Refinishing The Hatches

We have not slowed down on the projects we just haven't posted because we have been so busy. The teak on the exterior is just about finished, leaving the flybridge yet to be done. For the last couple of weeks we have been repairing and refinishing the forward hatch and the hatch and entrance to the aft cabin. Both of these have leaked quite a bit requiring us to keep a sheet of plastic over the hatch under the canvas covers. Once we had them off it was quite apparent why. The forward hatch had two pieces of glass in it that was set in a grove with the edges exposed and held in with caulk. The caulk was old and in spots broke down and the water was able to get in around the edges. Once the wood was thoroughly sanded and the old caulk removed, we recaulked with 3M 4200 and put a nice teak trim over the edge of the glass and overlapped the wood. With the caulking underneath sealing everything it is now water tight. A good thunderstorm this afternoon affirmed that we had indeed solved that problem. A few seams that had opened up were also sealed with West System Epoxy. As with all of the exterior wood we had to sand off all of the deck stain the previous owner had applied. We did find a product at the local hardware store that was for removing deck stain and it did make the job much easier. Both the inside and outside of the hatch needed to be stripped and sanded.

Our preference for the exterior as usual has been Sikkens Cetol. All areas had three coats of the "Natural" which is the newer color that leaves the wood looking like teak without the brown or yellow hue like others we have tried. It takes 24 hours between coats but we like the Sikkens because as long as the next coat goes on within 24 hours there is no need to sand between coats. Once the 3 coats are completed and dry we apply 3 coats of the "Clear Gloss" to give it that varnished shine and to further protect the wood. We have used just the base coat but found it not as UV resistant as adding the gloss. Once again, 24 hours between coats with no need to sand. The results are a high gloss beautiful finish that everyone give us great compliments on.

The interior is not as exposed to the elements so for that we use the same high gloss coating we use on other areas of the interior. For this, we chose to use a product called "Fabulon Original formula", which is designed to refinish the floors but is excellent for any areas that a tough high gloss is desired. This generally also takes 3 coats and does not require sanding between coats. It flows on with the consistency of water and is applied with a foam brush. The results are stunning and the finish is very durable. On the cabin sole this finish is no where near as slippery as more traditional finishes. We even use it inside the shower on the teak grates and trim.

The aft hatch was quite a bit more work. The hatch originally was a plywood core with teak slats overlaid and teak around the sides. Over the years the slats on top had leaked and damaged the plywood core. Someone at some point removed some of the plywood and stuffed foam in its place. Some of the teak slats had been damaged and repaired with Bondo. The whole mess was covered with deck stain. The first task was to take as much apart as possible without having to do a total rebuild, remove the foam and replace the missing plywood. While doing this everything was sealed completely with West System Epoxy. Once the core was repaired we acquired some old pieces of teak decking that was a perfect fit to replace the damaged pieces on the top. These too were epoxied into place in addition to screwing them down and putting bungs in the screw holes. Once the repairs were completed the entire hatch was sanded and any problem seams sealed with West System. The teak slats were caulked with Sikaflex, which is my preference for caulking decks. With the repairs completed the Sikkens was applied the same as the forward hatch.

Once all of the finishes had completely dried, all of the hardware was reattached and the hatches and doors reinstalled. Theses are the last two major areas on the lower decks and with their completion the boat is really looking good. Everyone that passes comments on how great the teak looks. We will soon begin the teak on the flybridge and have decided that we will also paint the entire bridge at the same time. We have also completed the paint on the stern and will begin putting that all back together and finally get the name on the boat. We are also working on replacing the old canvas covers including a new bimini. But that is for another post.

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