Sunday, June 5, 2016

Phoenix's New Cabin Sole Part 4: Finally Finished!

Once the tung oil finish on our teak and white oak cabin sole fully cured, we were finally able to reinstall the companionway ladder, the salon table, bring all of the cushions on board, and start to transition out of construction mode and back into sailing mode. But first, it was time to secure all of the hatch boards.

Phoenix's main cabin cleaned up and no longer in "construction mode"
As I mentioned in the installation, nearly all of Phoenix's hatch boards are removal. Those that we access infrequently (fuel/water/holding tanks, plumbing, etc.) were secured in place with #10 stainless steel screws.

To give us more convenient access to the six hatch boards we commonly use (battery box, water shut off valves, beverage storage, etc.), we borrowed an idea from the Amel 54 and installed concealed hinges.

Hinged hatch board on an Amel 54

Most European-type hinges are designed for cabinet doors that are a maximum 3/4" thick. Since our hatch boards are 1-1/8" thick (3/4" ply with 3/8" teak/white oak), we had to find special "thick door" hinges to do the trick. These hinges open 94 degrees and have a release latch to quickly remove the hatch if needed. The hinges required a 40mm bore in the door, so we had to order the appropriate sized boring bit as well. Bill padded out and reinforced areas in each hatch opening to accommodate the hinges with scrap teak, and after careful measuring, we had the six doors hinged and in spot.
Thick door European concealed hinge for our hatch boards. The base has a latch that allows us to separate the hinge and mounting plate, so the hatch board can be removed from spot if needed.

Hinged hatch board in the forward cabin. The nylon cleat was added to make moving the heavy hatch board easier, and it can be tied off to keep the door open when needed

Even though the hinges allow easy access, we still wanted the hatch boards to be secure when we go offshore. So the last piece of the puzzle was to install locking lift rings on each hatch.We purchased flush, locking stainless steel hatch lifts from Marine Part Depot, each of which required a 2" hole cut out. Bill screwed in a piece a Delrin for the swing arm to securely slide under to lock each hatch in place. When the lift is in the unlocked position, there is a red dot on the face, so its easy to do a quick visual inspection to make sure we've secured each hatch. Finally, we added a nylon cleat on the inside of each hatch that can be used to help raise and lower the board, or it can be tied off to secure the hatch in an open position if necessary.

Flush locking hatch lift in locked position

Flush locking hatch lift in unlocked position. The read dot allows for easy, visual inspection to see if the hatch is secured
Forward cabin hinged hatch boards

Aft cabin hinged hatch boards

Hinged hatch boards in the main cabin
Now that the cabin sole is finished, the hatch boards are installed, and Phoenix is out of construction mode, it's time to stop working and start sailing again -- for now...

Phoenix under sail on the Chesapeake Bay