Author Topic: Anchor Locker Hatch - P323  (Read 520 times)

SeaFever

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Anchor Locker Hatch - P323
« on: November 30, 2019, 09:07:02 AM »
The deck hatch for my anchor locker has become weak with age.  It creaks when you step directly on it and the gelcoat is cracked. I am doing research on the best way to re-enforce it with fiberglass.

Does anyone have experience with this type of repair?  If so can you share your experiences or recommended process for strengthening this hatch with fiberglass. 
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selene

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Re: Anchor Locker Hatch - P323
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 05:03:23 PM »
I have not done this particular repair, but a few ideas come to mind.

First off, obviously the underside needs to be totally clean - dewaxed (acetone), sanded to the bare glass.

With the surface prepped you could:

1) epoxy in a piece of 1/2", or even 3/4", thick marine ply slightly smaller than the hatch underside (to make space for the cloth you'll put on over the top of it). Use thickened epoxy to adhere to the plywood to the underside of the hatch, which will ensure you have no voids. When it has dried, paint the other side of the wood with epoxy, and lay one or two sheets of fiberglass cloth to seal it over the wood and onto the hatch - this will ensure solid connection. You end up with a similar "sandwich" to what is used in the decks.

2) An alternative would be to put in stringers. You can use anything to form them - in a similar situation I used 2" foam pipe insulation, cut in half. Place the form where the strength is needed, and then lay up at least 3-4 layers of cloth, each slightly larger than the other, to secure the stringer to the hatch. As this sets it effectively produces a rigid fiberglass stringer. Biaxial cloth makes this easier.

Hope this helps - I'll be interested in other opinions.  The plywood approach may sound a bit intimidating, but is actually fun to do and really solid when it is done....

SeaFever

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Re: Anchor Locker Hatch - P323
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 02:11:45 PM »
Thanks for the good advice, but after removing the hatch lid I found that it is still very solid and the root cause is de-laminating over much of its surface, hence the "flex" in several areas when you walk on it. It does not appear to be moisture related but probably related to stress fractures/fatigue over the years, or perhaps a manufacturing problem. After realizing this I am changing my approach to a fix.

My first thought was to build a new hatch cover with 1" COOSA Board, which is strong, water-proof, and easy to work with power tools. This seemed like a great material and solution with the exception that the old hatch lid has a bit of a curvature in it (3/8" rise in the middle), and to use a flat replacement board may be more difficult than I initially thought.

As I stress tested the old hatch lid once it was removed I now realize that it is still very sturdy and a good fit for the curvature of the deck. For this reason my new approach is to use West System's method of correcting de-lamination. This involves drilling a matrix of 1/4" holes every 1" and injecting epoxy.  This will be time consuming but I have plenty of epoxy on hand and I can buy syringes in bulk if I need to. It will require that the surface be refinished with either Gelcoat or paint and I need to do more research on what non-skid product/method to use.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 02:14:22 PM by SeaFever »
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SeaFever

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Re: Anchor Locker Hatch - P323
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 02:45:39 PM »
Finally got the hatch back on the boat.  I used the West Systems instructions to drill a matrix of 1/2" holes and fill them with thickened epoxy with a syringe. After each series of holes filled I weighed it down with heavy blocks to set up. It corrected all of the de-lamination issues but it did destroy the old non-skid surface in the process of filling/sanding.

To refinish I used a non-skid called Kiwi-grip with a more aggressive texture which I thought would be good to stand on while handling ground tackle. It is a water based product that rolls on easy and was discounted at Defender.com. I will attach before and after photos. It is good to have solid footing on the foredeck again.

The bright white hatch stands out from the faded deck color - I am thinking about mixing a gray paint that matches my cove stripe.


 
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 02:49:58 PM by SeaFever »
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