Day 291 frame forward Hatch frames & berth
Sometimes the best approach is the simplest. After trying with all different ideas on how to assemble and install the wood framing to join the stainless hatch frames to the interior paneling, I decided to go with readily available oak finishing wood.

The problem was that some of the frames have "T" frames to attach to, and others do not. certain parts of the panel are just hanging. How to connect the panel to the wood was an issue. Georgena suggested to just use silicone to glue it on.
This may be a good idea but only time will tell.

The diagram to the right shows how they are being assembled. Instead of using screws through the S.S. frame into the wood, PL400 adhesive will be applied to the wood and the frame  clamped into place to allow drying.

I never really liked glue on boats. By itself it may move over time, or loose adhesion altogether resulting in the thing flying apart at some inopportune time. I always remember that episode of Gilligans Island where the professor derives a "superglue" from palm trees (or whatever) and they glue the S.S. Minnow back together. Just before they depart the island at last, the whole thing just disintegrates before their eyes!

I don't want that to happen haha! Anyway, after the glue has set, it seems very solid. I do have the recompense that if they do start to come apart, screws can be added to hold them back up. Screws are always a problem around hatches though, allowing a place for water to trickle into the wood.

The 2 pieces of wood are held together with finishing nails and wood glue. The finishing nails are of course tapped in and filled over.

The one port side frame gave me some trouble because the space between the S.S. frame and the cabin top frame was so small. Only 3/16" near the top. Also a section of sloppy weld that was never cleaned off was in there. I wanted a tight fit so the wood was carefully sanded down until it fit good and tight. (photo below)


Tapping in fine nails to allow filling.

Thinned and cut out for very small space between frames
The forward hatch is likely the hardest because of it's width and the curve of the ceiling. The bottom edge of the vertical wood needed to have a curve cut out. ( photo right )

Fill for wood is another issue. We have 2 different types of fill both for light oak. One, after being stained, goes darker, the other stays light! Neither are good for filling over defects.

Luckily there wasn't anything larger than a finishing nail hole to fill. We'll need to go and find something that is more the color of oak, as surely we'll need it eventually. In the past I have drawn wood grain on fill with felt pen ( you can get them in a million colors now ) thus making it appear to be consistent. Then coating with urethane blends it in nice.

Tedious work though that.

To the right is the 2nd and 3rd frames ready to go in.

Forward cabin hatch in place


 They seem pretty solid. I should have done the frames for my paintings like these!

The job Georgena had was to continue with the aft berth frame. The face must overlap the face in the boat, so that board is larger. The corners are daydoo'd and sunk into face and aft boards for strength. The two in the center are for additional support for the plastic lattice.

It's not as heavy as we thought, which is good because it must be flipped up to access underneath.

All oak!

It was disassembled to get into the boat (of course ) and looks great in place!

The height is a bit of an issue as a rail cap will be on top of this, making it way too high to hop up on ( without a pole hehe! ) so either a fold out or permanent step will be added on the left side.


Day 291:
12 hours total:

Made 3 hatch frames, ready to install once urethane dries. Finished berth frame.

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