Friday, 8 May 2015

Cabin Hatch started

After a break over Easter I trimmed off the excess glass tape, sanded the edges of the cabin top glass and spread some filler over the edges.

That was a bit boring so I started on the access hatch and frame to support the washboards.  First off was to fill the gap between the two end pieces.  The plans specify 100mm above seat height and 250mm for those intending to go into rough weather.  I went with about 150mm, I'd previously cut notches so that was what I must have decided on a while back.  This is the piece that protects the cabin from water if you don't have any washboards in place.

I am using kwila hardwood for the framing, the sides are about 70mm x 19mm and I cut them to match the curve of the deck forward and to the sides with the aim to have them level when in place.

Looking from the side, these are screwed into carlines that were put in place under the cabin roof earlier

And the front:

Once they were screwed in place (the bottom row of screws) I attached the outside pieces (the top screw line).  Also note the thin piece of hardwood to give a little lip for the forward piece, and the small drain space just forward of it to the left.

This is a shot from the cockpit showing the sides were the hatch will run along:

Below is the hatch frame 42mm x 19mm), you can see on the left of the picture the forward end of the frame, and a piece of lighter wood and the darker inside piece (you will see more shortly).  This was taken before I screwed the sides all together.

Below shows the forward side of the hatch.  The lighter wood is 20mm x 20mm and will have a fridge seal screwed onto it.  When the hatch slides closed the inside back of the hatch will push up against the seal to prevent water coming in.  The end of the hatch will also have its own 20mm x 20mm piece screwed onto the inside rear slightly lower to make it harder for water to get up and inside.

Then I crossed my fingers and epoxy glued/screwed it all down. Below shows the outside filleted to the cabin roof.

I slid the frame forward to force the sides out hopefully to make it even all the way along.  We shall see!

When I got a day off I headed down for another ply purchase.  It wasn't until I was half way home that I figured out this may be my last one.  Below is the cockpit floor, transom, seating and combings.  A little bit scary that I may have all the ply I need!

Back inside I had decided not to go with a curved hatch.  I have spent hours looking at Colin Archer boats on the woodenboat forum and had seen a few with solid wood hatches.  I decided to try one.  Below is all the pieces cut, drilled and prepared:

And epoxied and screwed in place.  The left/right and rear pieces are epoxied and screwed.  The tongue and groove is epoxied and the front piece is only screwed.  It needs to be removable so you can take the hatch off.  It will be sanded once the glue in the screw holes are sanded back and given several coats of epoxy inside and out.  Fillets will also be done.

Below you can see the 42mm x 19mm capping on the edges of the ply space, and the outside spacer.  The inside one is screwed into a piece inside (see it soon).  You can also see the wooden step on top of the combing.

This is from inside showing what the vertical piece is screwed into.  It was screwed from the outside and then the screws covered with the outside spacer:

Below is an overhead shot after the outside capping (70mm) was put in place.  The space between is where the ply washboards will slide down:

This shows the step on top of the combing from the inside.  It is screwed into two supports which are screwed to the combing.  Should be more comfortable than stepping on a 12mm piece of ply, and is positioned so the washboards can slide all the way to the seat outside.

And a final outside shot.  You can just make out the 3mm aluminium strips for the hatch to side on each side on top of the rails.  The large spotted gum end piece of the opening is very visible.

Next post will be getting the hatch to slide, and pulling apart all the entrance to epoxy them in place.


  1. Good that you're taking so many photos. How it reminds me of building my own ill-fated Sundowner.

    1. Resolution is here in spirit Mr Whipple. You can be assured we will raise a glass to you and your fine ship when I launch.

  2. Last ply, hatch build, buttoning her up... still some work but progress is sure. Great to see Mal.

    1. Thanks Rik, I hopefully will be getting sailing tips from you in the next few years.............