Saturday, April 25, 2009

Begin forward sliding hatch replacement

The forward sliding hatch on a 1988 Gulf 32 uses teak rails as the guides for the sliding hatch. When new, it probably looked nice and worked well, but 20 year old teak starts to get brittle when neglected and the edges of my rails were cracking and broken in places. It was fine for inside waters here around the San Juan Islands and Georgia Strait, but you wouldn't want a large offshore wave crashing onto your bow.

Replacing the hatch had been on my mental list for some time, and so I've been taking measurements and pricing things.

I ended up going with a Lewmar Ocean 70 hatch, which should be a pretty exact fit. I read about other hatch companies, but either their standard models didn't fit my opening or I couldn't find a retailer for them. Price would be an issue too with some of them. Unbelievably, West Marine had the best price as they were having a huge sale on them. That, my friends, never happens. They even beat Defender and PY Yacht and Fisheries. Anyway, I order my hatch and what do I discover? It's used. Yes, you read that correctly. West Marine sent me a used hatch. They made good when I called and sent a new one that came: slightly damaged. Something had pierced the packing box and slightly scratched the acrylic lens. Oh well, I can live with that, since it'll happen soon anyway.

Removing the old teak rails has proved very tough. The screws holding it in are cheap little bastards with small heads that strip easily. Plus, they used 5200 to bond the teak to the coaming. This bastard is just not coming off easily. This is great, except that the top part of the teak that actually holds the hatch in place was brittle and cracked and broken. This bottom part that is so solid is sort of wasted strength, as the top is the business end. Anyway, here are some pictures of the carnage. I had to drill off the screw heads in many cases because they stripped. then it was a pry bar affair, pretty much. I'll have to do some modest fiberglass and gelcoat work, but nothing big. Once I get all this cleaned off, I can put on the new hatch, which should be very nice.


My said...

This sounds much like the project that I am doing right now also.
We recently bought an Ingrid cutter in Olympia, WA and sailed it back down to Winchester Bay, OR.
I am now in the middle of a major remodel.
As you say, Butyl Tape is Great!
I hope you don't mind - I added a link to your blog in our website / blog page.



My said...

Oops - our website address: