Companion Way Squeals
Companionway Sliding Hatch Squeal
Q: How do I Keep my Sliding Hatch from Squealing?
My companionway hatch cover, the sliding one, squeaks, squeals, and screams when sliding it forward or aft. I've tried everything I can think of, all sorts of lubrications. Nothing has helped. Has anyone had this same problem? If so, has the someone found a solution to the terrible noise when opening a closing?
Loyal Hibbs, Calliope3, South Beach Harbor, San Francisco
Put Teflon tape on contact surfaces.
Charlie Pearsall, Delirious
On my C-30 I've inserted a strip of Mylar film into the channel that the hatch cover slides in. It has worked great. Open hatch cover about 4 inches from all the way in. Have someone push up on the hatch cover, then slide Mylar strips in as far as you can taking care to get the front of the strip between hatch cover and the deck itself. Works great, opens easier and the noise is gone.
Bob Uehlein, Menagerie C-30TRBS #2318 Charlevoix, Mi
If you have a plastics supply retailer near you, stop in and pick up two lengths of Teflon approximately 1-1/2" wide by 1/8' thick which is the full length of the hatch slide( approx. 6' but measure it). Lift up your hatch slightly and slid it in. I was given this suggestion 10 years ago and has worked great ever since.
I looked at Mylar, Teflon but couldn't find anything long enough that was remotely priced within reason. Instead, I substituted a flat strip of 1/16" thick, 1" wide, 60" long aluminum ($4.95ea.). The aluminum was stiff enough that it could be slid in the hatch "runway" between the hatch and the deck. Although the hatch runway is approximately 65" long. I secured each 60" strip at the cockpit end by countersinking a single small screw in each strip. The missing 5" at the mast end of the companionway doesn't seem to matter, and the hatch slides easily and QUIETLY!
Al, you asked if the aluminum still works since 1995? Yes, if I keep the dust in that track flushed out with water. The problem reoccurs when I keep the dodger up for an extended period as I don't tend to hose the track down when I wash the boat. I think a reasonably priced alternative might be a piece of high density polyethylene or Lexan. Don't know if these will create dust and allow the hatch to squeal. Don't have any other reasonably priced ideas.
Ron Hill, Apache #788
YES! That awful squeal my slider lets out has easily taken 10 years off my hearing life, not to mention the countless number of times my neighbors have wondered why I beat my dog/step on my cat's tail/is that a parrot? But how does one disassemble this slider in order to effect the repairs listed below? The source of my squeal is out of reach save for a straightened coat hanger & I've yet to discover a way to completely remove the sliding cover from the track that runs in between the deck & the cabin ceiling.
John LeMasters, Blue Moon #753
What keeps the Mylar in there? How long of a piece do you use and where did you get it?
I had this same problem on my C34 and I identified this problem as being the forward edge of the hatch cover scraping against the cabin top as the hatch is moved in or out. To solve the problem pull the hatch all the way out and apply some silicone grease under the forward edge of the hatch cover. My experience has been that the scraping occurs in the center of the hatch, but just to make sure lube the entire bottom edge. You may have to use a dowel and lift the hatch slightly to apply the lubricant. Lubricating the slides does not address the problem.
Tom Leising, Synergy #392
Loyal: Ron Hill answered that question many moons ago in Tech Tips. Suggest you search the tech notes in the website for the answer. If you can't find it, I have the index and may be able to find it for you. If I remember, it consisted of using a mandolin pick to simply raise the hatch slider a tiny bit to avoid rubbing on the grit that tends to get caught under the slider.
Stu Jackson, Aquavite #224 San Francisco
Doug, The strips were about an inch wide and about 30 inches long. I bought the Mylar in an art supply business. It comes in several thicknesses. I bought the thickest they had so when you push the strip in it. I used a little liquid silicone to hold it in place. Using a small dowel, I placed about ten small dabs of silicone in the track before I slid in the Mylar. The Mylar strips also work very well to take out the play in the rudder shaft.
Ron and Al, I just spray the track with 3M Silicone spray every couple of months, works good.
Gerry Edgley, Aquarius #1277
To expand on Ron's response, like Gerry, I have been using silicone spray but unlike him I've had little reduction of the squealing and screeching when opening and closing the hatch on an older C34 (#763). Also the residue seems to hold dirt and dust in the tracks. I was pleased to get the other ideas to explore.
Mark Hazlett, Dot.Calm #763
Ron, my hatch had some teflon tape in the tracks when I took deliverly in Aug of 1993, but it broke up after a few years. I then started with the silicone spray. It works fine for me.
Gerry Edgley, Aquarius #1277