This topic contains 63 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Dan 2 hours, 17 minutes ago.

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    Ok, I’ve got the top hatch inside bezel just about how I want it and I figured out that I can just fillet around the exterior bits. Packing tape turns out to be an excellent mold release to keep the epoxy from sticking to stuff. I made a test article out of cardboard and packing tape which released from the epoxy fillet super easily. With that knowledge I taped up my hatch and will probably finish installing it this week!

    My only other progress is installing the cabin shelf and getting the starboard side door frame prepped.



    Got the starboard doorframe epoxied in last night. Top hatch this weekend.



    Ok, this was the big weekend. I finally pulled the trigger on my top hatch! It went pretty smoothly overall. First I epoxied in the frame to get everything held in the correct shape. After that epoxy cured enough I was able to do the hatch itself. Here’s the frame getting ready to be clamped. This wasn’t enough thickened epoxy. I had to make another batch to finish the fillet.


    Here it is the next day with the hatch removed. Those two clamps squished the top of the shell down just a bit and the cured epoxy is holding it in that shape. Now to fill in the gaps then set the hatch in place and fillet it.


    Then wait an hour and do some smoothing with denatured alcohol.


    And here’s one of the main reasons I wanted this kind of hatch… it’s looooow profile!


    Some hours later and after some careful hammering, I got the hatch out to remove the protective tape. Now I just need to clean up that mondo fillet and I’m calling the top hatch pretty much done. I’ll bed it with butyl caulk and screws.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Dan.


    I did a bunch of cleanup on the top hatch fillet. I both sanded and polished the exterior of the fillet and filled voids where thickened epoxy hadn’t fully squeezed in. The fillet will get a coat of un-thickened epoxy and then varnish along with the rest of the shell when I do the final finish. I added cel-o-fill along with the wood flour when I was thickening the epoxy for this fillet, so it is somewhat lighter  in color than all the other fillets and hopefully will blend with the color of the shell a little better in the end.

    Then I wet-sanded the rough edge of the hatch lens up to 600-grit and finished it with polishing compound to get it optically clear. I am very pleased with the result of that.

    After that was done, I couldn’t take it anymore and removed the protective film from the hatch. Behold:

    Pictures can’t really do it justice. I somehow got everything square and even and shiny. I am sooo happy with the result! So now the hatch now goes back in its box while I finish things up. It will eventually be bedded with butyl caulk and carefully screwed down.

    Next, I installed the transom panel. No need for copper stitching… I just held things in place and tacked with CA glue. Then gaps got covered with masking tape to prevent epoxy squeeze-out.

    Nearing the end of the project… I’m finally getting decent at fillets.

    Next we got the whole thing flipped over for bottom finishing. That top hatch fillet and frame is very strong!

    A little 60-grit sanding and gap filling to do then we’ll be ready for glass.

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