Companionway Hatch Slides Tight? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2013
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Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

I refinished the wood rails, including the railing covering the companionway hatch, on my Venture 17. I used tung oil + a poly gel topcoat on it, which makes the wood shine like it's new. It looks wonderful. The only problem now, though, is that my companionway hatch cover, which slides underneath the rails, doesn't slide as nicely as before. Originally, I thought it had something to do with the tightness of the screws when I put the whole ensemble back, but that doesn't seem to be the case (I've since re-loosened the bolts, causing it to change not a bit.)

Any suggestions on making this slide more smoothly? I was thinking about taking the setup off the boat again, and simply coating the wood and companionway hatch with sex wax...
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Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

Wax would be my suggestion, too. Butcher's wax is what I'd start with because it's a nice, thick wax.
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Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

Where's the rub? If you stand under the hatch and push up from the center does the whole sliding hatch have room to move straight up? If there' plenty of room, then you may do well to put sometihng slick under the worn runners of the hatch. I improved my old slide that had worn dowm to the point where the hatch was riding low by putting two long polycarbonate strips under the hatch on each runner. These, waxed, gave me great improvement.
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

CaptainForce:

If I push up from underneath like you suggested, it doesn't really have room to move upward. The thing is, this is really strange, because I sanded down the rails, so, if anything, it should have MORE room between the rails and the deck, not less. Perhaps my intuition initially was correct that things are too tight, and I should remove/reinstall them?
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

I'm assuming that you have an "L" shaped rail that fastens to the deck on each side of the side and coverrs the lip of the sliding hatch on each side. Consider the use of two thin (ca. 1/16th inch) polycoarbonate strips. One wider strip would be on the bottom and fastened under the rail and the slide. The second, upper strip, would be positioned only under the rail. This would give you a new slick surface and an added 1/16th increase in the gap. An added check may be available. Do you have a hasp for a lock that attaches the slide to a fixed point? Does this hasp for the lock close without rasing the slide for a proper fit? This hasp position may indicate something that has changed.
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

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Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
I'm assuming that you have an "L" shaped rail that fastens to the deck on each side of the side and coverrs the lip of the sliding hatch on each side.
Yes, this is correct. Then, there are hand rails fastened just above this. The rail above the hatch (the "L" shaped one) is fastened with two screws into the deck, with nuts underneath, in the cabin. Previous to my refurbishment, the previous owner had five bolts going through the tops of the handrail at different locations, also fastened to the underside of the deck via washers and bolts. The previous owner then put a strip of pine that runs the length of the rails on each side (starboard and port), and carved indentations into the pine on the topside, so the nuts/bolts could sit in the indentations, and fastened this (via hot glue, from a glue gun, of all things) to the underside of the deck).

I modified this so that the longer bolts, the ones coming from the handrails, are actually about 1" longer, and now run through the pine strip on the underside of the deck, and are fastened underneath. My guess is that this originally was because the previous owner didn't seal the deck hardware properly, and was getting water from the screw holes dripping down when it rained, as they are right above the quarter berths. It could also have been just for safety, so he/she didn't scrape their head on the screws on the ceiling when waking up. In either case, I'm now simply using the pine strips to distribute the pressure a bit more across the length of the rails from underneath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
Consider the use of two thin (ca. 1/16th inch) polycoarbonate strips. One wider strip would be on the bottom and fastened under the rail and the slide. The second, upper strip, would be positioned only under the rail. This would give you a new slick surface and an added 1/16th increase in the gap.
Where would I get something like this?

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An added check may be available. Do you have a hasp for a lock that attaches the slide to a fixed point? Does this hasp for the lock close without rasing the slide for a proper fit? This hasp position may indicate something that has changed.
I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Where would this hasp be located? I don't think I have this, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

Sorry, I totally misunderstood your issue! I thought you were saying that the hatch boards were sticking to each other.
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Old 07-28-2013
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Re: Companionway Hatch Slides Tight?

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Originally Posted by jwir3 View Post
............. Where would I get something like this?

"polycarbonate" is the generic name for the clear plastic sheeting sold under brand names like "Lexan". It's easily found and can be cut to your specs in places like Home Depot or Lowes.

I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Where would this hasp be located? I don't think I have this, but I could be wrong.

The "hasp" I'm refering to is the hinged metal bar with a slot in it that fits over a pad eye so you can position a pad lock. If you have a padlock on your aft cabin, then it was originally positioned with one part of the hasp on the companionway slide and the other half on the top crib board or adjacent location. If the height of your slide has been altered, then the two parts of the lock hasp would not line-up
'good luck with your project!
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