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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting rid of a crappy wooden screwed down access hatch in the cockpit of my '82 Morgan 416 and replacing it with a modern access hatch that can be opened and closed easily.

The current opening is about 8" x 26" and needs to made larger to 10x30 in order to fit the hatch I have selected. It will be fit into the starboard cockpit vertical wall above the bench seat.

What type of saw should I use to cut the approx 1" thick cored fiberglass and should I seal the core where I cut it or will sealing the hatch properly be enough? Any tips on this job are appreciated so I don't screw it up.

Thanks
 

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Brett, Mine is a 413 Morgan, without the walkthrough so I'm having some difficulty picturing your project. What are you accessing with this hatch? I imagine it opening into the "hallway" to your aft cabin. Is this a hinged hatch similar to what would be installed on a horizontal plane of decking? Regardless, if the cut will be through a cored area of water imprenable material like balsa I would think sealing it as necessary and epoxy with tabbed fiberglass around the cut as best. I tend to think of an access panel as something normally secured closed and not opened frequently. Tell us more or post a photo. What's the function? 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Cut the material with a jig saw.

Route out the core material at the edges of the cutout. Coat the core material with epoxy and then fill the resulting gap with thickened epoxy. Bevel the edges of the opening, so the sealant you use will have a space to fill and create a good gasket. Don't forget to pot the holes for the fasteners. The hatch should be THROUGH-BOLTED.

I am getting rid of a crappy wooden screwed down access hatch in the cockpit of my '82 Morgan 416 and replacing it with a modern access hatch that can be opened and closed easily.

The current opening is about 8" x 26" and needs to made larger to 10x30 in order to fit the hatch I have selected. It will be fit into the starboard cockpit vertical wall above the bench seat.

What type of saw should I use to cut the approx 1" thick cored fiberglass and should I seal the core where I cut it or will sealing the hatch properly be enough? Any tips on this job are appreciated so I don't screw it up.

Thanks
 

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The saw I would use is a jig saw with a good metal blade. The metal blades have a little bigger tooth. Then you can seal the edges with epoxy, Be sure to tape the area well to avoid a mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brett, Mine is a 413 Morgan, without the walkthrough so I'm having some difficulty picturing your project. What are you accessing with this hatch? I imagine it opening into the "hallway" to your aft cabin. Is this a hinged hatch similar to what would be installed on a horizontal plane of decking? Regardless, if the cut will be through a cored area of water imprenable material like balsa I would think sealing it as necessary and epoxy with tabbed fiberglass around the cut as best. I tend to think of an access panel as something normally secured closed and not opened frequently. Tell us more or post a photo. What's the function? 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
It is the cutout on the starboard side of the cockpit , just above the large seat locker, which allows access to the fuel tank and supply/return hoses. Right now it is a 10x30 piece of varnished wood with the large Morgan 'M' embossed and with about 20 stainless screws around the edge which are screwed into the fiberglass. Problem is the wood has warped with age and is I am not able to make it watertight. The easy solution would be a new piece of wood, but I would rather have a nice watertight hatch.
 

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I agree with SD but the jig saw blade might be too long or go to deep into the enclosed area possibly hitting objects set back from the opening. If so, another option would be a Makita or Dewalt trim saw (aka mini skill saw w/ blade dia. 3- 5/8" inches) you can set the blade depth about an 1/8th inch beyond the thickness of the wood and not cut things behind the wall. Just a thought.
 

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I understand,- Sailingdog's plan for the edge routing and epoxy...through bolts..sounds best to me. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The hatch I bought is just a little too wide, it won't fit where I want it to and nobody seems to make one narrow enough. I want to have nice watertight access cover, preferably not wood. I am open to ideas if anybody has done anything like this before. Below is a picture of the current wood cover which is on this area. It is held in place by a bunch of stainless steel screws.



 

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You could make a replacement hatch cover out of starboard. It would blend in with the cockpit.
 
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