Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter repairs

We have had a cracked piece of teak that holds our sliding companionway hatch down since the beginning. However, with the current way we enter the boat during winter we step on it more and more and it finally, it gave way.

A plan for repair was already thought out earlier this Fall, so it was time to get to work on it. Ideally it would be replaced with an identical piece of teak but with our current budget and tool selection that wasn't happening right now. Second option was to get a piece of stainless steel and have it milled to screw down on top and create a new channel. Once again, very costly for us. We resorted to option three which was to build a piece out of marine grade aluminum. First up was to clean off all the old uneven parts of the existing teak.
After some chiseling, planing and sanding I got it to a fairly reasonable flat surface on the vertical and horizontal planes. Since I don't have a welder I had to tap and bolt two pieces of aluminum together to achieve the correct top piece to make the channel. This worked out well, design wise, since we step on it constantly in wet conditions and it has extra holding power which is always greatly appreciated.

After the expected troubles of any project, the fabrication was done and the aluminum was screwed into place. So far its been great, no more splinters and a solid place to step while moving around the deck. The other side is in much better teak condition so I am going to wait to do the repair until it is needed.


  1. One of the jobs that needed to be done that I always wanted to do was to rebed the toe rail. This is where any water getting below in the cabinets is coming from. Also the forward edge under the companion way hatch. I see you came up with a proper solution for the slide. Looks great.

  2. Thanks! The toe rail is on the list but might have to wait a season or two.

  3. This is a link to some photos I had online of a late fall sail up tangier sound. Ended up in crisfield for the night.