Westsail 32 Sea Hood - Companionway Hatch Turtle

We finally completed the Sea Hood project. This item has been on the list for a long time and we were a bit surprised to see how little time it actually took to complete. I built the basic mold in about 6 hours at a shop that belongs to a very good friend....thank you Gordy!

I gave the mold to John at Salt Creek Boat Works of St Pete, FL. He was suppose to insert a radius on each of the corners and then lay up the fiberglass. I waited for 3 weeks to receive the finished sea hood. The wait was in vain. The job was never completed and John went into the hide mode and it took me 4 hours to smoke him out. (That is a whole different blog)
Hence no referral here!

As our time began to be constrained I had no other option than to build by own turtle. Virgin territory!! Thank goodness for Google!!

First stop was by Fiberglass Solutions of St Pete where I purchased structural fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. Then off to Lowe's where I purchased 3/8 plywood. I must admit I was a bit nervous considering all I had already been through with John. But there I stood purchasing all of these supplies that I was not quite sure what I was going to do with. After careful research and planning it was time to get to work.

With assistance of Larry and Collin from the body shop next door to Gordy's shop I laid 4 layers of fiberglass sandwiching the extra plywood in between where the life raft would call home. After a few sandings it all became clear that this job was falling into place. Not to toot my own horn but toot toot, this fiber glassing stuff isn't all that I made it out to be. Woohooooooo.

Now it was time to start painting. I purchased my favorite paint, Signature Finish by Tom Fabula. http://www.signaturefinish.com/ Tom has the best product as well as customer service that I have came by in a very long time. He is always willing and cheerful to answer any questions you may have no matter how silly they seem. Strong good paint that will make you feel like a chemist when you are preparing it but it is well worth the extra effort.

I then had to drill installation holes into my master piece and mount the rack to hold the life raft. The rack listed with the life raft was $500 and not the quality or style that I was looking for so I designed the one I wanted and Suncoast Specialties built it. Once again.. Thank you Suncoast Specialties!

I placed a thin layer of high quality weather stripping on the flange of the sea hood leaving an opening for water to drain out and then installed it onto the cabin top.
Total time: 4 days minus the time lost that I spent jacking around with John @ Salt Creek!