Saturday 29 July 2023

Fitting Out | Cockpit Locker Hatch Covers

The time came to install the hatch covers for the cockpit lockers which I had rehearsed some time ago.

The rehearsal went smoothly but I thought it prudent to do it again, just to be sure. Because encountering a problem part way through an installation with loads of sealant all over the place would not be a good experience.

A quick test fit revealed that neither cover now fitted due to accumulated paint on the locker edges.

So I scraped away the excess with a sharp Bahco scraper, as in this pic.

I then drilled out the screw holes to 5.5mm for the 5mm machine screws which secure the hatch frames. I find that this helps to achieve an easy fit when there are a lot of fastenings to deal with. I did that for the portlights too.

Cleaning up the excess paint had taken the edges of the deck opening back to bare wood, so I applied two coats of epoxy resin to seal them again.

Then I test fitted both hatch covers once more. This is the port cover in place and partly taped up for sealant.

A dress rehearsal now revealed that there was insufficient room in the port locker between the inside rim of the hatch flange and the deck stringer to tighten the locknuts.

This had not been discovered in previous test fittings because I didn't use locknuts and it was easy to tighten by hand. This was now not possible, and I would have to use a socket to tighten the nuts, and there was no room for one.

So I sharpened up a good chisel and hacked out a shallow recess behind each screw, like this.

That left more bare wood, so I sealed it with epoxy resin and bilge paint and all was well for final fitting.

This is the port hatch after final installation.

And this is the one on the starboard side.

All turned out well, but I did experience some drama when I found that the sealant started to cure before I could fit and tighten all sixteen fastenings. But I worked as fast as I could without messing things up, and we got there. Not without using a lot of methylated spirits to clean up excess sealant!

Not too many more bits of deck hardware to fit now. Scary.

No comments:

Post a Comment