Join Date: Sep 2007
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Re: Companionway hatch
If you kerf cut the replacement, you'll be sacrificing a significant (almost all) of any structural strength of the plywood. That may not be a problem in this particular case, but I'd take the time to verify the assumption before heading off down that road.
Should you decide to laminate or steam bend your replacement, you're going to need to fashion a mold. When you do, make the curvature a little more than what your final curve will need to be; you are almost certain to see a little spring-back once the piece is freed from the mold. Also, use as many clamps as you can possibly fit. Beg, borrow, steal -- c-clamps, handscrews, bar clamps, strap clamps, whatever it takes to get the job done. Start at the center and work your way out to the edges.