Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Moderator: GreenLake

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:07 pm

OK. We'll be ready to hear them.

On an earlier question. You were wondering about a way to fold the cuddy door into the hatch. I'll want to see some kind of drawing of that, because while I can imagine the principle, I can't yet imagine how the door would fit - as I think it would tend to be wider than the opening, and therefore wider than the hatch.
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Postby hectoretc » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:58 pm

GreenLake wrote:OK. We'll be ready to hear them.

On an earlier question. You were wondering about a way to fold the cuddy door into the hatch. I'll want to see some kind of drawing of that, because while I can imagine the principle, I can't yet imagine how the door would fit - as I think it would tend to be wider than the opening, and therefore wider than the hatch.


Will do... I have to do some rethinking with the change in my premise for the hatch but I'll do up a sketch based on my previous thoughts and maybe we can see a way to adapt it.

Thanks - Scott
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Postby GreenLake » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:21 pm

I thought the pictures of your mockups looked good. Figure the boom height in your thinking - there's a limit of how far the top will flip up. Bet you thought of that already.

If I had a DSII, I see where I might want to do something like that.
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Postby hectoretc » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:53 pm

GreenLake wrote:OK. We'll be ready to hear them.

On an earlier question. You were wondering about a way to fold the cuddy door into the hatch. I'll want to see some kind of drawing of that, because while I can imagine the principle, I can't yet imagine how the door would fit - as I think it would tend to be wider than the opening, and therefore wider than the hatch.


Hi GL (et.al.)
I've know almost since the begining how I wanted to incorporate the cuddy door into the hatch assemby, it's just taken me this long to figure out how to draw it. Too complex (for me) to use sketchup and my hand drawing (as you see) leaves a great deal to be desired, but the idea sort of gelled for me in the last day, so I grabbed a pen, pad and business card straight edge and this is the fine result. I also apologize in advance as I'm doing this on my iPad and so I can't even cheat my way into a spell check.

1209
This is an old early picture (from a previous discussion) included only to provide context and frame of reference.

1255
What you're looking at here would be a cross section from the back, with the companionway hatch up top, hovering "shoebox" style as you and Jay call it, over the raised lips of the edgetrim on the cuddy roof/deck.
My intent is to use a roller track (like a drawer track) attached to the movable cover of the companionway hatch with some vertical brackets.
Shown below the slide rails is the cuddy door (the normal vertical part) that has two pairs of rollers (counter-part to the slide rail) attached there-to.
If it's not obvious by the oh so clever dotted lines, the rollers go into the tracks and the cuddy door rides above the rails between the brackets.

1256
Rotate 90 degrees, now looking from the starboard side, showing pretty much the same setup, only in this view, the track is up attached to the hatch.
Ignore the bit at the bottom, that's part of the next picture.

1257
So this is sort of where the rubber hits the road.
Top sketch shows the cuddy door parked up on the slide rails, both sets of wheels in the track.

2nd sketch shows the cuddy door pulled out partially, starting to tilt down hinging on the front rollers.

3rd sketch shows the cuddy door pretty much extracted, probably with a rail stop of some kind so it can't come all the way out, and notice the Companionway Hatch edge and the longer (top) portion of the cuddy door so when it comes down to the near vertical (closed position) the two surfaces will overlap to give some form of rain seal. At least that's the plan.

Not shown because I ran out of page, is the fact that the cuddy door will close against a finished edge extending from the inside of the cuddy, similar in concept to the top lip but flat (no L shape). The lip will be as wide as necessary so the door will cover the opening. Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me.

So that's the plan. I'll run an edit/spell check on this when I'm back to my real computer later on.

Thoughts, comments, questions? Thanks - Scott
Last edited by hectoretc on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GreenLake » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:06 pm

Scott, a quick reply.

This could work, provided the cuddy opening is narrower than the hatch. The door flap would have to be rectangular, even if the opening is not - doesn't it get narrower? But that just means you have more overlap near the bottom.

