Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Moderator: GreenLake

Postby hectoretc » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:31 am

Still working on the hatch/door assembly but didn't want that to prevent me from getting outside and on to the water so I ordered some sunbrella fabric substitute off of ebay, borrowed my wifes brand new computerized sewing machine, and knocked out a hatch/door cover that snaps into place.
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After installing, I see I could use some darts (I think thats a sewing word) to better tailor it to a slightly better shape, but that can be done at any point. At least now I can leave it outside (or tied to the dock) without worry of down-pours getting at my stuff in the cuddy.

Unfortunately it looks nice enough that the basic blue tarp boom tent looks kinda ratty now. I guess I need to borrow the Computerized Sewing Machine again... This falls into the "I started cleaning out a drawer and ended up painting the whole room" kind of thing...
DS #6127 - Breakin' Wind - From the land of 10,000 lakes, which spend 80% of the year frozen it seems...
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UPDATE: Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Postby Breakin Wind » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:49 pm

As some will remember, last winter I started a major modification to my beat up DSII to add a companionway hatch (ala jdoorly) along with a cuddy door that would fold up into the hatch. I've made some additional progress in the early months of this winter so I thought I'd pass along an update for (if) anyone who still has interest.

Last spring, before the boat got in the water I started to rebuild the hatch cut out having made it about 4 inches longer. That was so it would cover the open space using the "shoe-box cover" concept GL and jdoorly suggested, while bringing the previous cuddy roof lip back to provide a rain top for the hatch. Unfortunately, the weather got warm early, the boat went in the water, and as I commented elsewhere, suddenly the projects stopped and the work of learning to sail began.

This fall I intended to finish the fiberglass work on the hatch cover, but wasn't exactly sure how the cuddy door was going to work, so I decided to finish that part first in case it would impact the final shape of the hatch-cover (which it turns out it did). In these photos, the hatch looks pretty rough, but again thats because I've not put any work into finishing it yet. It's functional and waterproof but not very photogenic.

Also, I should comment that as I did with the companionway hatch, I'm roughing out the cuddy doors assembly with pine boards because they are cheap and easy to work with. Once I have the design completed, I will use those boards as patterns to remake the pieces out of sturdier more weatherproof materials.

I ended up using a very simple slot and peg mechanism for the door assembly, and it appears to be working pretty good. There are basically two drawer slide tracks, attached to outside edges on the bottom of the hatch assembly. The door was cut from a flat piece of (again for now) 3/4" pine with a curve cut into the inside edge to match the curve of the cuddy lip when the door is closed. That means the center of the door is taller than the edges, allowing it to tip up to slide in. There are simple pegs in the upper right and left corners of the door that stay in the track all the time.

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This is a picture with the hatch and door closed.

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It opens by swinging up and into the track on the companionway hatch.

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Because the cuddy door is about 3 inches taller than the space under the hatch, I hinged the bottom 4 inches of the cuddy door so it folds under as it's going into it's storage place. There is an inside frame which the door closes against, and an outside frame to position and secure the door, as well as adding a better weather resistance. I will add weather seal to the outside edge of the inside frame when it's ready to be finished.

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And then finally, here is a shot with the door folded in place and the hatchway open.

The hatchway has quick disconnect hinges so it can be removed completely, and I'm building, basically the equivalent of the companionway frame on the foredeck where the hatch will lock in place to get it out of the way, without having to stow it in the cuddy but it will be secure so it can't blow or fall off the deck.

More to come...
Thanks - Scott
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Re: Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Postby GreenLake » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:18 am

Looks cool!
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Postby jdoorly » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:22 am

Wow! As always, Scott, I'm very impressed with your design and fabrication. Good job!

One problem I have had with various 'improvements' is creating things that 'catch' the jib sheets when tacking and gybing, requiring me to go for'd and free the sheet. My first hatch design was an excellent sheet catcher, as are horn cleats mounted low on the mast or mounted on the foredeck (i'm thinking of your foredeck hatch storage).
DS2 #6408 "Desperado"
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Re: Adding companionway hatch to DS2

Postby Breakin Wind » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:29 pm

jdoorly wrote:Wow! As always, Scott, I'm very impressed with your design and fabrication. Good job!

One problem I have had with various 'improvements' is creating things that 'catch' the jib sheets when tacking and gybing, requiring me to go for'd and free the sheet. My first hatch design was an excellent sheet catcher, as are horn cleats mounted low on the mast or mounted on the foredeck (i'm thinking of your foredeck hatch storage).


Hi Jay,

Yes, I've thought about that quite a bit, and as of now, I don't think it's going to be a problem, but of course won't know until I do it, and find that yes, I guess that is a problem, or not.

The frame itself will be essentially a U shape with the open portion toward the cuddy. It will probably be less than 2 inches high at the tallest point being center of the cross piece (which will be approx. where the center foredeck cleat is now) with the sides being perhaps an inch tall. Because it is not intended to be weather repellent, I will round all surfaces so there is nearly nothing to catch on anything. When the hatch is attached, it will ride higher of course, but will have a rounded bulb shape much like the cuddy roof, so "hopefully" the job sheets will slip over it without catching. Time will tell...

Thanks - Scott
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