View Full Version : Mystery Channels?

Jeff Matherly
05-04-2003, 10:50 AM
I'm hoping someone can tell me (or guess?) about the function of channels I have found in a hatch frame. This is a hatch in the cabintop of a 44' carvel-planked ketch motorsailer built in the early 60's in Hong Kong, S&S design. The 4" wide 1" thick teak pieces are mitered to lay on top of 'glass-covered plywood and the hatch cover itself is about 20" square, is well-joined and has a white, translucent cover (FWIW).

The mystery channels are in the pieces that are forward, port and starboard. The aft piece has no channel (another hatch, for accessing lazarette in the stern, has similar channels port and starboard only.) The channels are perhaps 1/4 at top of each piece and are 3/8" - 1/2" at bottom of the 3/8" deep channel. They are filled with bondo and, upon removal, I find that they are formed by the cutting in of a separate piece that forms the bottom and outside of the channel. The main frame and bottom-of-channel piece were very carefully routed to form the channels and placement of screws were carefully planned, so I have no doubt this is orginal equipment ... but I have no idea what they were for.

At this point, it is mainly for curiosity's sake that I ask. I'm not sure I want to replace them entirely but I don't like the idea of reinstalling something so fused with bondo (especially since forward corner pieces were lost in the battle to remote the hatch). I have to do something with the frame so am inclined tomake the 4" frame into a 3" frame.

As far as I can tell, the corner pieces mentioned above would have had to be removed to get access to the forward channel, at least, so whatever the channels received was probably not quickly installed. The corner pieces did expose the channels however; in original shape, it appears a dowel, for instance, could have been used to "ream" any of the channels.

Any thoughts on what purpose these served would be greatly appreciated.



Mike Vogdes
05-04-2003, 01:50 PM
I guessing here but maybe the chanels were for custom screens at one time?

Todd Bradshaw
05-04-2003, 02:20 PM
Sounds like a boltrope groove to me. Perhaps for anchoring the base of some sort of fabric cover/structure/thingy??? Just a guess.

05-04-2003, 02:30 PM

Was the bondo of a substantially different color than the wood? If so could it have been done as an inlay for appearrance purposes.


Paul Scheuer
05-05-2003, 05:57 PM
I was leaning toward the bolt rope for a dodger or cover until you got to the corner posts. Are they original or might they be part of the "repair" that included the bondo ?

Jeff Matherly
05-06-2003, 07:53 AM
Paul, the corners appear to be original equipment -- very precise, finely cut and part of the designed use of the channels. I guess one thing that argues for it being added later, though, is that the forward side of the frame overlaps (and has been routed to go over) the collar for the mizzenmast. No, I don't think it is for inlaying.

Boltrope makes sense except for the inaccessible section between the forward corners. I guess that channel could have been used by putting an edge of canvas into the channel and slipping a rod/dowel through a corner.

I'm now thinking it was for a dodger, hence no need for the fourth side and easy enough to install.

Thanks for your help.