15 – Getting rid of the hatch

20141103_184939Why does even new modern boats have this old style hatch that is impossible to handle and to store? On the Enter 360 there is a narrow path in the cockpit infront of the hatch. This makes it possible to replace the hatch with small doors instead without them being intrusive in the cockpit space when they are open.

20141125_190019I realized I had to make the hatch myself since it would really have to be tailor made to fit. The big question was if I would do it in wood or polyester. After a lot of thinking I went for polyester so I could create it in any shape I want.

The existing hatch was used to create a wooden mockup of the opening in OSB and then I started designing. The look was important since I would have it right infront of me standing at the wheel. After some different iterations I landed in a design I was satisfied with.

20141211_170959After the design was frozen I started building and I chose to make it in sandwich with bonocell as core. With the KISS rule (Keept It Simple Stupid) ringing in my head I developed this working process that involved doing each side of the doors against a plywood board and the marrying them together with the core under pressure. The result was perfectly smooth!


20150122_192244Now all I had to do was to fill up the edges with polyester mixed with talc to thick putty, and to paint the doors with topcoat for a nice color.The first step went well but the last step was more than I could handle. I tried different approaches but always ended up with a crappy finish. If I would do it again I would have used gelcoat against the plywood instead.

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In the end and after some polishing it ended up quite ok. Most of all it is VERY functional being able to close the hatch as soon as there is some rain or quickly open/close when it is cold outside.  The complete hatch is still removable just like to old one if I have need for a really large opening.

Fair winds, Lasse