Rebuilding the companionway hatch was one of those projects that sounded simple enough, but ended up being a very involved thing taking many months longer than anticipated. Just like with most of the boat, it is only when you take something apart that you realize the full extent of the damage and work to be done. Sometime when the boat was still put together, I was inside during a rain shower noticing all of the water coming in from various leaks. One that came as a surprise was a steady leak coming through the sliding companionway hatch. I noted it and made sure to investigate it when the time came to focus on that hatch.
The time came and went, and before painting the deck I removed the hatch in its entirety to access the full deck, with the idea that I would do whatever I needed to do to seal up the hatch and make it leak free. When I began to remove the slats that make up the top of the hatch, the horrors beneath were revealed and instead of applying some sealant and calling it a day, I realized I had to rebuild the entire thing.
The pictures and captions below will tell the story: