Rebuilding the anchor locker cover

A job that’s been on the list for a very long time has finally begun. Of course, I should have tackled the problem as soon as it became apparent but I didn’t and now it’s possibly many times worse than it might have been.

The damaged anchor locker cover

The anchor hatch cover consists of a hardwood frame closed off by hardwood backing. Epoxied to that backing is a piece of 3mm ply and on top of the ply, hardwood slats, all precisely cut and angled, finishing off the hatch cover.

Over the years water has penetrated between the slats and, not having been properly dealt with at the time, has seeped into the ply below and rotted and delaminated it. Fortunately the underlying hardwood backing is still in good condition so the repair has been focused on removing and cleaning up the dodgy wood and sanding down and preparation for re-assembly of the usable pieces.

The usable bits and pieces

My dilemma centers on how to reassemble and ensure that it’s watertight? I should possibly re-install a ply sheet but the build-up of epoxy and left over ply on the various pieces means that it will be difficult to build up a uniform thickness and have the final assembly present a flush surface with the hatch frame. I’m leaning towards making up a batch of GRP resin/epoxy and just sticking the slatted pieces back down, pulling them hard down by inserting a myriad of screws from the underside. However, I’m still unsure of how to seal them on the surface? 

Whatever I decide to do it needs to be done soon. Friday sailing is fast approaching and I don’t want to take the boat out with a gaping hole in the fore-deck!

A thousand and one fasteners

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