Today we refitted the hatch over the saloon. We have swapped it round so that the hinges are on the aft side. This way it should catch the breeze and bring more into the cabin (all 3 opening hatches had hinges at the front before – supposed to stop waves breaking in). Obviously it will be closed when sailing in anything but a flat calm.
Then we did the wheelhouse skylight. The old one leaked and was no longer transparent (which is important for being able to see the mainsail from the steering wheel). It was quite tricky as the 12mm acrylic has to be bent to the curve of wheelhouse roof.
We had removed the old skylight when we built the frame to lift out the engine.
In the morning we will fill the edges of both with sealant. Not needed for waterproofness but to stop water and stuff sitting between the acrylic and the frame.
One thing we have realised is that before going to warm climates we will want to make at least one of the wheelhouse front windows opening.
Today was hot and clearly we need to be get air blowing through the cockpit as under the wheelhouse it was extra hot.
I think I’ve worked out how we can turn the central pane so that it can be opened with hinges at the top edge. Hopefully I can get hinges that will allow the pane to be slid off them and removed.
I’ll build a timber frame for the pane and a side benefit will be to strengthen the aluminium front supports for the wheelhouse roof.
It has taken all day to prepare our second hatch for refitting.
It takes hours to get all the old sealants off from the base, from the lid and from the seal where the lid closes onto the base.
To separate the lid I’d had to cut the hinge pins. These were stainless steel in the aluminium frame. Having different metals causes corrosion and when aluminium corrodes it expands which locks the stainless steel in. If left long enough the aluminium ends up splitting apart.
So for 3 hinges I had to drill out 3 pins in the hatch base and 3 in the lid. What makes it harder is that the aluminium is softer so the drill wants to cut that which is easy compared to the stainless.
I found a mixture of using the Dremel and the drill worked best. I’ll be using stainless steel bolts with nylon washers and dielectric grease to reduce corrosion. The bolts are a slightly loose fit so the nut holds them in place and I can easily check they haven’t locked into place.
One extra problem was one of the handles where a nylon spacer had disintegrated. Took hours to get it off but ready to refit loose and order the spacer to properly fit later. I also need to get a tap to cut a thread for a new grub screw to stop the handle just spinning. Had to drill the old one out.
Ready to fit tomorrow 😊
We are very pleased with the hatch we have already done over the aft cabin. We can now see out 😊 (yes I know the edge sealant isn’t very neat, better next time).
We managed one other jobs which was to fit new hinges for the cockpit locker which had been loose and dangerous to stand on for a while. The holes didn’t line up due to metric hinge in place of imperial. However, they are fitted and sealed with butyl 😊
One whole day with both of us working full time to prep one hatch. But at least doing it thoroughly should mean no leaks for a long time.
Anyway been a beautiful day, very warm at times. Had fish and chips for dinner and a nice walk down the beach at low tide.
Two long days working on two projects. First priority, our two Canpa deck hatches, both have been leaking and both had very crazed acrylic so that you couldn’t see out.
Getting them off wasn’t too difficult. The big job has been cleaning all the various sealant off them. In fact we have only managed this for the hatch that goes above the aft cabin. Took hours and hours of coating with “Detak” (chewing gum remover) and scraping with an acrylic scraper (to avoid damaging the aluminium). Plus a metal cleaner once all the sticky stuff was off. As the weather has been beautiful and hot we were hiding out of the sun under the boat for this work.
We have a challenge with the hatch over the saloon. The hatches use 3 pins to make the hinge. These are stainless steel and there has been electrolytic corrosion between them and the aluminium. Corroded aluminium (is that Aluminium Oxide) is 50% larger than Aluminium so the corrosion, at the minimum, locks everything in. At worst it can split the aluminium open. Ours hasn’t reached the worst and we are hoping we can drill the pins out with the dremmel.
The aft hatch was all complete, apart from the acrylic itself at about 6:30pm (Friday) when it started to rain. Fortunately, by about 8pm it had stopped and we were able to fit it.
The acrylic is held in place by a special 3M tape. It requires over 21 degrees C and pressure to set. Hence, all the things tied down on top of it. We ran heaters in the cabin until after 10:30pm which got the temperature up to over 28 degrees.
After the hatch is sitting on the tape we added sealant around the edges, hence the masking tape in the pictures.
We have temporarily boarded up the saloon hatch to take the frame home for Dremmeling.
We have also been able to make progress, on what is at the moment, a huge open space, that is the main bilge (where water collected to be pumped out), the cockpit locker (storage for sails, ropes, fenders etc), the motor space (above the bilge), and the outside edge of the corridor.
So lots of sanding (no pictures of me dressed in my beautiful outfit of all in one white suit, full face mask with filters and ear defenders).
Then vacuuming it all. Our Draper workshop vacuum has been brilliant for all these jobs (we bought it when doing up the house for our sons). Used it on wet mode to get rainwater out of the bilge (we have a lot of holes in the cockpit at the moment from the old engine controls). The deep section of the bilge is about 1m deep so very inaccessible. We taped a small paint roller to the end of a broom to paint it.
With no more oil, diesel or petrol on the boat this should stay nice and clean now.
Lots of rain overnight and the new hatch over our cabin didn’t leak 🙂 Good news as the hatch has been our biggest refurbishment of old fittings so far. As such it has been time consuming but at a huge cost saving (under £200 total for both hatches compared to about £1,100 for new). All the parts for the hatch refurbishment were from Hadlow Marine (who also supplied all our windows).
We probably still have at full day for both of us to get the other hatch prepared and fitted (providing I can get the the old hinge pins out).