Cutting Holes


Time for the hatch and mooring-line holes. (page 1 of 1 page)

Bow hatch. Put some thought into where you will want the hatches and their shape. The hatch openings are laid out from a template cut from paper (I used a brown paper sack). Rule a line with a straight edge onto the paper, then draw the profile of one side of the opening. Cut out the template, tape it to the hull and mark the radius with a thin-nib marker, then flip te template to mark the opposite side onto the deck. The hole is started by using a drill and creating a series of three or four adjacent holes using a bit the width of the thickness of the laminate or fine-tooth metal blade in your portable jig saw. Careful!!! There is no "waste stock" here. The deck cut-out becomes the hatch cover. Drill a few holes side-by-side along the line, then go back into them and rock the drill from side-to-side to create a slot into which you can insert the jigsaw blade. Then carefully and slowly cut out the hatch. Important! Do not use a combination or wood blade or you will tear the bloody hell out of the boat and make a real mess. When you are cutting out the hole and are about 2/3-of-the-way around the outline, stop cutting and lay several overlapping layers of tape across the deck and the hatch. This will temporarily support the hatch (in place within the deck) as you cut it free. If you do not do this, you risk serious tear-out and delamination problems. Follow up the operation with some restrained sanding to only take off the sharp edges. One wants an even and minimal gap between the hatch and the deck, Uneven saw kerfs and excessive sanding can result in a pretty ugly hatch installation.


The hatches are cut and sanded. The hatch openings will facilitate sealing the inside seam, installing the behind-the-seat bulkhead, and the foot-brace brackets. We we will leave additional work on the hatch lips, seals, and hardware, for later in the project. Note: If you opt to construct fiberglass-only hatch lips (supports) as shown in Nick Shade's The Strip-built Sea Kayak, then you need to construct them before joining the deck to the hull. Later, I will be constructing a "deeper" (more inset) wooden rim with a thick foam seal that is similar in principle to those that are provided by Pygmy with their boat kits (see Links and Bibliography sections on the homepage).


Bow and stern mooring (tie-down) line holes. This view shows the drilled and sanded hole. Start with a small pilot hole, then enlarge it from both sides to avoid undue tear-out problems. I put some nice slots in my other boat so that I could secure it with a coated-wire-type bicycle-lock cable... shape is your choice. We may as well drill these now so that we can seal the surfaces exposed by the drilling with resin when we attach the deck to the hull (or you can do it later, but you should do it before the final clear coat is applied to the hull).


Passing inspection? Terri seems to like how her boat is coming along.

---Next we need to attach the deck to the hull (glue the joint, tape the seam) and finish the coaming (build the lip, glass, sand).


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