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Old 04-02-2018, 10:33   #1
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Flush hatch on teak deck?

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if someone could give me some pointers on building a flush hatch into a teak deck.

The deck itself is cored fiberglass (1/8" glass underside, 5/8" hardwood plank core, 5/16" glass top) with a 5/16" thick teak deck glued with no fasteners.

I'd like to build a teak hatch thats completely flush with the deck, gasketed tight, with the mechanicals all accessible from the outside (preferably done in a manner that doesn't make a bunch to toe-stubbers.)

Curious if anyone has any tips, strategies, recommendations for hardware, etc.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:53   #2
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Usually a hatch cover stands proud of the deck. In order to flush that, you'd need a hatch cover that stood no more than 5/16" thick so it sat flush with the teak. I don't think that's going to happen. Anything less will be a real hairball to recess into the actual deck, with no drainage from the gasket, all custom fabricated...a project for a real marine carpenter.

I think you'd be better off looking for a very low height hatch, and accepting that it will probably stand an inch proud of the decking. Just go for the smoothest one you can find. [read: afford]
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Old 04-02-2018, 14:20   #3
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Flush hatch on teak deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Usually a hatch cover stands proud of the deck. In order to flush that, you'd need a hatch cover that stood no more than 5/16" thick so it sat flush with the teak. I don't think that's going to happen. Anything less will be a real hairball to recess into the actual deck, with no drainage from the gasket, all custom fabricated...a project for a real marine carpenter.



I think you'd be better off looking for a very low height hatch, and accepting that it will probably stand an inch proud of the decking. Just go for the smoothest one you can find. [read: afford]


Nah, I want it flush.

Since the deck is so ridiculously thick I can't imagine it isn't possible. Routing into the top layer of glass about 3/16" leaves an eighth of top laminate behind and gives me a total of a half inch for the height (thickness) of the lip of the hatch. The rest of the hatch, inside the lip area, can be even thicker for additional thickness.


Since the area under the hatch isn't living space, i can stiffen the border around the whole with more material underneath without interfering with anything.

I'm just not sure what people use for gasket, or to dog it down, etc...
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Old 04-02-2018, 15:18   #4
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Google Image Search is your friend. A few examples I found.
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Old 04-02-2018, 15:28   #5
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Nah, I want it flush.

Since the deck is so ridiculously thick I can't imagine it isn't possible. Routing into the top layer of glass about 3/16" leaves an eighth of top laminate behind and gives me a total of a half inch for the height (thickness) of the lip of the hatch. The rest of the hatch, inside the lip area, can be even thicker for additional thickness.


Since the area under the hatch isn't living space, i can stiffen the border around the whole with more material underneath without interfering with anything.

I'm just not sure what people use for gasket, or to dog it down, etc...
My three cockpit lockers are flush mounted, by the use of deep channeling around the top and down the two ends, draining thru two drain holes out into the cockpit. Works great as long as I remember to clean the drain holes out periodically.
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Old 04-02-2018, 16:34   #6
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Of course those aren't one-off or aftermarket installations, those hatches were fabricated with production skills and tooling and molds made up. A simple job for a machinist and a frp fabricator.

A nice winter hobby if you're just making up one, to retrofit in an existing hull. (G)
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Old 04-02-2018, 19:44   #7
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Of course those aren't one-off or aftermarket installations, those hatches were fabricated with production skills and tooling and molds made up. A simple job for a machinist and a frp fabricator.

A nice winter hobby if you're just making up one, to retrofit in an existing hull. (G)
mmm, I was thinking they'd go on the deck, though, not the hull.
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Old 04-02-2018, 19:55   #8
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Google Image Search is your friend. A few examples I found.
Yeah - nice example pics, Delancey, thanks. Thats exactly the sort of thing I'm thinking of.

I think its as simple as routing the landing for the hatch, applying a gasket to it, and then having the hatch's latch mechanism clamp it down hard against this landing in several places.

So I think the major problem in my mind is finding appropriate latch hardware. It's got to be operated from outside and also be somewhat flush. Also, preferably the hatch wouldn't be hinged, it would just be removed outright. Curious if anyone has any suggestions.

That same (presently imaginary) latch hardware would also be useful for my cabin sole, I think. The boards running the center of my sole are removable, they are simply dropped in place over joists, but they are noisy and feel pretty unsatisfying underfoot, I think having them latched securely would be nice (and safer, really). Obviously the fasteners being flush is even more important in this scenario.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:28   #9
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

... there must be a sound reason why those flush hatches (successfully dry ones are still a minority) have a good, deep drainage - all around ...

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Old 05-02-2018, 11:44   #10
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Is this what you have in mind?

PYI Inc. | Floor Anchors

I think you will need something really well engineered...and don't put it above your bed.
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Old 05-02-2018, 15:06   #11
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Re: Flush hatch on teak deck?

Deck, hull...I suppose if you rotomolded the boat like a plastic kayak, then they'd all be one and the same. Much like a submarine. Or the escape hatches installed very close to the waterline in the hulls of modern catamarans.

All the same to me. Let us know after it happens.
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