Last Project before Cedar Key Small Boat Meet!! . . . .

Started by Charles Brennan, May 05, 2023, 08:59 PM

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Charles Brennan

Had enough time after checking hub grease and tire pressure and whatnot to finish one more sewing project, as long as I had everything out, anyway.

While I have a perfectly good teak companionway hatch, at anchor in balmy climes, I like the additional ventilation of using a cloth hatch cover.  The idea is, that if it's a calm night the cloth gets flipped up on top of the hatch and lets the breezes flow in. If it rains a little, we flip the cover back down and if it storms, we put the teak hatch back on.

Here's one I made up about 35 or 40 years ago, when I tripped over a patch of blue Sunbrella at a marine flea market.  It's stiffened with wooden dowels (which occasionally either rot or break) and affixed with ty-raps (which occasionally break). When Urchin lived outside in a driveway in south Florida, it was also used to protect the bright work on the teak hatch.
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It's got two problems however:
First, is that it doesn't go all the way to the bottom and
Secondly, is that it is not wide enough to cover those hatch top slots at upper left and upper right.
The second problem becomes a much bigger problem in the summer months when mud dauber wasps love to infest my cabin and leave their domiciles in random and unwelcome places.

It attaches to the sliding top hatch through a nylon bolt and nylon wing nut that fits in the bracket hole where I mount the compass, while sailing.
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This shows the underside wing nut:
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One of the problems with this arrangement, is that when it rains I get an annoying drip from the compass mount hole. 
Then I remembered: "Hey! :) I got a lot of leftover high durometer rubber from my port gasket project! ;D
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So I took a hole saw and drilled out a couple Instant Washers from a scrap piece.
(Pays to be a Hoarder, sometimes!)  :-[
Pic shows one before trimming and one after.

I used a small enough bit that I had to thread the rubber onto the bolt, above and below the grommet.
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Looks decent.
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And more importantly: Waterproof.
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Next, I cut a coupla surplus fiberglass battens to length and installed four small brass grommets on the corners, on the inside of the companionway cover.  I drilled holes in the battens, so I could tie them to the grommets permanently.  No more busted dowels or ty-raps. 
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This is the underside of the cover, showing an interesting foreshortening effect from the camera angle making this look almost rectangular, when it's really trapezoidal:
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And the cover's front side:  (Also foreshortened.)
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I keep improving and simplifying things in my lifelong goal of getting this boat down to the point, that a mere 40 hours of backbreaking work each week, will keep her more or less, in trim.   :P

Hopefully, I'll get pics of it in action at this weekend's Cedar Key Small Boat Meet.

Charles Brennan

Doug SC

Looking forward to seeing Urchin on the water. Maybe next year I can get down that way.

Captain Kidd

Nice job! I enjoy sewing - just haven't done a whole lot.