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Ray

Jammed Wooden Access Hatch

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The stern well floor is varnished wood with a varnished wood inspection/access hatch. In addition to some probable winter and damp swelling there is no way for anyone boarding the boat to avoid stepping down onto the hatch to enter the cabin door. I personally am not what you might call "light" lol and plenty of other people have gone before me.

However there is no other way to access the greaser and I'm not happy with being unable to check it before trips out.

Any tips please? There is not the slightest gap to any of the four sides, would easing oil stain the wood through the varnish? There is one of those round, recessed ring pulls which has bent slightly with the amount of pressure used on it. There is nowhere to get a grip or lever around the hatch, apart from a thin strip on two sides - the hatch is the whole floor.

My idea is to remove the ring pull and drill through, push through some sort of bar with a very secure line in the middle and then pull upward or in effect tap from underneath.

Failing this I could use the drilled hole to saw the hatch in half, stern to bow direction, but not knowing what supports and spars are underneath there is a danger of causing serious damage.

There is no other access to this area, I can't get in through the sides of the cavity.. any suggestions most welcome please.

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I would proceed as you have outlined and get the hatch up, then a heavy sanding of the edges (or a light plane to ease the joint, and plenty of candle wax on the hatch and surround to seal and 'lubricate' the join and ease getting it up next time.

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Many thanks, job planned for next visit hopefully within next few days.

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candle wax is also good for sticking drawers

 

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I would be tempted to aim a fan heater at it for a few hours and dry it out before forcing it and risking damaging the edges. Once out I would follow the advice above and ease it followed by candle wax on the edges to help it in the future. 

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I'll definitely try the heater on it for a few hours as suggested, thank you. I'm not sure if the tack lifter would work without damage to the wood around the hatch but I will check if there is room to the side to use it, if there s then it looks like a good tool! Adjustable depth cut! I should have thought of that! Thank you :1311_thumbsup_tone2:

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Hi Ray you could use/fit a remote greaser in the futcher when you have managed to lift the hatch, if your not using the boat until the spring it might be best to leave it until than and might have it dried and shrunk by then rather than trying to force it now, this might cause some damage. John

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Try using a dehumidifier with a small tent  rigged over it,  together with the fan heater it should shrink the wood back .

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I have a dehumidifier, so I'll certainly try that with the heater, I also like the sound of a remote greaser I haven't heard of them before. We hope/plan to use her throughout the winter so it is a job I'd prefer to get sorted as soon as I can!

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Agree with the heat option. However, instead of grease on the wood I'd be tempted to use vaseline, cheap in the Pound Shop.

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We have the similar system / hatch in the well deck on 'B.A'  Ours is a loose fit with currently an aluminium dressing strip to cover the gap.(It will soon be a polishes S/steel version)  The s/steel ring pull - I usually have to replace them about every five years or so but next time will put beefier ones in.  As has been previously stated, candle wax, and good for drawers too

Griff

 

BA NBN 491.JPG

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We use 'Auto' greasers.  Two fitted, maintenance free and only have to be topped up rarely if you regulate the flow down to a minimum

Griff

 

BA NBN 492.JPG

BA NBN 493.JPG

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