Archive for June, 2012

the Hatch Covers

A good friend of mine needed replacement hatch covers for his small sail boat;  theProjectMaven to the rescue.  The old covers were weathered and a bit rotted on the edges.

First we started with marine grade plywood.  Marine grade is not something you will typically find at your standard big box lumber retailer.  But not too far from my home is a specialty lumber retailer with a fantastic selection of exotic hardwoods and hard to find plywood.

It was easy enough to use the old covers as a template and cut out the new one’s on my 17 inch bandsaw.  I was also able to reuse the brass wood screws used to hold the  oak hardwood cleats.  The oak cleats themselves were in good shape and after sanding off the old finish they were good as new and ready for refinishing.

The only other item that needed to be fabricated was the long skinny piece you see between and behind the right cover.  The original was beyond repair.  That piece is important as it acts as a security feature.  Just the left hatch gets locked down and this bar prevents the right side hatch from being removed until the left is released.


I didn’t really care for the vent slots that were used in the previous design.  In fact my friend hated them as they allowed bugs to enter.  One too many hornet stings and he knew he needed a different approach.

I ended up using two stainless steel vent covers I purchased at a local marine supply business for about $5 each.  Both of the new vent covers were backed with some scrap screen I had and became instantly bug proof.

One of two stain coats applied.

One of two stain coats applied.

Nice fit!
Nice fit!

Once the second coat of stain was dry, I applied five coats of marine grade poly supplied by my friend.  I think the new hatch covers ended up looking better the originals.  Now I’m just waiting for some good sailing weather.