The Race to Labor Day begins!

Last year I finished off my cabin hatch with some teak woodwork.  It came out great, but I used pan-head screws to hold the wood.  The rubbed against the rails and made the door very difficult to move.  Unfortunately, since I was so close to the Labor Day launch, I did not have time to fix the problem.  So I didn’t move the hatch too many times last year.  This week, I pulled it off, replaced all of the pan-head screws with flat-head screws and gave it another 3 coats of Cetol Marine Teak.

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The process is a little more involved than it sounds.  The hatch does not slide off of it’s rails.  The rails need to be completely removed.  I had taken great care to get the holes sealed with Sikaflex 291 and to fill the stripped holes with some thickened epoxy.  So I will be going through that process again for the re-install tomorrow.

In addition, the woodwork I installed is also bedded in Sikaflex and there is also a bead around the top to keep water from getting between the wood and the fiberglass.  I was concerned that as I pulled the screws out, that it might separate and cause a big old mess.  I hate working with any sort of caulking.  I always seem to make a mess and it is very difficult to fix a small section to my satisfaction.  To prevent this, I used my trusty Irwin Bar Clamps.  I put one on each side of the screw, removed it, drilled the countersink, and screwed in the new flat head screw.  It worked like a charm and I took my time doing that for each of the 12 screws.  I then added about 8 more screws in various places for some added strength.  I do not want to be taking this thing off for another decade or so.

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