RE: new hatch cover and other winter projects.

Eric Johnson (
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 18:30:41 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> Great idea, I may just steal it. My forward hatch is detached
> (some idiot forgot to tie it shut) and I had thought of a clear
> hatch.

How did you lose it? i've left mine detached for long periods of time with
no ill effect.

> Smoked lexan with a teak frame sounds good enough to eat! Hatch
> cover of canvas....hummmm!

Yeah, i really like the thought. I'm hoping to put just a little curve into
it too for a little more classy look. Bingham's "Sailor's Sketchbook" has
some nice ideas too for making some nice shippy looking hatches.

Bingham also had a great idea of bonding a mahogany doorskin to the
fiberglass transom and varnishing it for a classy woody look. I'm trying to
talk myself into that one, but with an outboard motor, external rudder, etc,
the effect might not be as nice as it would be on something with a less-busy
transom. I might, however, experiment with the doorskin-veneer idea inside
the cabin. Tastefully done, it might be a nice effect.

> Should I put the hinges in front instead of back in case I
> forget to tie it closed again? Any pro's or con's on that guys
> and gals?

I've thought about that, and I'm thinking that hinges should stay where
they're at - i think it will make rough-weather sail changes easier (from
inside the hatch).

> One more nice winter project. I think that makes
> about 49 for this winter, not counting building a dingy!

Me too. So far this winter my projects have been:

* Change the 3/4" cockpit drain to 1.5", with the cockpit end being flush
with the cockpit sole so ALL the water drains out... this will be complete
as soon as the 3M 52-forever holding the backing plates cures (another few
weeks it seems!). I also made new backing plates of painted marine mahogany
plywood - my stock ones were unfinished wood.

* Fix ALL the gelcoat cracks, chips, racing scars (got a nasty chunk of
Olson 30 on my bow...). I'm partway done with that. The transom looks brand
new now, and I'll work my way around the rest of the hull this winter, then
deal with the cabin and deck last (perhaps when it gets back on the water).
When I went aground this summer and saw just how well gelcoat can be
repaired by a boatyard, it inspired me to work on it and I'm happy with my

* Install some 5.5" speakers in the transom. I found a nice set of
waterproof ones (pyramid brand, i think) cheap on Ebay. Contact me if anyone
is interested in getting a set and I'll try to find the seller. I don't know
when I'll get to this, just gotta build up the nerve to cut those big

* Installed vinyl boat names. I found a guy in texas who made me a nice set
of boat names (for each side of the hull) of 5" vinyl for like $20 +
shipping. His email is I've got the name on one side,
but the other side is waiting for me to sand down some gelcoat repairs.

* Clean my rubrail. I've got the pre-1990 big fat vinyl rubrail, and the
acetone trick works wonders. Man, I used to spend a lot of time scrubbing
that with brillo pads with little improvement.

* finish some electrical work. I already put a 6-circuit panel in the
starboard spot, and am moving the old 3-circuit panel to port, so I have
plenty of fused circuits. Some of the wiring in there was a little spooky.

* add a drain to my cockpit storage compartment so I can use the !@#$ thing.
I think I'll just use my leftover 3/4" thru-hulls to make the compartment
drain into the cockpit so I don't have to add another drain to the transom.

That list should keep me busy. Beyond that I hope to:
* Build the forward hatch
* refinish or replace my rusty daggerboard. This year seemed to be
particularly hard on it.
* Probably ditch my kickup rudder altogether and buy or build a fixed rudder
(anyone want to trade?)
* Move my genoa tracks from outside the toerail to the cockpit coaming.