Sporadic progress through Christmas period.
Started the aft hatch surround a couple of days before. The plan is to keep the profile of the hatch pretty low, as the mainsheet anchor point is just a couple of inches forward f the leading edge. It will be all too easy for the mainsheet to snag on a corner and whip the bugger off during a gybe (as has been the case a couple of times in the past...).
So the height of the frame will be 3/4" max and will follow the curve of the deck - so no corners will be proud. As with the forepeak hatch, I have decided to use Iroko (from the same source). Due to the proximity of the rudder boss alluded to above, the encroachment over the deck also has to be low, so the overlap is only 1/2", with another 1/2" depth on the inside of the hole, making the thickness 1" in total...
The transverse (curved) pieces will be full length, the longitudinal ones will slot in between with a simple half lap at the ends. As before the assembly is screwed and glued in place with ample plastic sheet masking to permit removal when done.
All pretty good.
Now the hatch cover. The old cover could not be used because a) I reduced the size of the hatch by about half, b) the profile is now curved and c) it was a pile of crap.
This too was going to be light construction, The plan is to have it sit over the frame, so the clearance needs to small and the thickness of the edges also (rudder boss again...), But I wanted to reduce risk of sheets catching further, so the outer edge will be rounded (thus thicker to accommodate a curve). Therefore the front and back will be 1/2" thick and the outer edges 3/4". The top will be planked 1/4" Iroko let into the sides, again to lower the profile. The whole thing will be 1" deep...
|Hatch cover frame after glue-up in situ.|
All this means a fairly flimsy structure, prone to damage as people will inevitably stand on the bloody thing, so I will sandwich the top and underside with fibreglass (this will end up transparent and virtually invisible under the top coats of varnish), additionally there will be 3 strips of timber laminated transversely to the underside.
The plan was to book match the grain of the 1/4" planks of the top. Great care taken and all joints beautifully tight. Epoxy mixed, all clamped up and brought inside as temperature outside hovering around freezing for a few days.
As the timber warmed, it dried and the sodding planks shrunk - so all my lovely close joints you can now drive a coach and four through.
Time to fill.
Also decide to fill the butchery to the cockpit sides with some dutchmen using Burmese Teak I bought specially for the purpose.