Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Main hatch garage

My brief break is almost over, and am avoiding sanding the second coat of fairing in the main cockpit.

So I decided to put together the garage/cover/'turtle' for the main hatch.  I had previously cut and painted the inside of pieces to make up the frame.  I will need to paint underneath the main part between the hatch runners and each side on the cabin top before I fit it, but it was a nice little project to break up the sanding.

I had neglected to fair the covers for the deck storage lockers at the front of the cabin, so gave them a couple of coats while I worked.

Then it was gluing and screwing the frame together in place to get the shape correct.  You can see the solid wood blocking painted white each side that keeps the garage sides out far enough for the hatch to slide in.  The hatch itself has an outside overlap to prevent water getting in (hopefully).  Plenty of solid wood each side 20mm thick, the forward end has a laminated curved beam (the bit I cut out to make the access into the main cabin so exact curve of the cabin top) supported onto solid wood across with three vertical blocking pieces for strength.  I figure if someone sits on this down the track they are more likely to be down the forward end, so more support.  The forward and aft ends are 9mm ply cut to the curve of the deck, and with space for the hatch in the aft end.

And a shot looking aft.  The frame will be screwed only each side into the painted wood spacers, which are screwed with 14G heavy screws into the hatch slides (which are double hardwood total 40mm thick).  The cross piece of the main access has a seal in place, another is on the inside of the hatch itself so when you close it there is a good seal.  There are drains on the left and right hand side for water that gets under the garage to drain out.

Once the glue had dried I undid the screws and tried to pull it off.  No movement, trouble there.  I was worried about it gluing itself to the hatch runners and had put lots of cling wrap on the supports. Bit of a bump each side and it popped off.  Little bit of glue overrun which I cleaned up before progressing.  

The top is two layers of 9mm ply laminated together and glued/screwed all round on 120mm (fwd and aft) to 150mm (sides) centres with 8G 25mm countersunk screws.

With the top in place I quickly flipped it over and put a fillet on the insides.

Let that dry and then this morning got the electric plane out followed by the belt and orbital sander to take back the edges flush.  Also rounded the ends and top/side joins.  Then it was test fit time!

Hatch only sitting in place.

And with the garage sitting over the top.  It is not screwed into the blocking so sitting about 10mm lower than final.

And one looking aft.  There is a gap underneath the edge of the garage all round to let water out.

I've pulled it off again and filled the screw holes on top, which will also be epoxied inside and out. Still considering a layer of glass on the inside, will stand on it and see what I think.  Then finish paint.

Back to sanding......


  1. (I know this is an older post, but perhaps you'll see my question.)

    It looks like what I assume is the "corridor" to the heads and the forward double berth is blocked by a locker? Do you hop over this to get this the forward areas?

    1. Hi Tim. You do climb over it to get into the front berth. It is actually dual purpose, it is a seat to sit on facing towards the hull where there is a desk with storage above. Underneath it (in one of the earlier posts) is a cassette toilet. There is a sliding door forward to seal it off from the forward berth, and a bifold door (hidden behind a cover to the right as you look from the cockpit) which can be used to close it off from the main cabin. If I am by myself, the actual toilet rotates 90 degrees and I can use it with my feet in the main cabin facing towards the cockpit.

    2. Thanks for the detailed description!