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What to do with this wooden hatch?

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The companionway hatch on my E 25 is weathered, and the veneer on top is flaking off. but otherwise, the hatch is relatively solid. There is moderate delamination in the plywood at the ends, but it seems like it should be salvageable.
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Should I paint the top, after resin and fabric, or should I take advantage of what are relatively good bones. The frame itself seems solid.
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I wonder if it might be a reasonable strategy to epoxy the top and attach teak veneer or solid teak battens.
Although this is a cosmetic project, I want to arrest any further deterioration.
What would you do?
 

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Well, I'd try to save it, and keep it wood. The sliding hatch is a showpiece on boats.

I have no idea what that veneer is. You don't put teak veneer in sunlight and let it "weather," even if oiled. It would be easy, looks like, to scrape the old veneer off, followed by sanding.

What;s underneath? Plywood, I guess. Does it have a radius, to shed water?

Depending, I might replace the entire top with new wood, depending on what available as veneer. Or consider making it like a teak deck, strips fore and aft, following the gentle radius of the end pieces.

Or maybe do what I have on my current boat, which is gray acrylic plastic on top. Three-eights acrylic will take a mild radius even without heat-forming. That might mean a deeper rabbet. Depends how the original was made.

Oh, yeah: this is shop or garage stuff. You take the hatch apart, revise it as desired, and then seal and refinish it. Not something I would try to do on the boat, in weather.

It will depend on your interest in woodworking, or in hiring a woodworker. Many approaches have merit, and I';m sure more approaches will follow.
 

Tin Kicker

Sustaining Member
Moderator
My thought would be to use the orbital sander to remove the veneer, give it a little stain for color, then your choice of nice clear top coats.

This is also a chance to route it and put in a nice smoked acrylic window.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
I've had poor luck "rescuing" my plywood hatch with West Systems epoxy. Perhaps another try with "penetrating epoxy" would be in order. But in my case, I believe it's non-marine plywood and the interior glue layer has probably washed out.
 

klb67pgh

Member II
Key would be deciding if the joints are all still solid, if the main plywood has rot or is solid and if it's just the last surface veneer that is damaged. I'd try to sand/strip the laminate, and see how that wood would look varnished (maybe epoxy under the varnish?) If you remove the hatch pull, it looks like you could add thin fore to aft strips of teak after removing the damaged veneer.
 
Salvage it? Meh. Look at the plywood checking under the veneer. Time to replace it with something better.
https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/e35ii-companionway-hatch-rebuild.5960/#post-37978
That would be an excellent long-term solution, but I just bought the boat, and I might not even like her. Right now, I am trying to get her in the water by July 4th. We have a very short season up here, and my goal is to get her sailing, to see is she suits me. If so, I will make that a winter project.
But right now, I need to preserve what I have - and make it look more presentable.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I hope that Blue Streak does not mind too much, but I made the thread title more descriptive to make searching function better.
 

Martin King

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
That would be an excellent long-term solution, but I just bought the boat, and I might not even like her. Right now, I am trying to get her in the water by July 4th. We have a very short season up here, and my goal is to get her sailing, to see is she suits me. If so, I will make that a winter project.
But right now, I need to preserve what I have - and make it look more presentable.
Well if that's the case, I wouldn't bother with resin and glass. I'd scrape / sand off whats left of the veneer, slap on some fairing compound, sand, prime and paint it, and go sailing.
 

LameBMX

Member I
Well if that's the case, I wouldn't bother with resin and glass. I'd scrape / sand off whats left of the veneer, slap on some fairing compound, sand, prime and paint it, and go sailing.
Ill see your recommendation and raise it, scrape off remaining top layer of veneer, quick sand mostly smooth, slap some poly on it, and deal with the more presentable aspect during the long off season. with any luck can be usable July 4th if the weather cooperates. I bet that wood is going to slurp up anything wet put on it.
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I agree with Lame BMX. I wouldn't be too worried about getting all of the top veneer off, that will likely risk sanding through the veneer layer just below the top layer. Just remove the stuff that comes off fairly easily. Then penetrating epoxy or poly to "seal" the wood. At the end of the season make a temporary hatch (chunk of plywood), remove the hatch, take it home and have your way with it.
 

frick

Member III
Original Wood Frame with a gray lexan top. 1971 Ericson
 

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Kevin A Wright

Member III
Yes, just sand and paint with a good weather resistant paint or epoxy for now. Then if you decide you like the boat (heavy odds you will, its and Ericson for God's sake) then build a new one.

I built a new one for my E27 years ago using solid teak frame and 1/2" teak ply for the top. To curve the top I make kerf cuts on the inside to allow for the bend. I then filled the cuts with caulking so it looks like separate deck boards from the inside and a solid surface from the outside.

Kevin Wright
E35 Hydro Therapy
 
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