Full wheels take up a lot of room. I would just have some small protrusions that glide in tracks. Something like a nylon bushing on a bolt epoxied into the sides of door blade (all the way at the top end of the door).

That allows your tracks to be simple U channels, mounted at the same level as the door, when it's stored.

The tracks would have to come towards you far enough that the top of the door can come out enough to allow closing. You may not need either pegs or rollers for the bottom edge of the door,, because when raised, the door can rest on the top end of the door opening. Of course, to raise the hatch, you'd have to make that "rest" attached to the hatch.

See whether you can puzzle out this comment - sorry, no time to create art.
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Postby hectoretc » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:19 pm

Thanks GL - Your right about the pegs... great idea. It's not like there's going to be a lot of weight on it, and using the aluminum channel solves another issue I was thinking about.

Regarding the size of the cuddy opening vs. the door, if you look at the topmost picture (the picture of the cuddy opening) you can see that in that shot I'd roughed in an inside frame around the cuddy opening. It would be my intent to use that method again to build in an inside door frame that will be wide enough to be covered by the door edges (sides and bottom). Also since it's attached to the inside of the cuddy "bulkhead?", I can use the thickness of the fiberglass bulkhead to install a foam or rubber seal around the cuddy frame for the door to snug up against when it's closed. I would finish the outside of the cuddy bulkhead frame with trim around the door to shield the edges from wind and driving rain.

I've also decided that I'm making a snap-on sunbrella cover to go from the mast base all the way down to the centerboard housing to give that extra layer of driving rain protection while docked or trailered.

I plan to use a key lock on the cuddy door that will latch the bottom against/into the frame, using inside locks on the companionway hatch.

Probably not water tight, but possibly at least water resistant or a little better.
Last edited by hectoretc on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GreenLake » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:36 pm

Scott, sounds like you are on the right track.

You are providing a soft-sealing base for the door to rest against.

The way I picture that, it has the shape of a rectangle. The lower three sides, forming a U, are attached to the bulkhead. The upper cross bar, completing the rectangle, would be attached to the hatch.

Right above that one are the ends U channels, projecting into the boat just far enough to allow the pegs to rest in them as the door is shut.

Hatch and the "frame" on the bulkhead protect against spray, that means that the hatch has to project a bit into the cockpit as well.

Could work. Let's see your cleaned up drawings for this design variant.
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Postby jdoorly » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:51 am

Scott, great pictures, got the concepts easily.

The idea that your making a place to store the hatch weatherboard is genius, that's been an unsolved problem for 40 years. The idea to use wheels or protrusions and tracks to control the position of the weatherboard is way more complicated than necessary and would probably cause problems in design, fabrication, and function.

Why not just have slots in the (in)sides of the hatch cover assembly (or on top!) which the weatherboard fits into for storage. Then when you want to deploy the weatherboard just pull it out and attach in the same way DS2 weatherboards have been used successfully for years. Having slots that the weatherboard fits into, instead of some protrusion, means the weatherboard is wider and can cover the hatch door more easily.

I have been chasing my tail for 2 years trying to design workable hatch and weatherboard assemblies. I just bought wood today to make a permanent weatherboard/door. The hatch is already permanent and I'm happy with it, but the weatherboards are prototype and falling apart since I used cheap fingerjointed lumber which doesn't use waterproof glue. I have several minor design changes to the old weatherboards to simplify it, but the overall design will be copied (i.e. the way there is 3 weatherboards hinged so they can fold down and make a seat/table, the way you can sit with feet in cockpit or in cuddy, and, the way the top weatherboard can be hinged down for ventilation, leaving the other 2 weatherboards locked.

The weatherboards will be made of 3 pieces 7" tall x 35" wide x 0.75" deep. When I went shopping for wood today I found that 8" wide planks were full of big knots, warped, and expensive so I bought 5 1x3x72 aspen planks. Each weatherboard will be made of 3 strips of 2.33" tall by 35" wide by .75" deep. The strips will be glued together on edge with waterproof glue and held with biscuits and clamps. Before joining the weatherboards with hinges they will be covered with epoxy. Anticipated screw holes will be drilled too large and filled with epoxy then drilled correctly. I will be painting the boards as aspen does not take stain well.

