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PHOTO 1: Started this
project by removing the
broken plastic rail from
Scarlette. Nearly half of this
rail was broken from
misplaced steps during
sailing. The plastic simply
had turned brittle.
Crusing information
Scarlette's makeover
Crew information
Previous voyages on Scarlette
E-mail Scarlette's Skipper
Scarlette's main hatch
rail system was prone to
breaking accidentally
during sailing because the
plastic main hatch rail
system was brittle with age
after nearly 25 years in
the sun and ocean.

Researched replacing the
system on the Net but left
it to other things. Then
saw an aluminum system
on a J/24 being turned
into a tri-miran at Kadena
Marina and asked the
owner -- Delaine
Rivenbark -- where he got
the rails. At Kanehide at
Navel Kadena shopping
center. Thanked him for
the research, went to the
store and bought two of
the rails and some red
plastic to help the hatch
slide easier.

PHOTOS 5 AND 6: Overview of hatch housing area with old
sealant. The deck is white but the blue haze is the
reflection from tarp I set up over boom in case of rain. I
scraped the sealant off easily with a flat razor.
2009 Repairs: Replacing main hatch rail system
PHOTO 2: Didn't know what
to expect after the rail came
off. Had to gently ply off the
rail with a screwdriver as the
screw holes had been
sealed with what appeared
to be clear silicone sealant.
PHOTO 3: A lot of dirt also was underneath
the old plastic railing. This cleaned up fairly
quick and easy.
PHOTO 4: After removing the housing that
hold the sliding hatch door, the prognosis
was simple: clean the dirt off.
PHOTO 7: The hatch
housing area with the
clear silicone sealant
removed from the
frame. This was the
easiest part of the
project. I cleaned the
surface with Tilex to cut
down on mildew after
the housing was sealed
back to the frame. No
guarantee that this will
work but sounds like a
good plan.
PHOTO 9: (Left) I placed
Sekaflex sealant on the
holes I drilled out on the
port side of the housing. I
had put the rail on upside
down and had to drill
totally new holes on that
side and fill the previous
holes with Sekaflex.
PHOTO 8: (Right) These holes on
the inside of the housing frame
were part of the plastic rail mount.
The brownish areas were the
sealant on the wholes that I
scraped.
PHOTO 10: (Above) Drilled the aluminum rails into the
hatch housing frame. Placed a red piece of plastic I got
at Navel Kadena (yes, that's the correct spelling) and
placed into within the rail to make the hatch open
smoother.   
PHOTO 11: (Right) After installing the rail I
sawed about three inches off the end and cut it at an
angle to match hatch housing. May place another piece
of plastic on these edges to possibly reduce any cuts.