Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
Oldslowandugly
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Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:22 pm

I acquired my Sport 15 with no forward anchor locker cover. I made one out of glassed-over plywood but it has not weathered well. I am replacing that with a mahogany cover.

Q1: Since the replacement mahogany cover will be walked on and fished upon What is the best finish?

Q2: Is the best finish varnish?

Q3: [Is the best finish] polyurethane?

Q4: [Is the best] Gluvit?

Q5: [Is the best finish] Paint?

Q6: What finish will last the longest?

This is a fishing boat so it doesn't have to look like fine furniture.

L78steve
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Re: Sport 15 anchor locker cover

Postby L78steve » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:01 pm

The original is laminated ply with a Mahogany veneer varnished.
1988 15' Sport, 89 Johnson 70HP
1998 22' Progression Merc 300XP
1961 12' Allstar FG 73 Evinrude 25

jimh
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:44 pm

Oldslowandugly wrote:I acquired my Sport 15 with no forward anchor locker cover.
My 1976 SPORT 15 also came to me with a lost OEM anchor locker cover. In the early models the cover was just held in place by gravity. They had a tendency to be lost.

Oldslowandugly wrote:I made [a replacement anchor locker cover] out of glassed-over plywood....
I don't understand what sort of process you used by the term "glassed-over."

Q7: By "glassed over" do you mean that you applied some cloth and resin to the plywood, so the plywood was encapsulated into a laminated component?

Oldslowandugly wrote:...but it has not weathered well.
Fiberglass cloth covered with polyester resin and gel coat resin makes for very durable construction, as you can see in the excellent durability of well-made fiberglass boats like a classic Boston Whaler 15-footer. I would attribute any failure to hold up to weather as caused by your construction technique, not the general method of making laminated fiberglass parts with embedded wood reinforcements.

Oldslowandugly wrote:I am replacing that with a mahogany cover.
That will be a good match for the general esthetic of the boat.

Oldslowandugly wrote:Q1: Since the replacement mahogany cover will be walked on and fished upon what is the best finish?
Because mahogany is a beautiful wood, use a clear finish. For excellent durability, try using WEST System clear epoxy designed especially for clear finish work, then follow with a high quality marine varnish to give protection against sunlight and ultraviolet yellowing. If you worry about scratches, apply the varnish in many coats, building up the varnish layer. In this way, if a scratch occurs, you can lightly sand the present layer and apply a new coat of varnish to conceal the scratch.

If you are worried about slipping on a large, wet, varnished hatch cover, make the hatch cover out of several planks, slightly bevel the abutting edges of the planks, and leave a 1/8th-inch drip gap between them.

If you are afraid of a gloss finish, then use teak and oil the teak finish periodically.

Oldslowandugly wrote:This is a fishing boat so it doesn't have to look like fine furniture.
Make the replacement hatch from marine plywood. Coat the plywood with WEST System epoxy to protect it agains water intrusion. Paint the cover with an off-white to match the hull color, and add some non-skid particles into the paint on the topsides layer.

MarkCz
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby MarkCz » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:13 pm

I had a 1970s vintage SPORT 13. Although the console, the middle thwart, and the rear thwart were all nice mahogany, the bow hatch was plywood, and it did not hold up nearly as well as the solid wood. I eventually built a new hatch out of solid teak with no joints. I gave it a varnish finish, and it came out very nice. I should mention I fished with a cheap plywood hatch for years, and I made the nice new hatch close to when I was getting ready to sell the boat.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:50 am

