Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Companionway Removal, another method.

Ryan Meador

Thanks for the info, Bill.  I was wondering how to do that project myself (I think I even emailed the list about it) and only knew about the first two ideas.  I spent some time studying the plans for the companionway trying to figure out how it could be removed without so much work.  Everything else on this boat is brilliantly designed for easy maintenance and access; I still can't believe there isn't an easy way to remove the companionway slide.  I may take your approach if I'm unsatisfied with how well I can do the varnish while it's installed.  I imagine it would make replacing the weather stripping a lot easier too.

SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA

On Sat, Dec 9, 2017 at 12:50 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

I haven't found this method of removing the companionway discussed here, if I have missed it in searching, my apologies for being redundant...

When we got our boat, the teak in the cockpit had been finished with Cetol, a product with a look that is... how to say..."not to my taste."  The vertical sliding door also needed new veneer. A major refinishing project was called for.  To do this we needed good access to the door, which is not a trivial project on a Super Maramu.  I am aware of three techniques to do this.

First method was lifting the door as high as possible, and refinishing only what is then exposed. We dismissed this as unworthy of our yacht.

Second, was unbolting the dodger and raising it enough to lift the door out of its track. This would give us full access to the door, but seemed an awful lot of work and would create the potential for leaks where we didn’t have any.

Last, and in my mind best, is to use a fine kerf saw to remove the inside rail of the starboard side track, cutting vertically, athwartship, followed by a cross cut right at the top of the companionway ladder. This allows the door to be removed without other modification making reveneering and refinishing an easy workbench project.

I used a fine blade on my Fein multitool to do the cutting. Some kinds of hand saw would also do a very nice job. The rail was reattached with four countersunk screws, and nylon washers were added under the rail to make up for the wood removed by the saw kerf.  If you don’t do this the track can become too narrow to fit the door well.

This approach has the advantage that the door can be easily removed anytime in the future by removing the screws.  The gap resulting from the saw kerf is virtually invisible when reassembled. If you don’t want to see the screwheads you can put teak plugs in at the cost of making future removal a bit more work. If you wanted to be REALLY fussy you could replace the wood lost to the kerf by a glueing on a couple thicknesses of teak veneer to replace it. 

I’d love to claim that this method of removing the companionway slide was the result of my own natural brilliance and clever insight, but the idea actually came from Joel Potter.

Bill Kinney

SM160, Harmonie

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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