Cutting a hatch

Since my Beading saw with woodpecker tooth 6" is back ordered and really don't want to hold my breath; what is the next best thing?  For my 17LT I used the bonsai saw.  No big thing cause those type of hatches cover up my unstraight lines.  On the Shearwayer Merganser I ventured into a handheld jigsaw, again not the best but the "scottish hat hatches" detered from my again unstraight lines.  Now my third project the Shearwater 17 with flush hatches....I was told the hatches would be CNC cut out.  AT least thats my recollection and indeed I must cut out the hatch to make it a flush mounted hatch. Very fustrated and maybe another source for the woodpecker saw may be my best bet. 

I there another way to get a straight thin kerf line for the flush mount hatches

Thanks for your time.



Wilmington, NC

4 replies:

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RE: Cutting a hatch

I've cut all mine with a jigsaw and a 20 tooth per inch blade. Slow and steady does the trick and some sandpaper smooths out the mistakes and no one notices.


RE: Cutting a hatch

I did exactly as Dan, and no problems. A very thin kerf isn't essential-that 1/4" foam gasket will squish itself into the space for a good seal.

RE: Cutting a hatch


I have both saws and found that the bonsai saw is actually a better choice for kayak hatches. The curves were just too extreme for the woodpecker saw (which is my favorite saw for everything else).

Here's how I did it on my WD12 (click on pictures for larger views or go to  for a longer-winded description)

Have fun,


1. Trace the hatch opening from the spacer

2. Start the cut using an Exacto knife (it just pushes through the thin wood)

3. Start the bonsai saw

4. Cut the hatch opening

Completed cut:

Completed hatch (with invisible tie-downs)



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