Jim the cover I made was exterior plywood. I wanted to experiment with designs until I made a permanent cover. It started out solid then I made a hinged front section to drop fish in. I sealed it by painting it with polyester resin. The same resin is used for fiberglassing. Then painted with white marine enamel. Normally that makes a nice waterproof coating. However the constant opening and closing of the hatch caused many chips and cracks allowing water to get in and you know what happens then. That was on the edges where it got banged and dropped. The flat sections are holding up fine. I use the locker as a fish live well so after a day of use the cover must be removed and the well cleaned. It gets banged around. That is why I chose to use actual mahogany this time. If any cracks in the coating allow water in the mahogany will not de-laminate like the plywood. I am unfamiliar with the West epoxy. Is it UV protected? Normally I like Gluvit on wood as it has the most tenacious hold. But it must be painted because of UV light. I have a mahogany bench at the stern that has only Interlux Schooner varnish as a coating. It stands up very well to UV and water. I'm not sure walking on it would last as well.

jimh
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby jimh » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:55 am

WEST System epoxy will yellow with exposure to sunlight.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:43 am

OK so the West will protect the wood but then that must be protected as well. The Schooner varnish is very high in UV blockers. That sounds like a plan. For the wood I bought a blemished cover for the seventeen foot Montauk at a steep discount from Specialty Marine. I knew I was going to cut it for a folding hatch so cutting the larger cover down to the fifteen foot size was not a problem. There are two lateral braces on the underside. The rear brace fits right up against the bulkhead so that will keep the cover from sliding off. There is a finger hole at the rear edge for lifting the cover but I wanted that on the front hinged section. I used a hole saw to cut a new finger hole up front then I used that plug to fill the old hole. There is a coat of varnish on the cover but it was not very good. I guess that is the "blemish" and I have no problem sanding it all off for a new coating system. I will investigate the West epoxy. The hinges I am using I have had for forty years. They are Perko chrome plated bronze strap hinges. This is a case where it really payed to buy quality.

dtmackey
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby dtmackey » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:00 am

jimh wrote:WEST System epoxy will yellow with exposure to sunlight.


With the 205 and 206 harndener they are prone to yellowing. The 207 hardener is made for clear coating and has UV protection, but should still be finished with a good quality varnish. I've used this with no problems over time.

https://www.westsystem.com/207-special-clear-hardener/

D-

dtmackey
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby dtmackey » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:17 am

I understand it's a fishing boat and looking like fine furniture isn't important. If you go with a plywood, just make sure it's marine grade so the glue is waterproof and won't delam in moisture.

I got away from plywood and laminate the pieces together and put a reinforcement piece underneath to prevent from warping and you could to the same with 3/4' ply. Personally, I'd use Epoxy to laminate together and also for the reinforcement with a "glue and screw" approach which will make it last a long time. Since appearance isn't important, I'd also cover in epoxy and then paint with a polyurethane paint, but if going with the OEM look, varnish would be the option. Paint lasts longer in the sun than varnish.


Image

Image

I've made a few others for friend's the same way and they hold up nice.

D-

biggiefl
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby biggiefl » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:06 am

For what you want to do with the anchor locker hatch, I would have made it from KING StarBoard . Since you already bought the hatch and modified it, use varnish just like Whaler did from the factory. It will hold up fine if maintained.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:13 am

dtmackey wrote:The 207 hardener is made for clear coating and has UV protection


Thanks for that [information and hyperlink]. I see now how WEST System resins work.

The Schooner is still needed as a cover coat.

Your cover looks exactly like the one I got from Specialty Marine with the exception of the white lines.

I cut mine for a hinged access to drop fish in. I cut it so there was a brace left on each section.
Last edited by Oldslowandugly on Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jimh
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby jimh » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:26 am

Natural oil based varnish has a rather good track record for being a resilient finish for wood on boats.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:55 am

I used [natural oil based varnish] on my boat's stern bench seat. [That finish] is 40 years old. All I have ever done was give [the varnish] a quick sanding and a few thin coats every Spring. But at the end of the season it is flaking and peeling a bit. Thus, the re-coat. I guess for the abuse [the stern bench seat] takes and the unrelenting exposure to Sunlight [the varnish] has held up well. No water has ever reached the mahogany itself.

I just wondered if there was anything that would defy the sun for years at a time. I guess not and I am resigned to normal Spring maintenance as usual.

