When I bought Live Magic (Vic back then!) she had some plastic to allow the hatch to slide open and closed. I think this was at some stage the plastic rubbing strip found on some dinghies but had long since suffered at the hands of the elements. This plastic was wavy for want of a better word, and the hatch would jump up and down as it was opened and closed with the most awful screeching noises. Fast forward a few years while I ignored the situation and I plonked a dinghy on the coachroof following a trip to the pub. The plastic snapped. Bugger. So, on to the fix or so you'd imagine. Not quite. Plastic comes in various shapes, sizes and types. I looked high and low for something appropriate to no avail. My dad then surprised me by coming up with some UPVC window strip which was a perfect fit (mine being 40mm x 5mm thanks to various wear and tear). This was THE answer clearly. It was the right size, the right shape, and £3 a strip. Dad only had just over a metre though, so off we went to B&Q who had 45mmx5mm or 40mm x 7mm both of which would require filing a larger hole on the hatch, and I hate removing bits of the boat permanently. So, long story short I cut the bit my dad had in half and suffered with half sliders for a while. A long while. Nearly a year. This was fine, except that every time I opened the hatch it would scrape on the roof, and every time I closed it, I'd have to line up with the shorter sliders to lock it. This was tiresome, but my laziness knew no bounds. Someone else mentioned stainless sliders on a forum or Facebook a while back so while bored I googled stainless bar on a whim and it was cheap. Really cheap, why had I held out for plastic?!
So, upon arrival, I measured a second time on the boat and marked up length and width with a sharpie (permanent marker). Width of the runner was obviously 40mm but width of what I would screw into wasn't, and on the Vivacity goes from about an inch to about 2/3 inch over the length in question so the holes would need to line up. As you'll see later the holes had to be pre-drilled (another vote for plastic!!). I then cut them to length with a hacksaw. This took AGES. 316 Stainless bar hates tools and saps energy. Maybe I'm just weak but I like to think I can cut a bit of metal without trouble!
Safety safety safety with this stuff. Wear gloves for the heat, I touched the drill bit at one point to see if it was hot. It was. Wear goggles for the flying shrapnel since they cost £2 and your eyes are priceless. Wear a dust mast because the stuff in stainless is evil and will destroy your lungs. Maybe not drilling but sanding without doubt.