Perhaps iIam using the wrong term. what i am looking for is made of fiberglass about 28 inches to a side and is hinged to the boat. just forward of the mast My original one was torn off in a hurricane.
Something like that you would probably have to make yourself or get lucky and find someone who doesn't need theirs.
If you decide to make one out of fiberglass, it's probably not going to be easy, I would suggest making one out of wood and plexiglass. Just make a frame and have the plexiglass as the top where it's like a skylight.
Or, you could cut the opening a little larger so that you could install a standard hatch.
Oh, the hatch cover. I think that's what the fully removable "lids" are or were called on tall ships and freighters, but on small craft I've always just heard the entire thing called "the hatch". The hinged lid, the frame in the deck, the whole thing just referred to as the hatch. Dunno if that's just sloppy talk and wrong.
I think what you need will either need to be found from a shop that carries salvage (like Sailorman in Fort Lauderdale, and a handful of others across the country) or fabricated for you. If the old one was a simple cirved piece of fiberglass that sat flush on a gasket, I'd look into having a plexi shop curve up a piece of plexi to replace it. If it came down around a gasket, i.e. like a pizza box lid, you'd probably have to do some custom wood framing, or custom glass work. At a certain point it can be easier to actually cut a new hole in the deck, slightly larger than the current one, and drop in a complete hatch assembly to replace it. New hinges, new gasket, whole thing will only take a couple of hours to install, including the cutting. (Assuming you can find, or build up, a nearly flat line to install it in.)
hatch or hatch cover whatever it is called it has been hard to find. I am only a couple of hours from sailorman. so I might give that a try.
I have also considered having one made from plexiglass. It would help if there was a source to get some detailed plans?? The natural curve of the boat makes it tricky to construct. I tried one in wood but it didn't come out very well. The original was fiberglass and closed on top of a gasket.
I doubt anyone has the plans, most of the shops that closed up simply threw everything out over the years. "The natural curve of the boat makes it tricky to construct." Sometimes you can make a mold form a material like corrugated cardboard. Spray the deck and gasket with mold release (or multiple coats of wax) and let the cardboard soak up a water-based glue, like Elmers, until it is somewhat soggy. Then drape it in place & let it cure overnight. Now you've got a 3D template that's about the same thickness as 1/4" plexi and a good shop can copy the shape pretty well.
But I'd bet the guys at Sailorman can give you a better solution, or a referral to some professional help in your area.
Old hatch blow away while the boat was being transported on the road?
I am thinking about making a cardboard form ,after I talk to sailorman, If I could get a cardboard form to work ,trial and error method, then I would take to a local plexiglass shop to make, or perhaps a frame out of aluminum and then a plexiglass cover made to fit
Are you looking to maintain the original look with the curved cover? If not, Hood Systems makes a nice modern flat hatch. Check it out on Kestrel: S/V Kestrel - The Boat
Scroll down and look at pics 14 and 15.
Find a wood worker, and have a custom one made. I woodworker in Brooklyn did that rather nicely. If you are interested, I could get you his email address. Otherwise, look for a salvage Bristol 32 from which to procure yourself a hatch.
I might be talkin' out my butt, but here goes. Correct me if I get off track fellas, but I ain't gonna be that detailed....cuz I ain't that good with glass either. Also, post the dimensions of your hatch opening here. OD's only, HxLxW. If the B34 has the same(and I BET it does), then I might can help you with this by making a pattern for the form you can take down to Kinkos and get printed out.
It actually wouldn't be THAT hard to make if your a little handy with wood and willing to try a little glasswork. You can make the initial form from 1/4 or3/8 plywood sides with a luan or piece of scrap "panelling" top(bendable). Make sure to make your form oversized allowing for the thickness of the final product and proper depth WITH the gasket in place. Cut and sand the form parts to the desired shape and curvature. I believe the port and starboard sides are the "straight" sides with the fore and aft sides having the curvature. Assemble the form. Paint the inside with a thin layer of epoxy and let cure completely. Then either wax or mineral oil (or some other releasing agent) the interior of the form so that it will release the project when it's done. (help me out here guys) Use either fine woven mat(roving?) or possibly thickened "cat hair" w/epoxy and lay it up. Don't worry about looking a little rough, just make sure you tuck the edges and corners GOOD. You want it to fit properly so make sure your corners arent rounded out. Get them as sharp as you can. Little help here as to which "fillers" he should use? How many layers? Once cured pop it out, trim it up, drill it, paint it, mount the hardware and Voila (not "vwahlah" but "voeweeluh", we're from Texas down here), there you go. ;o)
Thanks for the offer, however, my hatch on the 32' is slightly larger. It is 28 inches on each side measured from outside to outside of the opening. It is straight on the sides and has about an 1.5 inch curve fore and aft. I look at at your reconstruction sight and found it very interesting. Our boats are very similar but I think my hatch is larger. again thanks for the offer.
I'll check the hatch on mine and get back to you around the weekend of the 5/6 Sept. "Baby" is being shipped here from Florida and will be here this coming Wed or Thurs. I'll check my measurements and if it jives, I might can make you a mold out of plaster or something to get you going.
Wow! The saga of the missing hatch on a Bristol 32' continues.
I am with FishmanTx (Neil - and others) that the way to get a good new hatch is to build one yourself or pay to have one made if you're not so handy.
I like the idea of making a mold and pouring your own epoxy and cloth version but this is not exactly a beginners kind of project if you want it to look good. Bondo can be used to make a mold as it cures quickly but smells terrible.
Another option is to fabricate the frame pieces out of wood (which I guess you already tried). I would use a Dremel tool for sanding out the curvature and not worry about divots that you make as these will be filled in with epoxy later. Then make some slats for the cover top out of say Ipe (Ironwood - strong and hard as the devil); these can be drilled and screwed into place. Sand it down and then coat the whole thing with epoxy and cloth inside and out and sand it smooth and fair where it counts. Patience will be a virtue on a project like this as you will sand and recoat with thickened epoxy to fill the low spots.
Get some gel coat and cover the exterior side completely over the now smooth epoxy covered hatch. Once the gel coat cures then sand it yet again with #220, 300, 400, 500, 600, 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Also not a project for a beginner unless they have an aptitude and a willingness to learn.
A wood based frame with hard wood slats reinforced with epoxy should be a lot stronger then some plexiglass homespun fabrication; the first time someone steps on plexiglass, well, you know. You are also potentially trying to keep out many pounds of water that may want to get below decks.
I would gladly undertake such a project but I am rather far away from your boat up here in NY unless I could find another Bristol 32' owner that would let me rough fit the hatch on their boat - which is a bit doubtful.
What are you currently using for a hatch on your boat?
Neil, you might want to go the bristol group on yahoo groups, also go to the Bristol owners site at:Bristol Owners' Association Home Page there are hundreds of Bristol owners on both sites. Lots of 34 owners as well.
Yeah that was me futzing over the "right type of electrical connection during rewiring" a while back.
Baby's going to the House O Boats first for a bit of "hard time" and should arrive by Thursday. My partner talked to Bahia when they called with an available slip a couple weeks back but we weren't ready yet. Initially, may be berthed in Cove Harbor North right after HOB. Depends on how long the refit takes.
I had forgot about Bondo for the mold and that would hold up to shipping better...if the hatch fits...