I did find some Minwax Polyurethane clear coat that I used on a banister and newel many years ago. It has stood up to a lot of abuse. It is even recommended for floors so I think I may use it as as the base coats. Then follow with the Schooner varnish.

Next I have to decide between using a stainless steel piano hinge or the vintage Perko hinges. The Perko are indestructible, but a bit loose fitting. But the stainless is not as "stainless" as I would expect.

jimh
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby jimh » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:22 pm

My second-hand information about the cause of a varnish finish peeling is from moisture in the wood. Any moisture in the wood tends to break the adhesion between the varnish and the wood, lifting the varnish finish layer away from the wood. You can't just finish one side of a hatch, because water can get into the wood from the other side.



Another factor might be cold storage. If the varnish finished wood is left in the winter to extreme cold temperatures, the contraction may be breaking the adhesion between the varnish and the wood.

ANECDOTAL STORY: many years ago we were staying in a marina (in Harbor Springs) for a night. The adjacent boat was a HINCKLEY Picnic Yacht. After one night there, I commented to the dock master that the HINCKLEY in the next slip must have a leaking hull because I could hear the splashing of water discharging from its bilge pump coming on all night long. The dockmaster replied that I was not hearing the bilge pump, I was hearing the boat's air-conditioner and dehumidifier running. The dockmaster said the owner of that million-dollar boat leaves the air conditioning running 24-hours a day, even when he is not aboard, in order to prevent any problems with the high-gloss varnish finish in the cabin and pilothouse. Geez, the things you don't know about owning million-dollar yachts.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:02 pm

"Geez, the things you don't know about owning million-dollar yachts." Ain't that the truth. There is a Zillion dollar mega-yacht at my marina. It hardly ever moves and when it does it limps home from some mechanical disaster. Usually when the owner insists on piloting it himself instead of his paid Captain and he runs aground. But my varnish is not detaching from the wood itself. Rather it is just the surface layer that gets flakey and peels off. A quick sanding and a few thin coats and she is good for the whole Summer. Yesterday I stained the parts I cut and today I put the first coat of the polyurethane. It already looks very nice. That wasn't the goal but I'll take it.

dtmackey
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby dtmackey » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:13 pm

jimh wrote:My second-hand information about the cause of a varnish finish peeling is from moisture in the wood. Any moisture in the wood tends to break the adhesion between the varnish and the wood, lifting the varnish finish layer away from the wood. You can't just finish one side of a hatch, because water can get into the wood from the other side.

Another factor might be cold storage. If the varnish finished wood is left in the winter to extreme cold temperatures, the contraction may be breaking the adhesion between the varnish and the wood.

ANECDOTAL STORY: many years ago we were staying in a marina (in Harbor Springs) for a night. The adjacent boat was a HINCKLEY Picnic Yacht. After one night there, I commented to the dock master that the HINCKLEY in the next slip must have a leaking hull because I could hear the splashing of water discharging from its bilge pump coming on all night long. The dockmaster replied that I was not hearing the bilge pump, I was hearing the boat's air-conditioner and dehumidifier running. The dockmaster said the owner of that million-dollar boat leaves the air conditioning running 24-hours a day, even when he is not aboard, in order to prevent any problems with the high-gloss varnish finish in the cabin and pilothouse. Geez, the things you don't know about owning million-dollar yachts.


I'd rule out cold storage since I've stored boats outside in the cold New England climate since the early 70s and never had a problem. Temps as low as -15F have never seemed to compromise the varnish integrity at the wood interface. I will say that moisture content of the wood and surface prep would be my two most suspected contributors, lesser would be the oil content of the wood.