The proto weatherboards had the hinges mounted on the board faces. There were barrel bolts and a hasp loop that required removing wood from the mating surface, i.e. making a recess, when the boards were down making a seat. The new weatherboards will have the hinges mounted on board edges with the hinge pin sticking out 1/4 inch. This will give clearance room and won't require recesses for hardware.

1/8" x 1/4" adhesive backed foam weatherstripping will be placed between weatherboards and 1/4 x 1/4 foam around the edge of the door.
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Postby jdoorly » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:00 am

* Department of Corrections *

Sorry, the weatherboard height dimension given was wrong, it came from my design notes. I measured it today and the height per board is 6" making the total height of the weatherboards 18". The width is not 35" but 34.25" (this includes the opening plus 2.5" of frame on each side). Each board is made up of three .75x2x34.25 pieces. Couldn't get a bisket kit so I installed five #10 x 2.5" screws into the outside edges to draw the outside planks to the inside plank.
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Postby hectoretc » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:19 pm

jdoorly wrote: The idea to use wheels or protrusions and tracks to control the position of the weatherboard is way more complicated than necessary and would probably cause problems in design, fabrication, and function.

... 3 weatherboards hinged so they can fold down and make a seat/table, that way you can sit with feet in cockpit or in cuddy, and, the way the top weatherboard can be hinged down for ventilation, leaving the other 2 weatherboards locked.


Thanks Jay, I see you're point on avoiding tracks and pegs/rollers altogether, and maybe I could accomplish what I'm trying to do without them. GL re-suggested an idea I'd given up on a while back, of a full cross piece attached to the bottom/back of the companionway hatch (similar to what's shown below) that becomes the top to the U shaped frame I am building for the door frame, and works as a backing to the top of the cuddy door cover. One of the things I wanted to do, was to be sure the door cover was under the lip of the companionway hatch (as you recommended Jay) but if the door is tall enough I guess that would be the case anyway.

1168

If the top cross board was moved in enough to let the cover slide in between it and the fiberglass lip, then all I would really need to do is Make the cross board a little wider (higher), big enough for a slot in the cross board for the door to slide in for storage. It would certainly be simpler to pull out the door completely, and then slide it up and in from the bottom than to try to build my hinge point in the exact spot to allow the pivot while not binding, and still end up with the door cover in the exact right spot. I will still likely use the U channel GL suggested, but make it well over sized, big enough for the entire panel (no roller or pegs) to slide into without binding, just to control it and keep it square. Again, that would let the panel be wider (full width between the channel inside edges)

The left and right edges of the cuddy opening will need to come in more than is even shown here, so the door will cover, but I was already planning on making them wider.

1135

Because the door size (vertical) is limited somewhat by the depth of the companionway cover (unless I want it to stick out a fair amount) I may end up a little short on the vertical measurement anyway. I had planned for the possibility of such a door design from the beginning, but knew the companionway hatch depth was limited by the mast location so it is what it is. I thought at that time either I'd give it up, or by the time I got to this point, would figured out a way to deal with it, so in that respect, if the door doesn't work out to be tall enough, I'll reproduce your lower weatherboard, hinged at the bottom, to fill the gap, and also make the table, seat panel that works for you so well.

With these new thoughts, I'll have to do some more measurements to see what's going to work out best.

Thanks so much guys for the collaboration. It's getting close... more to come...
Last edited by hectoretc on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jdoorly » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:35 pm

Scott, Your right, the dimensions are key. My hatch cutout appears to be about 1 1/2" closer to the mast than yours, and the length of the hatch is more because I have 3/4" frame on the outside of the 'door' sides, plus 3/4" for the hinged panels, for the inside dimension of the hatch. My hatch is 21" front to back, and my door is 18" high. But, I would never be able to fit my door into my hatch. You might gain advantage on the problem by using plexyglass for the door.
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:49 pm

There are two key dimensions, width and height.

