|Note the Swamp Thing hatchery in evidence.|
|Measure twice, figure out the coefficient of thermal expansion, and cut once.|
Behold Tony Johnson. He's a welder/fabricator, a marine engine mechanic, some variety of general contractor, and a professional diver. Truly, a hand for all seasons. He's taking on the task of turning my much-modified idea for an engine bay hatch and turning it into reality.
|The Metal Supermarket-acquiried plate fits nicely, but needs building up in the form of HDPE frame-up to get it flush (minus the thickness of its eventual LONSEAL covering) with the rest of the pilothouse decking.|
|Evidently, I lowballed the measurements by about 1/8th of an inch, because I didn't realize the lid could be made as snug as Tony will build it...which is good.|
|A closer look: Tony told me to stick to Imperial measurements, which I found ironic coming from a guy in his 30s, but c'est la vie.|
Getting rid of the existing framed plywood will cheer me up a great deal and a hatch that lifts forward, unlike my original "clam shell" design (see below) of vertically lifting half-doors, will actually be stronger and will allow better use of the floor when I need to deploy tools, and will have the added benefit of not having to make the lowest companionway step able to lift vertically.
|Hatch plot the first: Elegant, but unnecessarily so.|