We have a steel
sailboat with very little wood apart from the tiller and the turtle hatch
housing (the part into which the companionway
slider goes). While it is pretty, we have no attachment to the wood.
We frequently have need to stand on top of the turtle housing (right in front of our canvas
dodger) when tending to the mainsail
and we don't like the flex we feel under our feet. It needs attention, and we are entertaining our options replace the wood with steel
We have need to engage a welder on a couple of other projects in the spring, so are doing a bit of research
now. We'd like for the new housing to be lower profile, less boxy and perhaps even nice to look at--possibly even...artsy?
Generally seeking ideas, links, photos, feedback. Does anyone out there have a steel hatch
housing? Or had to replace one? If you've done this, do you have any words of wisdom? Ideas? Suggestions? Apart from the cost of the steel, is this a highly time-intensive project
for a metalworker?
A couple of things that probably don't matter, but may be worth mentioning:
- To remove the existing turtle "shell," we'll have to remove our interior t&g ceiling+insulation (an involved job). I'd guess we could take the entire shell to a metal worker for use as a pattern.
- The slider itself is also steel, and we will be fitting it with a lexan skylight/window this spring.