I had a lot of time for this project today, and finished the construction phase. Actually, with some time spent over the last several days, I managed to design and install the turn buttons, and locate and install the ladder hardware. Here is a photo – which doesn’t really do justice to the amount of time that went into the these two little accomplishments:
I ended up using some hook-and-eye hardware that my boat neighbor gave me as it was more heavy-duty and of “marine” grade. I mostly used it because of the heavier gauge material of its construction. The turn buttons were made of some teak decking scrap left over from another project. It took a bit of fiddling to get the spacers right between the facing surround and the turn buttons. Without the spacers, the buttons wouldn’t ride up onto the compartment cover.
The next step was to install the eyes to secure the ladder, but first I had to fix the holes through which the clevis pins were passed in the old system. Here are a few photos of the holes being bunged and hardware installed.
With the holes bunged and the hardware located on the ladder, it was time to refinish it. I sanded it all smooth and removed all the old varnish. I also trimmed the top of the ladder uprights even with the counter top. Having them extend above the level of the counter looked like a trip hazard to me.
I also repaired the top step that was mounted on the counter top. The wood split out when I removed the old bungs. I repaired it with epoxy, bunged the old mounting holes, and sanded it smooth.
I spent the rest of the afternoon sanding and varnishing with a sealer coat. I also sanded and sealed the teak trim around the counter top. It was in terrible shape and has bothered me for years. This is finally the right time to clean it up.
Tomorrow I will begin building up the varnish layers and begin the finish work on the cockpit sole and permanently mounting the rudder bracket.