Project Time: Replacing Old Hatches and Rehabbing Teak
Back on the dock meant more projects. A big one we, and by ”we,” I mean Mark, needed to complete was replacing the goofy butterfly hatches. Each time we’d sail, the sheets would get stuck under them, meaning someone would need to run out to the front of the boat and unstick them. Oh, and there’s a good chance we’d go through the crappy plastic if we fell on them—minor detail.
Initially, we bought fancy Lewmar hatches when we got the boat. Except those didn’t quite fit due to our hatch holes being square, and the Lewmar hatches have radius corners—no dice and back to the drawing board.
Fast forward sometime later (as in 8 months). After many hours of research, it was settled to go with the original FastPassage style of basic plexiglass on the existing frame. Mark sourced a local guy to cut the plexiglass, but he’d have to drill the holes himself and do the installation. Easy enough...kind of. Putting holes in plexiglass can only go two ways - good or bad. He measured, measured again, and dry-fit everything. He also practiced a whole bunch on some scraps the shop gave him. Eventually, he took the plunge and drilled the holes for the hardware. After some tense minutes, everything was done with moderate success! He only drilled two extra holes that needed to be filled with epoxy. Regardless we had a new working hatch in the V berth. Next up would be the hatch over the galley. Just a simple repeat of the process...that would take another 4 months to get done.
With one major project done, Mark decided it was time to tackle what little teak we had. The previous owners hadn’t done anything with it in several years, so it was gray and pretty dirty. We weren’t sure what we wanted to do with it long-term, so we decided to use the oil we had from the other boat figuring something was better than nothing. Mark spent the next week scrubbing the old teak and oiling it. It turned out pretty well. We might just keep on that route, depending on how long the oil lasts.