Yesterday, once the epoxy on the hatch rims was tack-free, I proceeded to sand the rim areas as smooth as possible. I then applied three coats of release wax to each entire hatch interior. The next step was to tape the hatches back into position on the outside of the deck. I made sure the gap around the perimeter of each hatch was even and taped it in place and sealed off the groove on the outside with tape to ensure no epoxy would leak through (see photo.) I then flipped the deck over and started laying up 3″ bias-cut strips of fiber-glass straddling the gap. I put graphite powder in the epoxy to make it black. I put 4 layers of 9 oz ‘glass around each hatch (see photo.)
This morning, once the epoxy was dry to the touch, but not cured, I proceeded to pry each hatch off of its rim. I did the front hatch first and hard a hard time getting the epoxy to release from the inside of the hatch. After much persuasion (and some cursing) I got the hatch off. The rear hatch went much easier. I am now left with a nice lip on the inside of each hatch opening which I will trim to about 1 inch wide.