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Starflight Hatch Covers

pony3xp

Active member
Hi All,
First time working with fiberglass. I have read a bunch on here but still have some questions

The Starflight I bought is missing a rear hatch. I was originally going to make one out of wood and put some type of rubber exterior to use as a step, but I think I want to try fiberglass (I need to learn this anyway for some gelcoat/floor repairs).

Soooooo, The original one (see pics) has finished fiberglass on the exterior (with a design) and unfinished fiberglass on the inside. It is a little over an inch thick.

My thought was to do the following:
1. Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to "size - 1/8 inch" on all sides, bevel & sand the wood so all corners are removed etc.
2. "paint" the plywood with resin
3. Cover the piece with cloth
4. Sand, Epoxy, sand, epoxy, sand
5. Gelcoat


Now the questions:

Are these the right steps?

I saw a bunch of posts re: Home Depot resin. I went to West Marine today and they have West systems, and it is VERY expensive. They also have their own brand which is not very expensive. I'm sure there is a difference, but how important is it for this type of project?

How many coats of resin do I need on the plywood, is one enough?

How many cloth "wraps" do I need and what thickness, they had 3 different weights of cloth?

Or do I just need resin and no cloth?

And the bonus question, how do I get a design in it without a mold?

I will have a ton of gelcoat questions when I get there, so we will skip those for now. My goal is just to get it super smooth (I can see the dust now).

Thanks
 

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F150GT

Member
I have the same boat, I made new hatch covers and padded & apohlstered them black. I like the padded covers so much more, there not slipery when getting out of the water & there comfy to sit on when haging at the beach. The Black vynal blends in and looks like it belongs. Heck of alot easier to.

F150GT
 

cooperider

Well-known member
I think even Checkmate switched over to covered wooden hatches right at the end of the Starflight run.


But your on the right track for building a new hatch, stick with the poly resin. Use a filler to fill in the weave or pattern in the glass. Give it a HEAVY primer. Then sand and prime, sand and prime, until it looks good enough for you. Then paint the color you want.

West System is too much money for a hatch.
 
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