Saloon Sole Hatches

Refinishing, Gas Lift Cylinders

One of the first items of business (winter, 2009) was to drag the cabin sole access hatches home and refinish them over the winter. With the boat in Deal, MD, this was one item that could be done even though the boat was seven hours away. Eventually the entire cabin sole will need to be stripped and redone, but this is a start.

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We refinished the hatches using satin polyurethane rather than traditional varnish as it is a harder product. Varnish is being reserved for wood exposed to the weather. We also replaced the broken lift rings with something more substantial in bronze. The undersides of the hatches were also refinished. All the hatch stiffeners were varnished and 2 sound insulation placed between the stiffeners on the engine room hatches. We learned later that all the engine room sound insulation had been removed, probably because it was failing. Replacement will have to begin as time and material purchase permits, but at least the hatches have their new insulation installed. The basement hatch was painted white between the stiffeners.

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If you are familiar with Pilgrims, you know how heavy these hatches are. A set of flush mount hinges and a single 60 pound gas lift cylinder was installed on the main engine hatch to make opening the hatch easier. While the hatch stays open on its own, a line and cleat are provided to make sure the hatch will not shut if there is any chance of the boat rolling. The line attaches to an eye strap near the starboard windows.

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Determining the exact attachment location is somewhat of a challenge as the cylinder must be fully retracted when closed and fully extended when open.

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The basement hatch has a 40 pound gas cylinder supporting it. The three-strand line has a snap to latch to an eye strap to provide a secure method of keeping the hatch open if necessary.

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During the spring of 2013 we finally got around to adding matching flush mount hinges and providing a gas lift cylinder (60 lb) for the aft salon hatch that is directly over the Aquadrive.

With both hatches open we have easy access to the entire engine and can just open the smaller aft hatch to check on the packing gland during our periodic operational checks.


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