Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?

I'm still working my way thru a Shearwater Sport as my first boat -- And yes, I have more "newbie" questions...

I've just laid out the hatches to cut them into the deck.  The rear hatch seems fine, no issue -- but the aft side of the front hatch seems to conflict with the most forward temporary deck form.  It's difficult to tell how much it conflicts, as I cannot really see the deck form, but I can still see the stitches. I realize this form will be taken out once I speparate the deck and hull again, however the instructions say to cut the hatches before doing that.  

I'm worried that the deck form will deflect the blade of my jig saw and cause problems with the finished look of the hatch.

Anyone else run into this or have a solution?

Thanks again in advance for the help.  


5 replies:

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RE: Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?

 I have not built that boat but did build a Shearwater Double.  If you think that the temperary form is in the way, you can certainly loosen or remove it while you cut the hatch opening.  Just make sure that you reinstall after the cut.  Personally, I will not use my jig saw to make fine cuts on the deck.  It is way to easy to make a big mistake quickly.  I prefer to use the bonsai saw that CLC uses to cut hatches.  It is a bit slower amd more work, but I find it easier to be precise.  Picture is cutting the small hatch opening on the SWD.


RE: Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?


they are close and the form along the aft edge is pretty much the aft edge of the hatch as you point out but there is a bit of clearance.

two videos are available online which show this:

i think the most important things is to line it up carefully with tape to guide you.  and as mark mentioned, you can always use a handsaw.   but you should be able to avoid the temp form by lining it all up and marking it prior to cutting.


RE: Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?

   fwiw, if you use some strapping tape to temprorarily hold the deck to the hull, you can also loosen that forward temporary form (after your tack epoxy is set) and make your cut...and that will also work

RE: Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?

   Ok -- so I'm pretty sure I had good succes!  I have to admit, it was a bit stressfull!  I did have to cut the wires for the deck form and push it out of the way by slipping a putty knife between the hull and deck.  That seemed to work out.  

I should have ordered a bonsai saw with my kit -- but I went ahead with the jig saw as I didn't want to delay the project.  I did use the packing tape on the top of the wood to minimize tearout, as I saw in a couple of the photos.  In the end it was good, there is one small area where I deviated from the line just a tiny bit, but I think it's fixable.  As my grandpa used to tell me -- "All woodworkers make mistakes... the best ones know how to fix and hide those mistakes so no one else can see them."  

When I look at pictures online of the Shearwater Sport - some look like the forward hatch is located further aft than mine.  I did double and triple check the location with the hatch spacer -- so I'm not sure if some of those pictures are scratch built boats and the builders took some creative license or if the design has changed a bit over the years.  In any event -- mine is now located where it is and if I have messed it up I will endevour to make it look as good as possible.  

Thanks again for all the help.


RE: Shearwater Sport Front Hatch?

"Carpenters cover their mistakes with putty and paint, chefs with sauce and surgeons with dirt"


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