Turning Our HC 33 Into Our Home Sweet Home
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Forward HatchTurning Our HC 33 Into Our HomeAre You Going to Rebuild Those?
Hatch Repairs
Just about the time the last coat of varnish is being laid on a piece of brightwork, I begin to eye the next wooden apparatus gnawing on my need to refinish. Don was happily removing the masking tape on our screens, indicating their completion - when I began to remove the butterfly hatches, indicating their start.
Butterflu HatchAlong came Captain Harry – a knowledgeable sailor and well respected dock mate of ours. "Are you going to rebuild those?”  Previously unaware of my intentions to begin yet another project, Don’s first reply was “NO!”; mine was “…well…they do leak.”

Our glass was completely fogged, screws on the hinges were broken off, and the number of towels brought out during every heavy rain confirmed the futility of the piles of silicone sitting in every seam. With some nudging and a ‘you can do it’ attitude, Harry convinced us to take on the much feared, highly dreaded task of doing a comprehensive restoration of our hatches.

Within minutes and with absolutely no nudging, we had every man on the dock with every conceivable tool helping us tear our hatches apart. “Where are all of you when we’re out here varnishing?” I exclaimed. They all agreed it was far more fun taking someone else’s gear apart then it was putting it back together.

Jib Through the Hatch

We marked each piece well, to be sure we would be able to fit the puzzles together again, and then sought out a place to order custom cut Polycarbonate panes. Our wait for the new windows wasn’t long, but we were very dismayed to see that the fabricator – in an attempt to meet our required thickness, had taken ¼” Plexiglas and glued ¼” strips along the edges. Now in the off chance that we should roll – the only thing between us and the deep blue would be this paper thin plastic. We took our patterns to another shop.

Factoring in the need for ordering, and re-ordering the panes, the gasket, the caulk and the bungs, and considering each hatch was caulked, and received 3 coats of oil and 12 coats of varnish, and bearing in mind the amount of screws that need to be dug out and reset – I don’t think 3 months was too long to complete this project. The plastic over the holes and an un-seasonal drought helped keep us relatively dry in the mean time. But the end result is an unobstructed view to the skies – and Don no longer having to work huddled in the one dry corner of the salon during a rainy day.


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"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ~ Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows