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Square Hole, Round Hatch

Flirt originally came with a very nasty foredeck hatch. Even before it rotted and leaked, it was nothing more than a piece of plywood with a lip around it. Even by Flirt’s rough standards, it was a nightmare and did not belong on her pretty little bow.

Due to the fact it was a simple square hatch, I needed to modify the deck to fasten down the round Chris-Craft hatch. Previous I showed the rings I made to make it stand slightly proud, now here they are affixed to the deck and the initial patches to the deck made to fill in the corners.

First you can see the issue of round hatch on a square hole. The good news is, the Chris-Craft hatch is no larger or smaller than the my Sprite’s original hatch, it is just a different shape.

As the deck is also slightly crowned to allow water to run off to the sides, I needed to lightly chamfer the rings so it would sit flush to the deck and still allow the hatch to sit “square”. Nothing some heavy sanding could not make short work of.

I gooped in some epoxy in the consistency of peanut butter to the deck where the ring overlapped and clamped it down for the night. I also had to pull the tarp back over it as it seems to rain almost every night anymore. Good for the plants, not so good for getting work done on my boat.

With the ring now secured to the deck, I pulled out one of my many sheets of foamboard and cut corners out to bridge the gap between the deck and the ring. It is a good thing I have plenty. Using some of my many spring (Or pony) clamps to hold them into place, a simple coating of epoxy and ‘glass should keep them in place until I can epoxy them from beneath and then fill, sand, and fair them in.

Then it will just be a matter of sanding the ring, fairing it to the deck, laying a sheet of Carbonfibre to the deck, fairing that, and paint. It all sounds so easy!

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A long time sailor who has been away from the water for too long, I am working hard to bring an old and abused boat back to life. When not working on my boat, I can often be found working as a Stage Hand in Atlantic City or just out and about on my Mountain Bike. I really come off as a quiet and boring person when people first meet me.

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