[Alberg30] Cockpit sole hatches? + Read Raban

FINNUS505 at aol.com FINNUS505 at aol.com
Mon Mar 11 06:06:48 PST 2002

My A30 'came with' a volvo MD11, which is taller than the A4. There was no 
way to get to th stuffing box, or the engine water pump.
I put a Bomar access panel in the forwared end of the cockpit sole, 19" by 
22" or so, from West Marine, about 70 bucks. When the hole was first opened 
up, it was amazing to see and get to everything. Imagine having to replace 
your cockpit scupper seacocks with the access you have now.

Stargazer, #255, is a 1967 model, that has masonite coring in the deck. 
Heavier than balsa core, but it is stronger, and more resistant to water 
delamination problems.

The cockpit sole is really well built, with two layers of masonite, 
sandwiched by heavy layers of glass.  I needed a heavy duty Milwaukee SawZall 
to get through.

I didn't change the blades often enough, and the vibration caused some 
delamination in the edges of the cut.  I used thin epoxy, Git Rot, to 
saturate the masonite and seal the gaps.  If I had it to do over again, I 
would have proceeded more slowly, and changed the blades more often.  

I would have sealed the exposed masonite the same way, though, before bedding 
the hatch in, so maybe it would have made no difference anyway.

I bolted a 2x4 across the underside of the sole, just aft of the hatch, to 
replace any lost strength, and prevent any further delamination.

The white plastic Bomar access panel gives a bit underfoot, and I could see 
it breaking if someone fell, or jumped on it from cockpit seat or bridge deck 
high.  I covered mine with a cockpit grating.  The aluminum access hatches 
are the answer, but they are much more expensive.

Hope this helps,
Stargazer, 255
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