I like your anecdotal story, but not convinced on the dockmasters explanation. If you walk the docks around here in the summer, there's a number of boats that run the A/C all summer, just like in your house. The reason is no one like getting on a boat that's been all closed up and feels like an oven. My friend with his SeaRay runs his A/C all summer and the closest thing to finish work he has is plood (PLastic wOOD). We also have plenty of Hinckley boats (among others), power and sail, that are mooring kept in the harbor and unable to run A/C all summer (unless aboard) and they do not have a problem with finish work.

Speaking of Hinckley boats, I consider them to have the best woodwork and finish of any boat. Our good friends have a larger Hinckley and we stop by their summer house where they dock and visit several times summer. Even our 32' Nordic Tug looks small next to it.

Image

The woodwork is amazing and has no concern in the hot temps when the boat is not being air conditioned. The boat winters down in Jupiter FL at their dock, again no woodwork problems in the heat.

Image

From another angle visiting in a different boat.

Image

D-

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:05 am

WOW that control room console is the nicest looking wood I have ever seen. I looks like molded plastic it is so smooth. I can only imagine the craftsmanship that was involved. I agree the winter cold is not my problem. It is the summer sun, the salt, and the abuse my boat sees.

For what I put it through the Schooner varnish is holding up well. I used a polyurethane finish for the base coats and, from seeing how hard it is to sand, it I think it will work out well. But I still need UV protection so the Schooner varnish will be my finish coats. The weather is against me, and I can only work intermittently right now.

RichS
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby RichS » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:59 pm

Hi guys. I thought I might be able to add some useful info here. For about 32 years, I had been involved in the manufacture, formulation, and testing of many types of clear and pigmented coatings. They included epoxies, polyurethanes, spar varnishes, etc. Although moisture may be a factor, it has been my understanding that the predominant cause of clear coatings peeling from a wood surface is UV light that has penetrated the coating and destroyed the surface cell structure of the wood. If you look closely at the back of a piece of this peeled coating, you will usually see some remnant of this failed wood cell structure. Even a well formulated spar varnish with state of the art UV absorbers will still allow some UV energy to reach the wood surface. The UV absorbers will slow down this process and also help protect the resins and oils in the coating itself. Pigmented coatings are more durable as the UV light is blocked and possibly reflected.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:35 am

Hi RichS. Thanks for that info. Makes sense. But in my case the layers right on the wood are doing fine. It is the top layers that peel. I assume it is UV light as well as salt peeling layer by layer.

dtmackey
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby dtmackey » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:15 pm

RichS wrote:Hi guys. I thought I might be able to add some useful info here. For about 32 years, I had been involved in the manufacture, formulation, and testing of many types of clear and pigmented coatings. They included epoxies, polyurethanes, spar varnishes, etc. Although moisture may be a factor, it has been my understanding that the predominant cause of clear coatings peeling from a wood surface is UV light that has penetrated the coating and destroyed the surface cell structure of the wood. If you look closely at the back of a piece of this peeled coating, you will usually see some remnant of this failed wood cell structure. Even a well formulated spar varnish with state of the art UV absorbers will still allow some UV energy to reach the wood surface. The UV absorbers will slow down this process and also help protect the resins and oils in the coating itself. Pigmented coatings are more durable as the UV light is blocked and possibly reflected.


Well said and I like the explanation. I guess in my 40 years of owning boats with varnished wood, I've somehow made the right decision on varnish selection. Granted we are seasonal up in New England, but full weather exposure from Memorial Day to at least Labor Day never created a varnish peeling concern and over those years I jumped several brands, but many were Spar varnish with UV protection.

D-

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Sport 15 Making Replacement Anchor Locker Hatch Cover

Postby Oldslowandugly » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:10 am

Now I have six coats of clear polyurethane on both sides of the hatch. It looks just as good as the factory finish that was on it from Specialty Marine. It is a very hard finish to sand, so I think the wood is well protected. Now, I am putting the Schooner varnish over that for a UV filter. I usually do a LOT of coats on mahogany. That is probably why my stern bench has lasted 40 years.

Is there such a thing as too many coats?

And if so what would the limit be?