Escape Hatch forward bedroomAugust 2016
The original escape hatch was mounted on plywood which was screwed on top of the deck.
Since I had some thick mahogany left I decided to make the wooden support for the actual escape hatch from mahogany instead of marine plywood.
One of the reason was that I did not have to paint the marine plywood in a wood color on the outside as well as that the mahogany is in my opinion better resistant against the weather than marine plywood.
The first step was to get the exact dimensions of the too be made wooden ring from the actual escape hatch.
I used an old trick to get a perfect circle, small plank nailed to the center of the ring and a nail on the outside of the small plank for scratching the circle into the wood.
This was done twice, than the scratch was followed with a pencil to get a good visible line.
The next step was time consuming with an electric jig saw to cut circles and ending up with a round wooden circle, support for the escape hatch.
The actual escape hatch ring was placed on the wood to check for roundness and to predrill the holes for mounting.
What I noticed is that the holes are not all on the same position from each other resulting that the escape hatch ring can only be placed in one position onto the wooden ring.
After the hatch ring holes were drilled the holes for mounting the wooden ring onto the deck were drilled and it was made sure that these screws would not stick above the wood.
The whole wooden ring was than sanded and protected with two component epoxy varnish.
It was made sure that the holes were filled with epoxy varnish as well to protect them from water ingress.
The ring was then left alone for almost a year to make sure that the wood would not crack or would show hair line cracks.
The next step was to mount the wooden ring onto the deck; this is a slow process since a measuring the center of the escape hatch takes time.
If it is not measured correctly the hatch will not be in the middle of the underdecks support wood and in the middle of the deck beam which needs to be cut.
Although from outside it will not be visible that the hatch is not exactly in the middle from inside it will be very clear.
When the middle of the escape hatch was decided a pilot holes was drilled and in the inside the position was confirmed.
Then with a jig saw the round holes was cut out of the deck, very slowly to make sure that in the end we do have a round hole.
This cut out hole for the hatch gives at the same time the opportunity to check if the installation of the teak deck was done correctly and as it shows on below picture all was as expected.
The cut holes in the deck was checked and sanded to get a smooth surface and some high points in the cut as a result if sawing the hole were sanded as well.
It was then looked in how to cover the inside of the round circle of the deck opening, original this one was painted white.
My idea was to place veneer onto the complete inside opening covering the new wooden ring on top of the deck and the actual opening in the deck.
After several attempts which did not look good it was decided to paint the opening in the deck white and this was done with several layers two component epoxy paint.
The wooden support ring onto the deck was kept the same.
The next step was time consuming which was placing protective tape onto the deck inside deck and around the wooden ring to protect them from caulking when the ring was mounted onto the deck.
For this purpose the ring was screwed again onto the deck.
To make sure that there will be no water ingress between the wooden support ring mounted onto the deck and the deck a small rim of the wooden ring was left unprotected to be able the have the ring where it meets the deck been glued with caulking.
The wooden ring and deck where then degreased and the ring was screed with caulking onto the deck.
After all was set and inspected that for 100% the caulking was coming out between the wooden ring and the deck inside and outside the extra caulking was removed as well as all protective tape.
The caulking was left a week to dry and the escape hatch was temporarily closed with some Plexiglas.
In the meantime the actual escape hatch was mounted together from all loose parts which were re-chromed.
A new Plexiglas window was fitted.
To protect the inside form excessive sunlight as well as from preventing that people will look inside a mirror foil was added to the Plexiglas before it was fitted in the escape hatch frame.
One can look from inside to outside but not from outside to inside as long as there are no lights on inside.
The escape hatch frame was degreased and mounted with caulking onto the wooden rim; follow the same procedure as described before.
What I noticed is which was not possible when I bought the boat is that the actual movable part of the escape hatch can rotate 360 ° this way it is always possible to catch the wind for cooling down on a warm day the forward sleeping cabin.
Last picture of this part of the project shows the installed hatch with some other installed hardware onto the deck including the railings.