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Weather/Hatch/Crib Board Replacement

Jul 24, 2020
25
Catalina 22 Kingston
So with my new to me boat and so many thing to do/upgrade I'm going to prioritize keeping water on the outside of the boat :)

So the first biggie is the Weather, Hatch, or Crib Boards (I've seen them called so many names). I think the current boards might be original? They appear to be tongue and groove boards, they're pretty beat up and each (top and bottom sections) have an aluminum brace on the inside holding them together.
I've attached a picture showing the boards, actually looking at the photo I'm questioning my early statement about them being original. They appear to be too narrow (at least the top one), they are also too short. When latched like in the photo there is a narrow gap between the sections, when not latched the gap is between the top board and the sliding cover.
I assume that the cover should overhang the boards and not be flush as it currently is.

I'm ok at wood working so I thought I might build a new Weather board, I'm curious about the best wood though. I know teak is popular for trim because of it's resistance to weather. Unfortunately I've never seen Teak available locally in my travels. It's also expensive and pretty hard on tools.
I was thinking of using poplar since it's a hardwood and light, then staining, and sealing with epoxy since this is a high traffic area. Good idea or Bad? Recommendations?
 

Attachments

May 1, 2011
1,975
Pearson 37 Lusby MD
My hatch boards are made out of marine-grade plywood, and finished with varnish.
 
Jul 13, 2015
729
Catalina 22 #2552 Kennewick, WA
I'm going to say not original just on quantity-- usually we only have 3 sections-- and the support bracing likely a PO invention.
I don't think species matters much-- whatever you like, and as noted SEALED with penetrating epoxy and topped with a UV coat of something (I like varnish). I just mocked up a new set myself in marine ply just to have a rock solid template (and I need to lock them on my upcoming trip).

Then I'm thinking about Maple and Mahogany sections using a dowel join and rabbeted between sections.

ps: I can't stop looking at the easy bake oven with the flood line on it :)
 
Jul 24, 2020
25
Catalina 22 Kingston
I'm going to say not original just on quantity-- usually we only have 3 sections-- and the support bracing likely a PO invention.

ps: I can't stop looking at the easy bake oven with the flood line on it :)
The top 3 boards are 1 section and the bottom 3 boards are the second section. So in building new ones I should look at 3 sections? Top, Middle, Bottom?

Yah, the boat was put up for auction and the people running it and taking pictures didn't close up the boat. Then it rained, and rained, and then it rained even more. I think we had a month's worth of rain in a 1 week span. So my first thing to do was to remove the water from inside the boat.
Think the water wrecked the oven? ;)
 
Jul 13, 2015
729
Catalina 22 #2552 Kennewick, WA
Yes-- I "think" the original was 3 section -- I too do not have my originals, no doubt others will chime in and confirm or deny my suspicion. 3 section is ideal in that by not extending the height of a relatively thin stock-- warping / cupping is kept to a minimum and typical joinery on that long butt joint should be more than strong enough.

Also gives you some flexibility -- I'm thinking about adding additional summer vs winter sections. It would be nice to have a middle or top screen section that could be added / removed as you see fit. Two sections clearly works-- my mockup is two and I'm leaning toward 3.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,296
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Cleaning and varnishing stained hatch boards is not my idea of fun and I'm a hobby wood worker. Do yourself a favour and use smoked acrylic or at least Star Board. The acrylic allows for lots of light below. Both are great to work with wood working tools.

Companionway Boards.JPG

This consists of four 1/2" thick boards. The pieces of paper towel show where the boards sit.
 

JRacer

.
Aug 9, 2011
1,153
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
I just replaced mine with White "Seaboard" (UV rated HDPE) acquired from US Plastics. Bought a 2 foot by 4 foot 3/4 inch thick piece and fabricated my new ones from that. Comes in various thicknesses. Table saw and other routine wood working tools was all that was needed. Can't even see the horizontal joint half way down. Cut the horizontal edge on a 45 degree angle front to back so water likely won't go uphill to get into the inside. Never have to refinish again!
 

Attachments

Jan 4, 2006
3,296
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Did you rabbit cut the acrylic or do a 45 cut between each?
Those are the original acrylic boards from when I bought the boat new in 1998. The joint between each board is set at 45 deg. for water exclusion.

Routering acrylic is nice with carbide (only) bits, high speed, and very light pressure.

