Along 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.
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.
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.