No more sliding hatch
28 September 2009 | Navegantes, SC, Brazil
This is a work-in-progress picture of what's changing in the cockpit. The sliding companionway hatch has been replaced by a stainless steel frame covered in 1/2" (12.7mm) polycarbonate (and plywood on the top piece). The stainless steel straps across the door are part of the hinges, making it strong enough to handle a lot of weight hanging on the far edge. The door is 1" (25mm) marine plywood. A window in the door is still to be added. The bolts in the middle of the door are for the handle that is on the inside (not visible in the picture). There are two handles to hold the door closed (top and bottom), which press against a rubber gasket making it watertight.
The outside steering wheel, which was always too large to be easily used, would have obstructed the door, so it was modified to be the same size as the inside steering wheel.
There are now rope clutches (by the red rope at the right side of the picture) on each side to make the preventers (ropes that prevent the boom from moving) easy to use.
Not well shown in the picture is a larger main halyard winch, which was moved from the foredeck (where it was never got much use).