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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: West Vancouver B.C.
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Re: Wood work, bottom paint, keel bolts on Pearson 26
IPE is another wood that is very good in marine conditions. As far as the Acrylic I would suggest going with a smoked polycarbonate. It is a little more expensive but a better product in exposed UV conditions. Polycarbonate and Acrylic both require special consideration when fabricating. Tooling must be very sharp and appropriate for the material or you will get rough edges and or kickback on your machinery. I am a cnc programer and use autocad to make all of my parts with access to the cnc machinery and Tungsten carbide bits it is a breeze. In the garage however it can be painstaking and easy to screw up some very expensive material. It may be easier for you to make some very accurate templates of what you want and send it to a fabricator to make the hatch boards if you go with acrylic or polycarbonate. I work with that stuff all the time so feel free to ask any questions you may have on it.
I'd recommend against polycarbonate (Lexan) - it scratches easily. Acrylic (Plexiglas) is cheaper and better in this application.
People are frequently fooled by the supposed bulletproof quality of Lexan into thinking it's better but for this use it isn't.
Smoked acrylic drop boards are way better than wood in a small boat like yours - the extra light is a big plus and it doesn't require maintenance.
I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.