...the hatchet job was looming - cutting out the hatches.
Oh boy, I was scared of cutting hexagonal hatches - into that very curved surface of the front deck in particular.
In the end though - if the job was done well - it really would look quite nice not to mention being practical.
Wouldn't you rather stuff lunch and sundry items into a hatch instead of having the errant apple and pretzels roll around in the cockpit whilst performing exotic Eskimo maneuvers?! Right, I thought so.
I talked to Joey and discussed tools.The manual called for use of a powered jig-saw... and I had purchased it - but found the use of it on the curved surface totally unnerving. Joey recommended the small Japanese saw with the little tooth in front for the straight cuts and a bonsai saw for the curves.
For days I sat on my hands, made excuses, did other stuff and generally avoided any thought of cutting into my precious wood work.
Finally, I plucked up enough courage and took the plunge. I graphed the hexagon shapes on the hull, surrounded the shape with frog tape and grabbed saw and courage by the throat..
This technique proved to work quite well for all straight cuts, the tape on one side and the ruler on the other of a super-narrow slot.
|AFTER - future hatch exhausted - resting behind|
When it came to installing the hatch spacer and sill, I was particularly glad that I could work from both sides of the deck.
Typically, kayak hatches have some type of webbing or bungee strap running over the top in order to hold it down and keep a seal with the sealing strip underneath.
Essentially, the hatch will be pressed down by being attached to two bungees from underneath. It is a very elegant solution and with my deck design, I am glad that I'll be able to install that instead of the alternative.
Otherwise I might have foregone the hatch-job altogether :-)