The height problem can be solved by changing the design from a door to two stacked boards. When used to close the opening, the boards would be stacked edge on. When stored in the hatch, they could rest in a face on "stack".

Using plexiglass as jdoorly suggested, gives you two thin panels. It should be possible to fit two "holders" for them under the hatch.

I would hope your design point is mainly to keep the rain out, and not are not planning that the door would have to withstand breaking waves. :shock:

You could use 1/4" plywood with a "rib" across the middle. When stacking the door panels in the hatch, they don't have to fully slide past each other, so you could turn them so their ribs face and slide them to where the ribs touch.

Epoxy coating, and if you really want, one layer of the thinnest cloth you can lay your hands on, would make that design nearly indestructible - certainly impervious to any abuse.
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Postby hectoretc » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:33 pm

The excellent ideas continue to flow.... although they continue to add to the list of consideration permutations (in a good way)

GL, when you suggest a rib in the "middle" does that mean at the seam point between the two boards? I'd want some kind if sharp angular seam (up and in mabye 60 degrees?) so that water would have to run uphill to get in the crack and that's the only way I could imagine it could work with thinner boards.

Oh, and yes to the rain supression, no to the expectation to hold back breaking waves, while at the same time hoping not to have breaking ways coming in from the stern (or bow, or sides for that matter).

Jay, just curious, did you ever get a pair of those hinges with the removable pins for your hatch? I was sure I had a picture of them in my archive, but that must have been one I pulled when I maxed out on picture capacity.
Anyway, I choked at the moment of pressure and bougtht some less expensive ones (about half $$ - but no locking pins, they slide to one side to release when the hatch is open enough to clear the rim so it can move) and have been mad at myself the moment I pressed send on the purchase. Just curious if you got some and are generally pleased with them. I might still make the spend if they are super great!

EDITED - I had a couple confusing paragraphs here previously addressing hinge placement for a curved deck and curved hatch, but after the fact realized that no matter where on the curve the hinge(s) are located, there will be binding. Need to work on this a bit more then will repost about hinges.
Last edited by hectoretc on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GreenLake » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:47 am

Scott, as long as your are lake sailing in MN I hope you won't find yourself with breaking waves...

Now, about the ribs. I had pictured a single rib in the middle of each section (not extending all the way to the sides, so that the slots can remain narrow). Something like a 1x1 or 1x2 which would give a total depth of 1", but allow the panels to be stacked reversed for a total depth of about 1.25" when stored inside your hatch.

That thinking was based on adding some reinforcement so that when you lean against them, you don't accidentally snap one of them.

But, you are right, you should take spray and rain into consideration.

Instead of merely angling your edges at the seam, you could back the lower panel with a piece of 2" wide plywood. That would seal your gap from behind, and you can still make the edge angled, so no water gets trapped.

It could be that this doubling adds enough strength, but in general, the idea is to go for some kind of ribbed backing so that you can keep the weight down. For weight reasons massive doors would be unattractive, even though easy to build. In theory, a single "tall" rib adds more strength than a wider "flat" rib, for the same weight.

I suggest you do up a test panel and check what stiffness you get. With plywood, the outer skin needs to be oriented so the grain runs from side to side, or you'll see much reduced bending strength. (Don't ask me how I know... :oops: )
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Postby jdoorly » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:52 pm

Hi Scott, No, didn't get them yet. The standard 'strap' hinges I used aren't overly difficult to get along with so their still there, I only need to unscrew the hinges once a year.

I too worried about the geometry of the hinges with respect to the curved surface and binding. I made wooden bosses to go under the hinges that were the same shape as the hinge but were tapered to match the deck. I suspect that this may be unnecessary with hinges that have a sloppy pin, especially the removable pin style.
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