Daysailor wannabe cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
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Re: Help for DIY fiberglass hatch cover
Your post hits close to home. Last year I made a new fiberglass hatch for my 1985 Cal 27 from scratch. The old hatch was torn out of the deck by a wayword jib sheet and sunk in the bay.
I'd never done fiberglass before so I thought this would be a good excuse to learn...and after searching and calling and searching and callling, I couldn't find anyone that would take the project on or find a replacement.
The original was 1/2" plexi with a curve in it about like a fingernail. I made a cardboard cut out of the contours and traced on some scrap wood and made a frame...a male mold.
I layed layer after layer of glass chopped strand and woven roving over a few weeks until I was satisfied it was strong enough. I then painted with topside paint and sprinkled stuff on it to make it non-skid. I found the proper hardware for the latches after about a week of searching on line.
The finished product is actually very strong and watertight. Except it is a little wavy. It took a lot of cutting and grinding to get the edges smooth but I give myself a solid "B" on it for looks. For strenghth I give it an "A"
I think I layed about 15 layers of mat and roving on it. Not too expensive. You could easliy cut that down to 6 if you used some coring.
PM me if you want more details