We had some great weather today and it felt good to be working outside in the fresh air in a tee shirt and jeans. Taking the tarp off a couple weeks early was not ideal but it is certainly OK and gave me a good reason to hurry up and get the hatches installed.
The saloon hatch is the more simple of the two and the work proceeded smoothly. If you missed all the work we did to get the hatch base early check out Hatch Before and After which includes links to all the blog posts documenting the process.
Today I started out by countersinking the fastener holes into the fiberglass:
After that I grabbed the Bed It Butyl Tape and wrapped the heads of each of the fasteners and made little “snakes” that I put in the recessed parts of the aluminum of the hatch.
After the snakes were in place and pressed down a bit I coated the rest of the aluminum underside with the butyl tape:
Once everything was ready I mixed up a small batch of epoxy and filled the holes before turning over the hatch and screwing it down.
You can see that the butyl oozes out around the head of the screw as it is tightened, the same is true around the hatch base. It is best to tighten everything down, let it sit for a day or a week and then tighten it again, cutting off the excess. High quality butyl is an excellent bedding material that lasts for a very very long time, retains its flexible qualities, has great adhesive qualities, and most importantly retains its water resistant abilities.
I should have stopped to clean the hatch a bit before taking this final shot, but oh well, here is the dirty finished product!