The Companionway Fiasco

Through trial and error. This whole episode was so painful that I had to ponder about writing it, so that I wouldn’t get annoyed again. Anyways, the idea was to make new companionway doors to replace the old frail ones without a lock. I fell in love with the ones made out of black polycarbonate that I saw in my friends boats sales add.

C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_637726_b_6b2b025a6e7c56df
Good looking doors in Niko’s boat.

A manufacturer for the doors was found from online forums. The selected place was Muovikilpi Oy in Arabia, Helsinki. Measures from the old doors and off to Arabia.

The front doors were made of 10 mm polycarbonate plate, so you have to be Bruce Lee to be able to kick it in! Because the boat is self-made, some of the metrics are not exactly symmetric. The left side is a bit lower than the right side. Apparently the one sawing the door didn’t dare to make asymmetric door, so the first version didn’t fit.

Symmetrically cut door is not matching the asymmetric boat.

When I got the door back cut according the measures, it was time to make the wooden parts and to think of how the lock should be mounted. Also this part went the hard way. After some odd brain fart I drilled a hole for the lock in a wrong place. Actually, the hole was in a perfect place, had it been the right spot. It was a pity that the correct place was a few centimeters below…

The hole was in a perfect place, had it been the right spot!

In order for case to be a total disaster I had also looked wrongly how the top door is moving in. Replacing the old bent one with a straight one was not going to work out. Bending the thick polycarbonate plate didn’t seem to work out anywhere and that was something I shouldn’t try to do myself. On top of that, at the back of the companionway there was a centimeter thick aluminum plate behind the wooded parts which I had missed. So just sawing the wooden parts straight wouldn’t be enough.

New doors waiting to be fitted.

The Fiasco was crowned when the front door busted. Fantastic.

Getting the new doors done was important as there were no fences in the new dock at Merihaka. So I decided to renew atleast the front door. After sawing I made a new hole for the lock. I was rushing a bit too much and I used a wrong drill, which lead to crowning the fiasco with a broken front door. Fantastic.

Rather use a drill made for metal and drill several times making the first hole bigger so you don’t get this kind of results…

With a good hobby one don’t count the hours spent. But in this case I have to say, I would have rather missed this learning experience.


P.S. Luckily I finally got it right next year! And with a pretty nice look, I might add. Check it out!

For more articles under the category Doing it the hard way, click here!

For more articles under the category Fixing the boat, click here!

3 thoughts on “The Companionway Fiasco

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.