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Old 27-09-2015, 15:30   #31
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Re: Companionway door ideas

A picture tells a thousand words! Just simple plywood, knocked up in half a day or so. It's not fully watertight or sized for storm waves.

The old very strong drop boards are used in very nasty stuff.

But it's been a great solution. Especially since the dodger went on, and it became hard to climb over the boards.

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Old 27-09-2015, 16:01   #32
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Re: Companionway door ideas

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
A picture tells a thousand words! Just simple plywood, knocked up in half a day or so. It's not fully watertight or sized for storm waves.

The old very strong drop boards are used in very nasty stuff.

But it's been a great solution. Especially since the dodger went on, and it became hard to climb over the boards.

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With the top hatch closed, would this not be just as safe, if not safer than drop boards anyway?

Drop boards (which is what I have) are meant to be attached to the boat with a lanyard (which is what I don't have) for really bad weather.

Could you send me a picture of your whole boat? PM me if you prefer.
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Old 27-09-2015, 16:09   #33
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Re: Companionway door ideas

Another thought, RC:

Evans' and Beth's old vessel, "Hawk", an aluminium Van de Stadt Samoa 47, had a fishing boat style door fitted in Alaska. Looked very sturdy. Probably a pic from the magazine article about it they wrote, out there somewhere.

FWIW, the design I failed to describe well is coming soon to New Caledonia. I can ask about it and maybe get a couple of pics when we connect.

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Old 27-09-2015, 16:14   #34
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Re: Companionway door ideas

http://www.nzmaid.com/?page_id=29

Not my boat, my folks boat. Grew up sailing her, but I now have an old aluminium raceboat.

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Old 27-09-2015, 17:12   #35
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Re: Companionway door ideas

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I understand your point and agree.

But as I recall it was the lexan piece drop board that fractured. I cannot recall the name of the event or boat or member. Someone here will know. It happened in Greece, at an anchorage, due to a very sudden strong wind that blew into the anchorage. It was discussed at length on cf.

I to find it hard to believe that the lexan broke.

Back in another life time, I used to work for a sign company. The guys in the back shop told me how tough lexan was, and they demonstrated by putting a piece of it on a frame, and then hit it hard, multiple times, with a sledge hammer.

Nothing, not even a mark were the blows were. That stuff is amazingly tough. It will yellow with UV rays, and it can make it more fragile over time. We used to replace it every 5 years. UV stabilizers help counteract this.
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:23   #36
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Re: Companionway door ideas

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I to find it hard to believe that the lexan broke.

Back in another life time, I used to work for a sign company. The guys in the back shop told me how tough lexan was, and they demonstrated by putting a piece of it on a frame, and then hit it hard, multiple times, with a sledge hammer.

Nothing, not even a mark were the blows were. That stuff is amazingly tough. It will yellow with UV rays, and it can make it more fragile over time. We used to replace it every 5 years. UV stabilizers help counteract this.
Perhaps what they had was not really Lexan? Perhaps acrylic? I don't know. Just passing on what the owners wrote.
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:30   #37
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Re: Companionway door ideas

I believe both Lexan and Plexiglass are both brand names, but people use both interchangeably for any clear plastic. No telling what is was, but I'd bet Home improvement store sourced acrylic.


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Old 27-09-2015, 17:39   #38
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Re: Companionway door ideas

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I believe both Lexan and Plexiglass are both brand names, but people use both interchangeably for any clear plastic. No telling what is was, but I'd bet Home improvement store sourced acrylic.


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True, Lexan is polycarbonate, and they had a patent on it. When it expired, others got into the market, and then Lexan started incorporating the UV shields. The demonstration I talked about was in the earlier days.
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Old 27-09-2015, 18:09   #39
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Re: Companionway door ideas

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Got some pictures for you. This door is on lift off hinges so it can be quickly removed. There is space behind it for the original drop boards. Works so well that it's not normally removed.

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Have the same arrangement on KAREN, lift of f door is teak. Washboards drop in behind door.
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Old 27-09-2015, 21:56   #40
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Re: Companionway door ideas

A story about Lexan:

I built a windshield for a small airplane with Lexan. It was gently curved and not under a lot of stress. I thought I was the smartest guy on the airport (because lexan is so strong and crack resistant) until I spilled a little gasoline on it. Lexan has a surface treatment that seemed to be fuel resistant but the core totally disintegrated once the fuel seeped down to an edge and up into the core. Over the coarse of 5 or 10 minutes a watched helplessly as the windshield self destructed.

Plexiglas is impervious to gasoline and deisel and is the typical material for small aircraft windshields.

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Old 28-09-2015, 05:40   #41
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Re: Companionway door ideas

I had 6mm lexan Windows in snowpetrel 1 when I bought her. They were large, old and I worried about them on the winter delivery trip home from brisbane. I stupidly got caught in a bit of a blow coming across Bass strait and ended up falling off a wave.

I remember thinking "oh well there goes those windows". But amazingly the damn things were
fine.

A few years later I needed to remove them. I decided to punch a hole through them with a big sledge hammer to make it easier for me to unbolt them on my own....

I lined up for a mighty swing, and the sledge hammer just bounced off it at near the speed I'd swung it at and very luckily just missed my leg or it would have broken it. It is very strong stuff but flexible.

I replaced the windows with much smaller perspex ones. One cracked slightly as I installed it so I decided to test it with a small hammer. The small hammer very easily punched straight through it.

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Old 28-09-2015, 06:20   #42
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Re: Companionway door ideas

I just got fed-up lifting the two heavy solid teak washboards in and out of my companionway, and there was no place to stow them in the cockpit either. I spliced and glued them together, then cut them in half to form two doors. Then I hinged them and fitted two nice leaded light infills of Florida lighthouses.
Perfect!
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Old 28-09-2015, 07:38   #43
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Re: Companionway door ideas

Good on ya' Jolly Roger. More than one way to skin a cat, huh? ( sorry Charlie ). Only thing is, you made your doors to open inward. Can you drop a solid piece in the two pieces of teak on the after end of your cabin in heavy weather?
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:44   #44
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Re: Companionway door ideas

Yes, I could still slide a piece of wood in front of the doors, but that would be as bad as what we had before. Anyway, we never have heavy weather.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:00   #45
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Re: Companionway door ideas

I agree with your thinking. 80 per cent of the time the weather is nice, justifying the doors. I made strong new mahogany washboards for the small percentage of the time they are needed. Dropboards are a major nuisance going in and out, especially in port. I got my door from another boat and cut it down to fit my companion way. Picture on my page in the Karen album. Fair Winds, Jonathan
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