Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cutting cockpit sole and seat top hatch openings

With the hull panels now installed, I put a coat of paint on the inside, and will show a photo of that when I've got the final coat done.  I took a little break from painting and turned my attention to constructing the remaining hatches in the cockpit sole and the seat tops.

I used the same technique I described earlier in > this blog post <.  I used all the same template guide bushings and reused the template itself for three of the cockpit sole hatches and for the hatch on the port seat.  I needed to make additional templates for the ballast tank opening, the starboard seat top hatch, which is narrower due to the centerboard trunk, and the round openings for the plastic hatches in the back corners of the seats.

I took a while to finalize the locations of the cockpit sole hatches, measured (several times!), and started making sawdust. 

Here are the holes completed in the top layer.   These were cut out with a 1/8" bit, and I plan to use the sections cut out as the hatch covers.

In the bottom layer I cut the holes smaller, and included a groove for the gasket.

And then I spent a few hours cutting all the additional backing plates and hatch stiffeners from 1/4" birch ply.  Lots of changing template guides, collets and bits was involved.

Next up, I will sand off the fuzz and round edges and corners, laminate two layers where appropriate, and install them.


  1. Dave, Looking really good. Looks like you are building your own hatches/covers. I really like this idea and you will save a ton of $$ by DIY. You have inspired me to do the same (once I get to this phase). The cost to purchase all these hatches retail approaches $1,000, so I'm glad you demonstrated how to DIY. I'm currently waiting for epoxy/fiberglass to arrive so I can continue working on my foils. Nice job here.

    1. Thanks, Brent. I just put up a new post showing further progress on the hatches.