I suspect there is a slight design defect with our weed hatch. On several occasions the locking mechanism has failed, unlocking the cover over the Uxter plate.
As you can see in the photo below, the plate is held in place by a ‘U’ shaped crossbar and a long threaded shaft. The crossbar fits under a short piece of angle iron at either end. The threaded shaft then pushes the crossbar up against the underside of the angle iron whilst the bottom plate is pressed down over the hole in the uxter plate.
The problem is the crossbar connection is based upon steel on steel pressure which is slippery. Moreover the ends of the crossbar have become slimy which further compounds the problem.
It is possible for the crossbar to rotate out from under the angle iron as they have one open side. A better design would be for the angle iron to be replaced with ‘U’ shaped supports. This would mean the ends of the crossbar would fit inside an inverted ‘U’ preventing the crossbar from rotating.
I don’t have any welding equipment so my modification involves reducing the lack of friction caused by the steel on steel contact. For the last four years we have been carrying around a small piece of panel decking left over from the fit out. My only saw is a bowsaw that I purchased on special in Aldi. It’s far from ideal, but with a little care I’ve been able to cut two small blocks of wood which will go at either end of the crossbar
They will be held by Sikaflex adhesive. If that doesn’t work then I will use stainless steel wood screws.
The ends of the crossbar needed to be cleaned back to bare metal to ensure the adhesive has a good bond. When doing this I noticed the ends were very slimy. That wouldn’t have helped with the steel to steel join.
I was able to extract the last of the Sikaflex from the tube we used to fit the glass splashbacks in the galley. I don’t have any clamps on the boat so I used duct tape to hold the timber in place whilst the adhesive sets
Once the adhesive had set I cleaned the crossbar and gave it a coat of paint.
Hopefully the timber to steel contact surface will provide more friction and go some way to eliminating the current problem.