Westsail 32 Lazarette - Lewmar Replacement

The original fiberglass and teak lazarette hatch cover was very sturdy and served it’s intended purpose well. However, with the recent modifications to the cockpit area it was a bit too large and bulky. We wanted to reclaim the cockpit area to make living aboard and long distance cruising more comfortable. We believe that this will add a great deal of usable deck space to the area as well as adding comfort.

This was one of the items on my “I’m afraid to do this” list. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to discuss this problem with Bud Taplin when he was on board for the 2009 Westsail Rendezvous. Bud assured me that he could get me a new hatch of the appropriate size and that it would not be difficult to replace. As ALWAYS, Bud was right!

The benefits we expected to gain from this modification.
- less height obstruction and tripping hazard.
- easier access
- the cover will be attached and not lose when opened
- increased comfort in the cockpit area

The first thing I had to do was to cut the teak board that held the old hatch cover in place above the deck. This task was made relatively easy with my new Fienmaster Multi tool that the Admiral gave me for my birthday. I have found this tool to be indespensible when doing rehab work on the boat. This tool and my Dremel seem to always get used on most every project. The Admiral also gave me the Dremel….hmmmmmmmmmm Am I seeing a pattern here? Anyway, here are the steps to accomplish the lazerette hatch cover.

1. I used the special blade for the multi tool which allows you to cut flush across a flat horizontal surface. It zipped right through and in no time at all this step was complete

2. The next step is to use the multi tool to sand the board smooth and flush with the fiberglass ring with the sanding head on the multi tool.

3. I then used the caulk remover attachment for the multi tool to remove the old caulking on the surface of the fiberglass ring. Mineral spitits was used to finish cleaning up the residue.

4. After taping the area and a careful test fit, I laid down several thick beads of 3M 5200 to give the new hatch ring a good tight seal.

5. I put the new hatch flange in place, predrilled the holes and screwed it down.

6. The edges were dressed with 5200 and excess was cleaned with mineral spirits. I also used mineral spirits on a rubber gloved hand to smooth the edges and give it a finished look.

We are quite please with the results. We think we accomplished our goals and we are grateful to Bud Taplin for his advice and support.