Securing the escape hatches
There has been a recall from Goiot and Fountaine Pajot to replace the two escape hatches under warrenty. You are not allowed to continue to sail before the hatches are replaced. I also received a similar message from my insurance company Pantaenius to not sail before the hatches are replaced. With other words, no payout when the boat sinks due to disintegrating hatches.
The problem is, that one Helia’s sank when the glass came loose from its frame and the boat filled up. Several other boats have had problems but the crew managed to keep the boats afloat. The glass is just glued into the frame. Initially we received instructions how to check if the glass was glued-in properly. Then we had a recall to install a fix (fix #1). This was a z-shaped strip of aluminium with double sided sticky tape, which had to be glued onto the glass from the inside to keep it in place. Two weeks later there was a new recall requiring fix #2, which is a small bracket that has to be bolted through the glass to keep it in place. Again two weeks later, we received information that the hatch lid had to be replaced completely. Not difficult to do but how and where do you get a new hatch when you are on the move all the time? Due to the Corona virus, we are stuck in St. Maarten, so a great opportunity to ship hatch lids to us. Unfortunately FP is closed, so no shipments. I made a fix like the #2 fix. I am sure it will hold the lid and glass in place forever but willhave to get approval of my insurance company to be sure before we go sailing again.