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Sue & Larry 07-06-2001 08:00 PM

Replace or Refinish Hatch Boards
<HTML><!-- eWebEditPro -->The teak companionway hatch boards on my Pearson 26 are in serious need of repair.&nbsp;It appears they have never had any varnish or any other type of treatment.&nbsp;They are splintering, rough, and becoming a hazard, not to mention unsightly.&nbsp;I am considering replacing them (there are three) with half-inch Lexan, but do not know if this is a good way to go.&nbsp;If not, how would you suggest I <BR>refinish the boards?<BR><BR><STRONG>Sue &amp; Larry respond: <BR></STRONG>Replacing wooden hatch boards with a polycarbonate material like Lexan is an excellent idea.&nbsp;Many new boats include that feature today and we meet a lot of sailors with older boats who have changed out their wooden boards for Lexan.&nbsp;The Lexan will provide much more light down below, and will make the space seem larger when the boards must be in place.&nbsp;If you want privacy, a curtain or blind can be added.&nbsp;In terms of strength and security, the Lexan will perform equally with the wooden boards.<BR><BR>If you choose to refinish your old wooden hatch boards, you may find it's an easier job than you think, providing they are not too far-gone in the splintering department. Teak is certainly one of the easiest woods you'll ever work with.&nbsp;First, sand aggressively with 80-grit sandpaper, using a power sander.&nbsp;Once you have all the rough areas smoothed out, you can come back with progressively finer sandpaper until you achieve a smooth, uniform surface.&nbsp; You can finish with 220-grit&nbsp;paper. You then have the choice of leaving the boards to go gray, which is just fine for teak, or applying an oil or varnish finish.&nbsp;The type of finish you choose depends upon how much maintenance you want to have in the future, with varnish having the highest maintenance requirements. <BR><BR></HTML>

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