Outland Hatch Covers, based in Jacksonville, N.C., owned by twin brothers Steve and James Outland, has found a successful use of Vycom’s Celtec material for fabricating their new boat hatch covers, which provides UV protection for the acrylic lens of deck hatches.
The brothers developed Outland Hatch Covers as a new, innovative, two-piece unit using Vycom’s Celtec two and three mm material and a patented, uniquely designed fastener to secure their rigid cover system.
While looking for a suitable material for the system, they discovered Vycom’s Celtec expanded PVC, supplied by Calsak of Atlanta. Both the 2mm and 3mm thicknesses are used for their hatch covers depending on the boat’s hatch design. The Outlands explain that their specially designed fastener along with Celtec’s heat reflection does an excellent job protecting hatch lenses and the system is very easy to use.
“Any boat that has a deck hatch typically needs a cover to help protect the lens from hazing and crazing, which are hairline cracks, over time. The cover also helps protect the interior of the boat,” said James. “Our rigid cover system does an excellent job of stopping the UV rays and heat buildup that can damage the acrylic.” He advises the use of hatch covers year-round for protection, because UV rays are not limited by seasons.
“We have found the aesthetics of Celtec, with its white matte color, nicely blends in with most boat finishes,” said Steve. “They blend in so seamlessly with the boat’s deck they are difficult to notice.” Celtec also has a highly printable surface so the Outlands offer vinyl graphics or even routed designs when requested.
With the UV protection of the hatch lens, Steve noted that the Celtec covers help to reduce heat, making it more comfortable inside the boat and prevents fabrics and wooden surfaces from fading. As an example, Steve said one new customer became a believer just hours after his covers were installed, when his two AC units cycled (turned off) in the afternoon heat of a summer day.
Steve added that the covers made with Celtec have no strings or cords like canvas covers and consistently look like new. “They are very sturdy and have held up quite well in strong winds, aided by the unique fastener,” he said. “The easy on and off twist-lock fastener combined with the Celtec material provide a stylish cover that works well, has a great fit, and is more user friendly. This is important for making a cover that performs and has great looks.” He added the hatch covers also float if accidentally dropped overboard.
James also pointed out that Celtec contains no plasticizers, so there is little to no off gassing to react with the acrylic lens material.
With CNC routing equipment, Outland Hatch Covers can customize covers for any size of hatch, however they stock standard sizes that are requested regularly. The Outlands enlist the help of several customers’ boats that continuously test the product and have been on the water for the last two years in various conditions. Among the latest test boats is a 48-ft. Privilege catamaran with 20 deck hatch covers, which embarked on a world cruise with a family of four.
“We have found the insulative and heat reflecting properties of Celtec are perfect for our hatch covers,” said James. “The PVC material enhances the craftsmanship of our covers and most importantly, our customers are impressed with the results.”