The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.12.26 - Cutting Out the Forehatch

The next task, after a coffee and some stollen, was the cutting out of the gap for the fore hatch.

The hole is to be 18" square and needed some careful measuring to get it in the correct position. Too far back and the tabernacle will not fit in the space between the hatch and the sloped coachroof, too far forward and there will not be enough space to built the forward part of the hatch.


Three side cut and you can see that the plywood has sprung upwards due to he curve in the coachroof.


To try and stop the piece from falling into the boat as I approach the last few millimetres of the cut and tearing the wood I used some angle brackets.


The idea being that the brackets would catch the cutout as it tried to drop. It didn't work, the vibration of the jigsaw shook the screws out so I just put a long thin piece of wood under the lifted edge and held an angle bracket in my fingers behind the saw as I cut the last side.


And there we go, space for the fore hatch.


I was now able to trim the top edge of the sloped part by standing in the hatchway and using first the plane and then the belt sander to trim the edge.


So, a big hole in the boat.


Here's the cut out showing that it is square!


There is one slight problem that will need to be dealt with when putting in the upstands and that is that the port side has dropped a little due, I think, to the curve. Putting a straight edge like this before the hatchway was cut, as I did to pencil in the cutting line, showed that the edge rested on the plywood all the way long.


Now you can see that there is a gap. When I put the upstands for the hatch in place, this must be pulled up to be straight, not the upstands curved to meet the wood.

Still, it is time for a tea break. I need to let the wood dust created by the sanding settle, it's currently making me sneeze the whole time.