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Companionway Hatch Slide Track

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py23kman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 May 2017 at 9:48pm
My boat is a 1978 PY23

I have removed my companionway hatch slides to refinish the wood.. I removed the bungs, unscrewed them and pried the slides up from their bedding compound with a putty knife.   One slide was stubborn and was difficult, and it was broken in the process.   I plan to build two new slides using mahogany.

When the boat was built, a notch was placed in the wood for the hatch to slide in. When I took my slides off, they had two pieces of plastic oval slats screwed to the wood on each slide, one top and one bottom of the slot, that ran full distance of the slot for the edge of the companionway hatch to slide in.

My question is this. Were the plastic slats original in the manufacturing process. My guess is they were not and the hatch slid in the wood slot.   I imagine over time the slot may have been worn down enough so that at some point an earlier owner placed plastic over the slats to allow the hatch to slide smoothly.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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sgancarz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sgancarz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2017 at 11:57pm
The plastic slats were most likely not original.  Mine still has all wood slides, however quite worn.  If I slide the hatch just right I can actually remove the hatch.  My previous PY26 actually had a wooden hatch on it because the previous owners son lost it in a big blow. 

With all that being said, a set of UHMW inserts would be a great addition if you are making all new ones.  Would allow the hatch to slide much easier and would not wear away like the wood and also would prevent the fiberglass from wearing away on the hatch itself.

Keep us updated on your progress and post some pic's.
Stephen Gancarz
1975 PY26

Racine, WI
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py23kman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote py23kman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2017 at 8:59am
Sounds like a great idea.

I'm trying to run down an extruded piece of UHMW channel with it being 1/8" thick, 1/2" wide and 3/8" to 1/2" deep. This would leave me with 1/4" track for my hatch to slide in.

Hard to find one with that size. Any idea on where to look?
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sgancarz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sgancarz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2017 at 11:14am
Finding exactly what you are looking for may be somewhat difficult. I think your best bet is to find UHMW strip and route the grooves yourself. Amazon has some 3/4 x 3/8 x 48 strips for $14.88 ea.

You could cut down to the required width and length, then use a router to make the groove for the hatch. The next challenge is how to affix them to the runners. Possibly route a recess for them to drop into, then use small screws at either end to keep the ends from slipping out. The hatch would then hold the center in.

Keep us up to date on you solution and post pics of your project.
Stephen Gancarz
1975 PY26

Racine, WI
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py23kman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote py23kman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2017 at 11:19am
Solution found

Pull off the old slide rail woodwork. Using a piece of mahogany, cut it to length and give a slight bevel along its length to match the existing piece. Use a 1/2" router bit to place a slot almost to each end, leave about an inch.

Next, go to your closest HD or Lowes and pick up a piece of 1/2" U shaped plastic. Cut the plastic to length and wedge it into the notch. Finish the wood either varnish or Petits Brightwork Brown paint which I used. Bring the piece to the boat and set it on edge near its resting surface. Using an awl, punch a point where each screw will go. Using a small drill bit, drill a hole from the awl point, on the bottom, up to the top of the workpiece. Next, using a tapered drill bit with a countersunk, drill a hole from the top through the pre-drilled hole and countersink the hole to allow the screw to sink below the surface. Place screws, bung the hole,chisel and sand the bung. Touch up each screw hole and you're done.

To install the hatch, place it in one slide and the place the second slide to fit in the hatch
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sgancarz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sgancarz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2017 at 9:22am
Sounds like a good solution.  Got any pictures to share?
Stephen Gancarz
1975 PY26

Racine, WI
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