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rebuilding the hatches

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These hatches had seen better days. When it rained, they poured. “Where from?” Uh… All of it. Everywhere. So. Many. Drips. The hatch’s acrylic in the aft cabin had been painted black by the previous owner and made my “master suite” more like a “master dungeon” because hardly any light came in.

By the time the mast was back on, I began having these rebuilt because the rains were a plenty and I was tired of literally crawling out from under heavy canvas tarps just to walk the dogs. I handed these over to Dickie, the master woodworker at the yard, and he got two new ones made in just a matter of days. DAYS!!!

Oddly enough, the most difficult part of getting these rebuilt was finding someone competent enough to do it. I wasted a lot of time (about a year) taking people up on their offers for help only to be told “teak is expensive, why don’t we use redwood instead?” or “gosh, these look really complicated, looks like we need to completely redesign them.” Intentions were good, but I now know not to take non-boaters, and non-professional marine woodworkers up on their offers.

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For added safety, once Dicky knew the weight of the hatches I asked for hydraulic openers to ensure neither hatch would slam down on my remaining functional fingers. We also added locks, as the hatches were previously just sitting in place on the deck. The hinges had been removed prior to my purchase, and there wasn’t any lock either. I also decided to paint the wood instead of varnish it, because dog hair. Below you can see where I had to make additional repairs. In the forward hatch I was still getting water leaking out of the port aft corner, so I dug out the caulking and laid down some thickened epoxy before putting Sikaflex in there. Since then, the hatch has stayed dry! What an “adventure” to having dry bunks. ONE MORE THING I CAN CHECK OFF MY “NO MORE LEAKY BOAT” LIST!

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