Rebuilding the Butterfly Hatch

By Eric of Windsong

Downeaster’s come with a neat little butterfly hatch over the main cabin. The “doors” or flaps or whatever they are called have some glass in them to give the cabin some light. Unfortunately, my hatch leaked pretty badly as the sealant in the glass had faded away over time. Like everything else on Windsong, that means a rebuild is in order! This was no way near as painful of a rebuild as the companionway hatch. The most difficult part of this was separating the glass from the wood, as it was all held together by sealant/adhesive and I had to be very careful taking it apart to preserve the wood. The pictures and captions below can tell the story.

The hatch before taking apart. Weathered wood, crappy glass that leaks, the usual..

Another view pre-disassembly

Completely disassembled, cleaned and sanded. Notice how the flaps come apart into a few different pieces of wood. There are grooves that the glass rests in on the pieces, filled up with sealant to adhere it all together and seal up.

The wood got the Cetol treatment, same as the other hatches – 3 coats of Cetol Natural Teak, 2 coats of Cetol gloss using a 3M scrub pad to “sand” it down between coats.. It seems that in this picture, I was getting the Sierra Nevada treatment.

All put back together. I used Sikaflex 295UV for the sealant, testing it and it’s primer out before I use it on the large cabin windows. I replaced the glass with tinted acrylic.

Hardware installed, weather stripping as well

Interior view.

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