Back Deck

The back deck of the 53MY is one of its strongest “selling points”. It is large and has a LOT of flexibility as to what you want to do with it. Lady Kay V came with the optional “wing doors” so one is protected from wind and water coming down the side decks when closed. But they also provide quick access to the side and fore deck. Of course the fly bridge deck provides shade and shelter from rain. And, it all looks pretty darn good. Thank you Jack Hargrave.

Many boats have some level of enclosure. Ours had a lot, and I believe it to be original. Heavy duty aluminum window frames with glass side windows, one sliding, fixed Plexiglass, or similar, corner and back windows and an opening center back window for ladder access to the platform.

It’s wonderful on a chilly wet day. Any other time I don’t like it because 1: You can’t open it up. Sliders and center back open is it. 2: It’s impossible to get to some of the outside other than from a dock or from the top deck with a long handled brush which is awkward…. so you can’t keep them clean. And last but not least: 3: The aluminum frames with tracks (which collect salt water) are a corrosion nightmare. I know mine were recently painted and they are blistering all over allready. Other Hatteras owners report the same issue. So I was looking for an alternative. But first the easy stuff.

The two cabinets on the back deck were in sad shape. One was storage and quite useful, the other held a sink and an ice maker.

We rarely use ice. A tray of cubes would be more than enough. So I had no use for the thing. What we did want was more refrigeration. Beverages, milk for coffee. So I decided to take the thing out. Did it as part of the winterizing operation to take it out of the loop. Ha ha….. not so fast pilgrim. This thing was IN THERE. It must have been a very tight fit in 1978 and either the wood, the thing or both had swollen. It was NOT coming out. It took numerous passes with an oscillating saw up and down the side to get it to come out.

But finally it gave way. I was able to increase the size of the opening to the 17-1/2″ I needed to fit the new fridge in. Note: The curved corner is solid…… you can cut a slice off without fear of things coming apart. Then it was a sanding down to bare wood, and a little more to get rid of the years of UV damage. This is tricky as you can go through veneer and end up with exposed plywood. It happened in one spot. Not telling where. It was camouflaged with some dark paint.

First coat on:

The corner pieces stood out after sanding. I suspect it didn’t originally and that after all the UV exposure I was not able to return the veneered ply to it’s original tint. Subsequent coats of varnish did even it out a little. But it worked out worked OK, as I put strips of Sapele along the bottom to hide the damage that the veneer suffered over the decades. Meanwhile it was wet sand- coat- wet sand- coat for a total of 6 coats. I replaced the wood knobs, which were original, with the equally original inside door pulls. Looks better I think. Fridge in and viola….. another project in the books.

Some air for the fridge. Not a perfect match but looks good from 6 feet.

Now, about the roof supports…..