I am also interested to know more about this. If you found good stuff plz share your ideas with me.My senior Necky Swallow needs a new neoprene cover for the back hatch. Thinking of making one with neoprene fabric and shock cord. Anyone have suggestions or recommendations? Thanks
thanks for all the great info!I haven't made a neoprene hatch cover, but have made a fair number of servicable skirts - so have some ideas. A cover will require a little more care as the hatchlip dimensions are smaller than a coaming’s dimensions plus the cover is typically designed to be flush with only one layer of neoprene between it and the hatchlid. [ in contrast, the simple skirts I've made turn the neoprene back on itself around the bungee cord to end up with 2 layers thick plus bungee cord thickness - in 2 undesirable places - the lip depth and the hatchlid to hatchcover depth over the lip]. ie it might be 3x too thick and really awkward to place and might come off too easily.
There likely a few ways to make it work but here are 2 semi- simple ones
1) The simplest:
the materials needed would be 3/16” [4 or 5mm] bungee cord and 1/8" [3mm] thick neoprene with at least nylon on one side.
Firstly the bungee loop:
- My inclination is to make a form, but for simplicity I'd loop the bungee around the lip, overlap free ends by say 6" - 150mm, pull as tight as you wish the cover to attach or as was before and mark and hold overlap [do not cut bungee yet]. On the bench, clamp the bungees to one side of the mark, and pull the other side of the two bungees until they neck down to about 1/2 size [in xsec area] – it’ll be about 2x the orginal distance betw the clamps before pulling. Tightly wrap about 1/2" - 1cm of the marked overlap with glass thread, nylon string, or kevlar thread [I just unpick some glass cloth laying around] and saturate with CA or epoxy or aquaseal. Let set and cut off extra – now having a loop with a semi- flush join.
- secondly lay neoprene over the hatch opening and fit the loop over and pull neoprene as tight as you can make it go – probably will take some fooling around. With a felt marker, trace all around the bungee on the neoprene on the interior [the cover] side of the bungee. Take the neoprene off and re-mark the oval as there will be parts missing.
- Thirdly, cut the neoprene 1” [25mm] larger all around that oval line. Then from the neoprene side, cut the neoprene only down just above the nylon fabric. Then with a pair of ordinary pliers, grab that outside perimeter of neoprene and rip it off the nylon fabric. When I do it, I get about 75-80% of the neoprene off and yah, sometimes rip a little fabric – who’s to know? From my little attempt, I’d guess it’d take about an hour to do it – maybe some kind of solvent would help or careful abrading – don’t know.
- and last, re-fit the neoprene with fabric face down onto the hatch opening, slide the bungee loop over, and work around the perimeter gluing the nylon back over the bungee onto the other side of the neoprene.
I think it’d work – and bonus, it’s real simple and uses the least material. I know some covers use a similar tech with an added nylon seam tape and the bungee loose, so this is just a real simple alternative. If one wanted a more robust option – just add the 1 ½” [38mm] seam tape glued over top all around.
2) The more complex
would be to do above just cutting the neoprene – and then adding the seamtape glued all around. A form for all this might make the making more simple – but probably adds time - and would be harder to hold steady.
Also, 2 sided neoprene is bound to be more robust.
Some ideas anyway.