KADENA MARINA, Japan -- (July 22, 2009) Scarlette's main hatch got an upgrade at this marina on the South China Sea. The rail on the main hatch comes stock as plastic under the one-design concept of a J/24 sailboat.
This plastic however becomes brittle with age (Scarlette is 24 years old) and several times during the sailing season last year, small pieces of this rail would break off when stepped on.
Underneath this rail was lots of sealant. I didn't re-seal it yet, as I'm about to head out on vacation but will have to deconstruct the project and use Sekaflex -- a caulking type sealant -- to seal the hatch area.
The replaced rail is made out of aluminum and therefore won't be prone to breaking like the previous plastic rail. I wish this was my original idea but Delaine Rivenbank manufactured this same project on his J/24 that he's turning into a trimiran.
I even bought the aluminum railing from the same store. While this rail is available for purchase on the Internet it's not available in aluminum. I placed a large piece of red plastic on each rail to help the hatch slide easier along the rail.
I had to saw the end piece off to match the doorway of the hatch a little better.
Pretty proud of this small project. Didn't think I could do it but pulled it off pretty good.