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Old 06 August 2010, 14:07   #1
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Fitting a hatch

Hopefully a simple question! I want to fit an inspection hatch on the forward face of my console. Main reason being to make access to the battery, back of steering wheel and electrics easier - the side hatch is a real pain to get to anything.
Presumably the easiest way to cut out the hole is to drill in the four corners and join them using a jigsaw? Any suggestions or pitfalls i should be aware of.
Thanks
Neil
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Old 06 August 2010, 14:51   #2
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Did a very similar thing on our Valiant, it proved to be one of the best additions we every did. The ease of access to all the electrical goodies was a huge help.

Issues? It must be a good quality, waterproof hatch. It will receive a good deal of spray or worse of time, so it is worth buying one that seals well.

Beware any curviture of the forward face of the consule. The eye can easily be caught out, and any bending of the hatch can cause stress and a failure to seal. Better to slghtly undersize it and avoid this.

Watch the positioning of it. I made a minor error with mine it that I did not allow for the back rest of the suicide seat, which should have been where the two locks were. It ended up a little low and did not then provide the same support.

Steve
Not the best picture, but the only one I have right now, you can just see the hatch and back support
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Old 06 August 2010, 15:14   #3
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I echo what 250kts said. You should also use a fibreglass blade in the jigsaw. It will limit splintering of the gelcoat. They're normally on the shelf at B&Q.
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Old 06 August 2010, 15:44   #4
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Thanks both - much appreciated.
I really hate the fact that there is a complete mess of wires in the console which I can't tidy up and can't get to easily if anything breaks.
thanks again - I'll post up some pictures when I've done it.
Cheers
Neil
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Old 06 August 2010, 16:07   #5
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Daft things like masking the gelcoat off will stop it from getting damaged when using a jigsaw, sounds simple but a few people don't bother.
Also like someone else mentioned putting sikaflex around the frame to get a good water tight seal.
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Old 06 August 2010, 16:11   #6
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Thanks Chewy - probably wouldn't have thought of either so helpful.
Cheers
Neil
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Old 07 August 2010, 04:42   #7
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Is someone going to cut an ole?
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Old 09 August 2010, 07:57   #8
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Dai

As nobbody else has bitten, I'l ask.

Why's that Dai?

Is there an infamous yet informative thread about cutting holes in Fibreglass if I do a search?

Nasher
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Old 09 August 2010, 10:41   #9
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Re smaller hatches and sikka (and it's a good idea Chewy) but if the hatch is smaller than you'd like, being able to remove the frame for a day's wiring is a real bonus. I'd not sikka it in but cut a big patch from some suitable material (butyl or suchlike) and screw it under the hatch as a gasket, then cut the opening out. Waterproof and removable - gives you another 2-3 inches of shoulder space if you have to spend some quality time in there with the crimper and soldering kit.

That reminds me, my next console will have an internal light in it
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Old 09 August 2010, 11:39   #10
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Quote:
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That reminds me, my next console will have an internal light in it
You mean you don't already have one?
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Old 09 August 2010, 12:28   #11
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Quote:
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That reminds me, my next console will have an internal light in it
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
You mean you don't already have one?
...and twin berths and a head
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Old 10 August 2010, 10:12   #12
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NeilH,

Or, you could use one of these to cut your hatch opening.
Purr-fekt for the job!

http://www.exaktsaw.org.uk/gallery.html
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Old 10 August 2010, 12:08   #13
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Thanks Brian
I think my wife might object to another package for the boat arriving through the post!
Hatch has arrived and seems sturdy and I've got some of the right jigsaws from B&Q so might try and cut the ole this weekend.
I'll post some pictures of it when finished!
Cheers
Neil
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Old 11 August 2010, 14:26   #14
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Angle grinder works well too
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Old 11 August 2010, 16:03   #15
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Angle grinder works well too
with the 1mm slitting disks though!
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Old 15 August 2010, 06:47   #16
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Well it is fitted! Has already proved its worth in allowing me to easily remove the screen and clean off all the muck that was caught between screen and console.
Thanks for all your advice
Cheers
Neil
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