Clear Acrylic or Lexan for forward hatch port?

by Mike Vehlow
(Chicago, IL USA)

I am building a new hatch for my sailboat.

I want to install a port for light(approx size 24 x24).

What material is best (acrylic, lexan)?

What thickness, ( 1/4 or 3/8)?

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Lexan or Acrylic
by: Mike

Lexan (a polycarbonate) is probably stronger than Acrylic but Acrylic is more scratch resistant and is much more resistant to UV radiation.

Acrylic is what all the major manufacturers use for their offshore and bluewater marine products.

However, as a fore hatch is likely to be walked on it really needs to be strong enough not only to prevent breakage but also to resist as much flexing as possible.

Too much flexing will affect the sealing around the edges leading to leaks.

Making it slightly arched will add to the strength.

And if you add some wooden bars across the outside they will help prevent scratching and make it less slippery to walk on.

For an hatch of the size you are proposing I would go for 3/8th Lexan.


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