Refurbishment is slow but satisfying

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 šŸ˜Š

We are very pleased with the hatch we have already done over the aft cabin. We can now see out šŸ˜Š (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 šŸ˜Š

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.

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