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Bulkheads and hatches - photos (1)

It's important to do 'a brief study' of the deck inclinations, and decide the size and position of the hatches. It is easier to do that on the deck of the actual boat, to avoid already-installed lines and other desk obstacles. And take into account aesthetic factors. Also important is leaving about 6 cm on each side to install the deck-eyes to connect the straps or webbing.

To facilitate alignment, I fixed a couple of pieces of tape on the deck, marked with the exact center.

First I drew a hatch 40 cm long, but looking at it, it just seemed too large, and I reduced it to 35 cm. The width is determined by the necessary (future) deck-eyes. The hexagonal for is better to break the waves that come over the deck. Once decided on the final form, I used marking tape to draw the form on paper...

... and then transferred the design to the boat with carbon paper...

... done! Now the most traumatic phase of the operation: cutting the deck as cleanly as possible!

As a first step, using a steel ruler as a guide, I used saw blade to scratch, with a lot of patience, until the deck was pierced. Then it's possible to continue with the jigsaw. Note that the usual trick of drilling a hole doesn't work here, as we need both parts intact!

Again, with patience, the results are very good. The disadvantage of the hexagonal form, it that the process has to be repeated 6 times.

This was how the resulting opening looked like (aft hatch).

Vew from the forward hatch towards the cockpit. At the bottom, the fixed part of the footrest slider is visible.

Continues with more construction photos (2)


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(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ mail