The Coaming and Hatches

I deviated from the plans to install the coaming. For no reason, I was uncomfortable with attaching the coaming lip using only the resin glue. I wanted to get a complete wrap of glass cloth around the coaming lip, the base, and onto the hull itself. As a consequence, I did not glass the top of the coaming lip before installing it.

the edges were glassed together

Glassing Coaming and Hatch Parts

All the other piece parts for the coaming and hatches got glassed or wet out while some other hull or deck curing cycle was going on. In some cases the parts were arranged tightly together and glassed under one piece of cloth. Others, like the bulkhead, used two smaller pieces to cover the whole part (overlapped, of course). Not exactly per the instructions, I guess. You can see that the parts had to be held down, similar to gluing the panels together–they are a little bit warped but conform to the hull when lightly clamped. No problem.

clamping the coaming base

Coaming Base

Once the coaming parts were cut to fit and with the correct angle on the ends, it wasn’t too difficult to glue them on. As you can see from the photo, it took a zillion clamps. Some of them were very light duty, Harbor Freight stuff (which can be very effective when they are used as intended), but they worked just fine.

Coaming Lip

Next comes the coaming lip. Not much difference in the photos, I know. But you can see that the top of the coaming lip is not glassed at this point. What this allows me to do is to sand the inner and outer edges to a nice faired curve without cutting through or removing any cloth. So in the end I’ll have a nicely rounded inner lip, but the underside edge of the outer lip will still be a relatively sharp (but smooth) edge, which will hold the skirt securely.

using the hatch standoffs as a guide

Cutting Out the Hatch

Next come the hatches, which requires one to cut a hole in the deck. Yeeeouch! No wanting to do this. I still don’t understand the admonition in the construction manual to cut these out manually. I used a free hacksaw blade per the instructions and got a bit of a ragged cut–not perfect by any means, but not bad. As a side note, in the Coho I used a saber saw and got one really good cut out and one that was about the same quality as the manual cut here. I think with a little care the sabre saw works fine. Note that I used the offset parts as a guide for cutting, since they are designed to exactly match the inner edge of the hole.

Note 1: If you allow the blade to bend sideways and put stress on the glass, it will crack and delaminate from the plywood.

Note 2: I cut the hatches as big as the parts would allow and moved them as close as possible to the cockpit–allowing the minimum space behind the cockpit recess for the deck rigging and a day bag.If you put the hatches in the middle of the compartments, the hatch opening has to be smaller and you can’t insert longer items.

the hatch lip goes inside

Hatch Lip

Next, glue the hatch offset and lip in place. These are done exactly opposite to the coaming, inside rather than outside. Once the parts has cured, I used some extra tape to apply a ring of tape around the edges of the parts up to the hull, all the way around, in addition to the short pieces of tape at the fore and aft joints.