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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The sliding wood companionway hatch on my 1977 Newport 30-2 has deteriorated. The two layers of inside wood have partly rotted due to unseen leaks through the seams in the top layer. Size is 36” L x 37”W x 3.5”. Has anyone replaced or rejuvenated one? I’m considering replacing the wood, but im not a woodworker and might prefer to find a replacement; wood or fiberglass. Any thoughts?
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The exterior surface it beautiful, don't get rid of it or cover it up. You could laminate the inside with a layer or two of 1708 after fairing the corners and inside edges. it should adhere very well to the old wood, as long as you saturate it with resin before laying down the glass.
It won't look as good as on the outside but will be stronger for it on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The exterior surface it beautiful, don't get rid of it or cover it up. You could laminate the inside with a layer or two of 1708 after fairing the corners and inside edges. it should adhere very well to the old wood, as long as you saturate it with resin before laying down the glass.
It won't look as good as on the outside but will be stronger for it on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The sliding wood companionway hatch on my 1977 Newport 30-2 has deteriorated. The two layers of inside wood have partly rotted due to unseen leaks through the seams in the top layer. Size is 36” L x 37”W x 3.5”. Has anyone replaced or rejuvenated one? I’m considering replacing the wood, but im not a woodworker and might prefer to find a replacement; wood or fiberglass. Any thoughts? View attachment 145675
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Thanks for the responses. I discovered the underside damage while “scraping” the varnish off the hatch’s topside, which had deteriorated. The picture of it was old. My intent is to refinish the whole hatch; just wasn’t expecting a bigger project. I will consider your ideas. Here is a picture of the hatch top after today’s heat gun session. Could not get through the old finish with a sander or scraper, but the water did, as you can see from the discoloration.
 

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The inside looks like just a sheet of veneer. Rip it all out, replace, and glass it as suggested. The top wood use chemical cleaner like Teka A and B then sand. Not a big job, but it will look spectacular when done.
 

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Water is getting in all those groves in the teak on top. The deterioration of the plywood underneath is structural. So if you plan to reuse, it must be rebuilt. Rot is always worse than it looks on the surface so you must get it all out. The good thing is that it is small and you have it in the shop where it is easy to work on. You said that you are not good with wood. That's something that you can improve on if you want but there are so many people that are. I would get someone who is and get them to work with you on this project. It is pretty simple and you will gain some wood working skills. Teak is expensive these days so be kind to it so that it may be reused. Make sure that the finished product is very strong. You don't want someone crashing through it. I have seen several broken hatches that were too lightly built. Have fun with this project it and keep it looking good. It sits right in front of you when ever you're in the cockpit so you will always be proud of your good work.
 

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I took all the teak strips off the top and put a new (thin) plywood sheet under with a few layers of glass on both sides. I added a couple of ribs on the underside and glassed those in to make it a little stiffer. Then finished and re-installed the teak strips with some black goo between.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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I hate to discover process errors after the fact, so I’m hoping for some additional comments/opinions regarding my hatch project. I do have some assistance from someone with much more experience than i have.

I have removed the two bottom layers of wood; approximately a 3/16” layer of plywood, and a 1/16 layer of decorative veneer. They were fitted into the 3/16”-1/4”channel in the frame sides, below the teak planks. I am trying to clear (difficult) that channel (see pic) of all the broken end pieces from those removed layers. Some of the teak strips have gaps. I’m planning a 3/16-1/4” layer of FRP or marine plywood with resin/epoxy, to fit into the surrounding channel. Do I need cloth?

The teak strips are about 1/4“ thick and may be backed to a very thin attached veneer. Are those strips individual strips or glued to a backing veneer that made it one complete sheet? In the attached picture you can see that layer, and that some of the teak strips have separated by about 1/8” max. How should i close those gaps? I have some long bar clamps that can be attached to the sides of the frame and be tightened to pull the sides in, to close the gaps. Then i can epoxy/resin the bottom layer of teak and install the replacement layer. I’m concerned that when the bar clamps are released, the built-in pre-stress tension could cause the repair to crack, separate, and fail. Should i close those gaps another way; or ignore them and fix with the black caulking later? It seems that i should epoxy the bottom of the teak layer prior to installing the replacement layer, but that epoxy can seep through the gaps to the top of the teak strip.

Strength question: If I can’t use the channel, did those of you who already rebuilt your hatch use the frame channel or add wood strips along the sides to secure the new panel? Also, did you glue the strips and/or glue/epoxy the new panel to the bottom of the teak layer?

Because of the concave horizontal curve on the fore and aft end of my hatch frame, and upward curve of the hatch top, the added FRP or marine plywood layer may have to be cut in half horizontally to slide the ends into the fore and aft ends of the channel. Inserting the new layer into all 4 sides of the channel will be more difficult (maybe impossible). Agree?

Other ideas, insights and criticism are welcome. Thanks.
 
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