Monday, 11 June 2012

Making a window for the side hatch

One of the first things we said when we were buying our boat was that we'd have to get a piece of transparent plastic for the side hatch. Our shared ownership boat Shadow has one, and we use it all the time. It lights the galley while stopping the rain (or leaking locksides) coming in.

I measured the hole and bought a polycarbonate sheet cut to size (72 cm x 62 cm from memory) from Mr. Plastics in Norwich. I then had to figure out how to lift it in place and stop it falling out.

I had a couple of brass handles at home, so I copied Shadow's window and fixed them to the plastic. Well, I almost copied. Where Shadow's has nuts and bolts securing the handles I've had to use wood screws and blocks of plywood. Purely as a temporary measure, of course. But they do look rather ugly at the moment.

Very conveniently, the plastic is held in place by the hinges of the side hatch doors. They stick out just enough to obviate the need for bolts (so, thankfully, I won't have to drill holes though thick steel). Two further blocks of wood prevent the plastic sliding down too far, although it sits very nicely on the steelwork.

It has yet to be tested in rain (yes, really! I only did it on Friday evening) but I'm quietly confident that my design will hold water. As it were. (If we get a heatwave (ha!) I hope the hole doesn't expand so much that the plastic falls out! Perhaps I should put a safety string on one of the handles ...)

It looks even uglier without flash - but look how transparent it is! I wonder how long the "new" look will last. I need to remember to take nuts and bolts (and washers) on our next visit.


Halfie said...

Mike, I'll take some more photos, including the outside, when I'm next on board (this weekend).

Halfie said...

Interestingly, Mike, I received an e-mail copy of your original comment, as usual, but it didn't appear here. Neither has your second comment. Does Blogger thinks you're spam?