Companionway hatch - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Companionway hatch

The front four inches of the underside of my PSC 31 companionway sliding hatch cover is rotten. All four sides of the frame and the top slats of the hatch are teak and in excellent condition. The bottom side of the hatch is (teak faced?) plywood and in great condition except for the front four inches (The four inches you never see unless you remove the metal stops to slide the hatch out).

I expect the plywood will be half inch since it has to be thick enough to take the fairly large screws into the edge of the plywood.

This would be fun if the plywood could be flat but it is convex. Can I bend half inch plywood to the exact size or is this done by some soaking and heating process?

PSC 31 #28
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Companionway hatch

You could make up/glue the piece in layers (veneers) over a mold of the right curvature, or perhaps you could kerf-cut and bend a piece. (just google 'kerf cut bending' and you'll see what I mean)
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Companionway hatch

John, if it's not a real sharp curve, you could soak and bend a large piece of plywood to math the curve. then cut it to fit when it's dry and stable. The reason for the large piece is because you get more leverage and can use rope or straps to hold the plywood curved.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-24-2012
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Re: Companionway hatch

I rebuilt mine due to rot as well. It's a pretty big job because of the number of screws but here's what I can recall.

I haven't rebuilt my storm hood but I caulked between planks to reduce water intrusion.

1. Strip varnish while least the slats because it's less handling.
2. Disassemble.
3. Cut and dry fit 2 sheets of 1/4 marine plywood (first sheet of exposed bottom was a 1/4 thick single faced teak ply). Tape underside edges (part you would see if closed and looking up) so when you fasten any excess caulking won't bleed onto teak. The top of the plywood should be even with the top of the outer frame.
4. To reduce rot paint a sealing epoxy on top (non teak) side of both pieces of plywood. Especially edges so you will reduce water intrusion. Dry fit again to make sure your piece still fits.
5. Coated frame seams with lifecaulk polysulfide.
6. Place 1/4 inch the single faced teak ply on the bottom (facing side down so you see it when looking up). 1/4 inch easily bent.
7. Apply glue/epoxy to top of teak ply (non finished side)
8. Place and fasten the second 1/4 plywood panel on top of the teak pannel.
9. Carefully and immediately remove the bottom tape and recaulk the top edges.
10. Begin placing teak planks. I used lifecaulk under strips because the strips will seperate and water will try to get under them again. Use stainless screws, same size as removed.
11. Cetol or varnish.
12. Matter of choice here but I ended up caulking between strips. It really doesn't look bad and it's the only way to prevent water from trying to seep between the planks. If you elect to caulk, tape each plank edge (tape edge should be just beyond start of curve toward edge of plank) Caulk the seam, run finger down seam and immediately/carefully pull off tape.
13 Although I didn't position them this way but ideally the strips would run athwart ship (side to side) so water would simply run off. It would look "different" but your choice.

FYI, I'm pretty sure the hatches cost $2,000+ so have fun saving the money.

Hope it helps.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-24-2012
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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.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-24-2012
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Re: Companionway hatch

We have a similar problem on our PSC 34. I scraped away the rot and brushed the edges with epoxy then filled in the voids with fairing compound and sanded. We dry fitted it and none of the repairs showed below deck. I'm in the process of varnishing now. You can see some pictures here: • View topic - Companionway Hatch Repair Pictures

Becky (Bob's wife)
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-25-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Companionway hatch

Thanks for the suggestions. PCSSailor - I called Thumper at Pacific Seacraft. His suggestion was pretty much the two 1/4 inch plywood rebuild you did. They have done several rebuilds. They have the positive and negative molds.

Becky, I like your solution since there is so little (visible) rot.

Thumper said I should send him photos and he will give further advice after we how much hidden damage there is.


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