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Old 02-08-2003
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companion way doors

Swinging doors aren''t as waterproof, burglarproof, or safe as drop-sliders. They also take up space, requiring not only the room to swing but space in the cockpit once they''re open. Unless they''re planned out well, the open doors may also cover instruments mounted on the aft cabin bulkhead. If you make them with the lift-off hinges, you have the same storage problem as with drop=slide hatchboards. Swinging doors are also difficult to make. Getting the two sides to match properly and latch in the middle, overlap the bottom of the opening so as to keep water out and not warp out of alignment is really tricky. I think Chappelle must have at least an entire chapter on how to go about selecting the wood, examining the grain, matching the sides, figuring out the hardware, and rabbeting out the sides. This tells me that it must take about 20 years to get it right the first time, and then maybe another 5 years to get it right again. Of course you won''t know if you''ve got it right until you''ve tried. Then a wave or a crew will break it by falling against it in a seaway, or someone will kick it in so they can steal your radio too. I''d stick with the drop-slides.
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