Forward Hatch Hinge Repair
|| Pyxis Home Page | How To Page | Projects Page | Dan's Home Page ||

Click for Enlarged Image The OEM screws holding the forward hatch hinges were #10 self tappers screwed through the outer skin of the deck and into the balsa core. The screws had become loose from the hatch opening all the way. I had been intending to make this repair for a while and was expecting to find water damage in the core. When I looked inside I was pleased to find there had been no water dammage.
Click for Enlarged Image To repair the area I cut 1/2" holes in the outer skin, removed the balsa for about 1/2" around the holes and filled with West epoxy with a 404 filler. Before the epoxy set I put the hatch in place, aligned the hinges and placed 10-24 screws coated with wax and cut to length in the epoxy. I also ground out the cracks in the gel coat and filled in with epoxy. The color of the epoxy with 404 is very close to the tan non-skid on my boat. The gel coat was very thick here. The white was about 2.5mm and the tan non-skid (that's gel coat too) was another .5mm. That's pretty thick gel coat. I have heard that thick gel coat can have more tendancy to crack. After the epoxy set I backed the screws out and ground the epoxy down flush with the deck.
The bronze hinges had been bent a bit from opening too far. I straightened them with some fairly gentle hammer taping on a block before doing the epoxy work. The hinges could use two more hold down screws further forward. I may add them. The way they are there is a lot of lever action on them when the hatch opens all the way. These hinges are identical to the hinges on the cockpit lockers.

P26 Interior Layout Drawing