The boards are held in place with a routered rabbited strip of Starboard on each side.
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,224
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
I used 1/2" smoked acrylic for our Albin Vega's boards. I had them rabbet cut at a local cabinet shop. Worked great, looks good (IMO). Original boards were in three pieces, but I went with two.

I used to have a photo of a C22 with acrylic boards, but I seem to have misplaced it. This is the Vega:



IMG_0129.JPG



done!.jpg
 

ToddS

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Sep 11, 2017
246
Beneteau 373 Cape Cod
Mine are varnished plywood, but somewhere (not at the top) on my list of projects for "some day" is to make replacements out of Starboard (or similar synthetic/plastic material). Mine wooden ones look tired... and while the clear ones look nice (and also low maintenance) as well, I'm almost never in the cabin with the companionway closed, so letting light in does nothing for me.
 
Apr 11, 2017
552
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
If you don't need the look of wood, I'd say starboard or acrylic is by far the easiest way to go. If you opt for boards, don't discount the expansion and contraction, and warping that can occur. Marine plywood is probably the easiest to work with in that regard, but still make sure to use plenty of epoxy to seal the grain. Good luck-
 

srimes

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Jun 9, 2020
194
Macgregor 26D Brookings
Wood is also stronger than than starboard or acrylic if you're at all concerned with boarding seas. To reduce maintenance paint holds up much better than varnish.

Poplar is a hardwood but is weaker than Douglas Fir, the typical softwood use for marine ply. It may not have waterproof adhesive, but should be OK for hatch boards. At least for a while. The epoxy coat should be thick. Don't bother with "penetrating" epoxy it's a waste of money you want a thick surface barrier.
 
Apr 11, 2017
552
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
Along these lines, I happen to have a set of starboard hatch boards the PO made, and also the original teak hatch boards - re-finished with a heavy saturation of epoxy, and then clear gloss spar varnish. Between the two, there's a noticeable difference - in that the starboard set are clearly heavier than the teak, and much less stiff. I'd imagine that if one wanted to, you could pretty easily kick-in the starboard boards, and gain entry. Outside of that, they both work great, but a big advantage of the starboard is that they'll likely never need any maintenance. The epoxied teak still looks great at 2 years so far though-
 
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Jan 4, 2006
3,296
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
The epoxy coat should be thick. Don't bother with "penetrating" epoxy it's a waste of money you want a thick surface barrier.
Absolutely, but be sure to thin the first coat with 10% lacquer thinner to get penetration and then add 3-4 coats of straight epoxy. Make sure to coat the board 100% as once water leaks into the boards, there's no way out and the internal pressure lifts the epoxy. Don't forget the varnish for UV protection.

DSC_0018.jpg

15 years old and still going strong.
 
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Apr 11, 2017
552
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
I've been using the cheaper totalboat epoxy, and thinning with denatured alcohol for the 1st few coats. Between the various epoxies, each has recommended allowable thinning rates - the teak really soaks it in. I make sure the wood is well dried, and humidity is low when first applied. I've become a big believer in epoxying boat trim - it seems to really increase the weatherability so far, and looks good to me at least.
 
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Sep 30, 2013
3,224
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Wood is also stronger than than starboard or acrylic if you're at all concerned with boarding seas.
True, of course. But if I get hit by a boarding sea that's violent enough to break 1/2" acrylic crib boards, in a Catalina 22, I'm about to meet my maker.
 

ShawnL

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Jul 29, 2020
22
Catalina 22 3603 Calumet Mi
I refinished my teak boards in much the same way -- started with 40 grit sand paper and worked up to 320. Then several coats of West systems epoxy (what I had on hand). After ~ 3 coats they really look amazing. Still need to put a couple of coats of spar varnish on them before installation. Most of the rest of the companion way trim I re-made with white oak. No where near as dark as the teak, but it's solid, weather resistant (even more so with a couple coats of epoxy and varnish) and I don't think it looks bad. I also have a single-piece plastic board (not see through) that the PO used for longer term storage.
 
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srimes

.
Jun 9, 2020
194
Macgregor 26D Brookings
True, of course. But if I get hit by a boarding sea that's violent enough to break 1/2" acrylic crib boards, in a Catalina 22, I'm about to meet my maker.
I don't think they'll break, I think they'll flex enough to pop in. But I agree it's a non-issue for 99%.
 
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