How to Make Your Hatch Slide Easily without Messy Grease
This solution came up early last year on the Westerly Yahoo Discussion Group and it really works.
First buy some Teflon coated self adhesive fibre glass tape available on the web. Make the tape a little narrower than your hatch channel because you have to slide it into the channel in sticky side down. On my Discus I used 1m of 12mm Teflon/ptfe tape self adhesive backed with peel off backing. This was just enough but you may be happier with a little more.
Remove your hatch and clean off all the old black grease and aluminium residue both off the hatch slide and the hull mounted channel part. This can take a while and ideally requires removal of the hatch garage however with perseverance and a lot of parer tissues and solvent it is possible to clean the whole length of both slide and channel with the hatch garage in situ.
Cut the tape to length and fix four pieces two on the hatch and two on the mating slides. The mounting screw holes need to be drilled with a through hole and slightly countersunk. Once the hatch is in place its weight will hold the tape down.
You will be amazed with the result. The hatch can be slid back with one finger making a satisfying swooshing sound like the doors on the star-ship enterprise. In fact you may want to introduce a variable friction device to make it less easy for the hatch to slide whilst sailing. Ideas for this welcomed!
And the big benefit is that there is no messy black grease residue to get on peoples hands or clothes.
Thanks to Ken for the pictures.