Background: I have to remove my transmission
to take it to a machine shop to have some welding done.
I have three options. Remove the engine
, try to do it through the cockpit
locker (yuck!) or create a hatch
in the cockpit
A cockpit hatch
also solves other problems like accessing the muffler
, accessing the stuffing box, accessing hoses, etc. I'm 50 years old; a cockpit hatch makes sense.
I plan to install a high quality aluminum
(probably) or steel
(maybe) hatch in the cockpit floor. I realize it will have to be fabricated.
I have read lots of other posts on cutting fiberglass
and creating cockpit hatches on the forum and this has helped answer most of my questions (Thank you!)
At this point my plan is to use a diamond or carbide hole saw to cut rounded corners in the fiberglass
(masking tape + water
+ wet/dry vac+ slow cutting).
Then use a fence on each side of the cockpit to slowly connect the holes with another power tool (probably a jig saw with a carbide blade). I will use painters tape + well measured and marked lines.
So...here is my question: What size hole saw should I use for the corners of the hatch? I own a 6" diamond grit hole saw, but I think this is too large.
Say the word---If necessary I can take accurate measurements and more pictures of the cockpit floor the next time I am on my boat
The center of the cockpit floor is trapezoid shaped with about a 1" high and 1" wide channel for water
to slosh into the cockpit drains (out of view).
My plan is to cut about 1" in from each edge of the raised trapezoid area. So the hatch will actually be in the raised area.
I will probably cover the hatch with a teak
Thank you for your insights.