces.
    Otoh, with the sliding panel left opened, as soon as the sun rises, the cabin is obviously filled with light.

    This brings me to the point:
    I'm wondering if it wouldn't be sufficient to wrap the external side of the perspex (maybe with a gelcoat-like colour film, but that's just a detail) to solve the problem, restricting light to enter also when the internal sliding panel is left open.
    The reason for doing that on the external side is just for simplicity, since my hatch is very flat and regular externally, as opposed to the interior where it would be tricky to do a good job due to the handles and the internal frame.

    Bottom line, do you think that an external wrapping could have an half decent durability in this application, and is there any specific film that you would suggest?
    TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Isle of Man
    Posts
    2,102

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    I tinted the inside of my hatches with limo black car window tint. Worked well.

    Can’t see why it won’t stand up fine on the outside.

    You could use a vinyl wrap for full blackout. If you don’t like it...peel it off!

    They say don’t use car window tint on perspex due to the adhesives but after 2 years....didn’t notice any issues

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    17,624

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    I don't mind what the material is designed for, as long as it can withstand external usage.
    The films meant for car windows are still transparent though, while I'm aiming at fully obscuring the thing...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Volos-Athens
    Posts
    4,849

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    P.,

    are you sure the sun is waking you up and not simply old age?
    comeon it's October, sun is late in the game!

    ...and to be helpful, how about doing a cloth cover, with a seam all around and a vertical part of a few cm with a strongish rubber band inside so that it wraps over and stays?
    Depends on the lip and seal of the thing, but I guess it's easy enough to fabricate and easy to add/remove at will. Plus it should be good at protecting perspex from sun fade/crazing/etc

    V.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    window tint would be fine. There are many grades available depending on how dark you want it. Personally I would do it from the inside, you will need to apply it in the correct way, using a heat gun as you apply to a soapy surface. This will shrink it to fit. If you don't the sun will shrink it pretty quickly and will become wrinkly. Have a look at www.mdpsupplies.com, you'll find many options there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    Leave the side window hatches open to allow ventilation and stop the condensation and drips.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    ation, Loc: ation, Loc: ation.
    Posts
    16,501

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    P, a vinyl car wrap would be ideal but I suspect would have to bought by he roll and cut in situ. Alternatively, take some accurate measurements and ask a local signwriter (i.e. one that does vehicles) to cut you a piece to the exact size that you need. If you have a RAL code for your gelcoat / kiwigrip then they might be able to get a close match, otherwise you'll have to settle for whot or an off white. Despite the hatch being horizontal, I'd have though that it would last a few years before going wrinkly or peeling. Got to be worth a try for £50 or whatever.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Conwy
    Posts
    4,182

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    I find your predicament and complete odds with my experience. I may not be understanding of what you mean by sliding panel as I don't have such. What I have is a fabric covered thin plywood plug that slots and locks into the underside of the hatch. When it is in there is no condensation at all. When it is out condensation forms on the hatch perspex and drips down onto the bed or where ever the 3 hatches overhang. I'm assuming in my small boat 4 persons breathing probably exceeds what you have in your boat?
    I can only presume then that your sliding panels are either not making a flush fit, or are not insulated in a way that prevents a cold surface on which to condense. Not sure if either of these can be remedied but worth a thought as an alternative solution as were I in your shoes I could not black out my hatches and not turn the interior of the boat into a gloomy dungeon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Isle of Man
    Posts
    2,102

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    https://www.vinyldepot.co.uk/

    I’ve used literally loads of the decorative and coloured stuff. I will stand up to anything! They do a Matt white if you really want to be boring. Nice bit of Japanese Oak would be different

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stratford on Avon
    Posts
    11,208

    Default Re: Wrapping the perspex of a bow hatch

    Quote Originally Posted by vas View Post
    P.,

    are you sure the sun is waking you up and not simply old age?
    comeon it's October, sun is late in the game!

    ...and to be helpful, how about doing a cloth cover, with a seam all around and a vertical part of a few cm with a strongish rubber band inside so that it wraps over and stays?
    Depends on the lip and seal of the thing, but I guess it's easy enough to fabricate and easy to add/remove at will. Plus it should be good at protecting perspex from sun fade/crazing/etc

    V.
    I have a fabric cover as Vas suggests, same material as the tonneau and cockpit covers. Fits externally and I can take it off any time.

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