Squelching the screeching companionway hatch

November 13, 2013

For years the companionway hatch on Reality Check screeched each time it was opened. I'd tried all kinds of lubricants and wax which just didn't work. The only time the hatch didn't squeel was when the track was absolutely clean - only then would the hatch glide without complaint. What comes to mind with the word "glide"? Teflon, and there's a product that worked like a charm - ePlastics' adhesive backed Slick Strips.

Parts & Supplies

Slick Strips 1 inch wide by 25 long
ePlastics Slick Strips - .060 thick by 1" wide by 25' long


  • Utility knife or scissors

How to make your companionway hatch glide like new

Down to the fiberglass on the port side of the companionway hatch
Yikes - down to the fiberglass on the port side of the companionway hatch
Clean track
Clean track
  1. Open the hatch all the way.
  2. Clean the track
    • Follow up with a wipe down of Acetone to make sure there's good adhesion. Of course, I didn't have any...
  3. Unroll a foot or so of the slick strip roll and remove some of the adhesive backing.
  4. On one side of the open hatch, lift the hatch up off the track so you can shove one end of the Slick Strip underneath as far as possible.
    • Keep the sticky back from attaching to the track with one hand, lift the hatch with the other hand, and shove the strip under the hatch. 3 hands would be helpful.
  5. Continue to remove the adhesive backing as you unroll and lay the Slick Strip in the track.
  6. Cut off the end at the end of the track and repeat!

Laying down the slick strip
Laying down the Slick Strip

Tip: The Slick Strip is rolled up and wants to retain that shape - you may want to flatten in advance by unrolling the length you think you'll need.

Photos of this project

Fixing the squeeling companionway hatch


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