Fixing Sticky Wooden Pilothouse Doors on NT26 and 32


The following thread from the SENTOA Listserver offered many suggestions to fixing sticky wooden doors on the Nordic Tug 26 and 32. Thanks to Scott and Tris, owners of Green Eyes, 26-136, for initiating the discussion:

"Hi, we have a 1991 26’. Our wood doors do not sit exactly square in the frame and have been sticking instead of sliding easily. Also, water drains very slowly from the door channel. Are we missing some sort of slider, do I have a plugged drain under the door channel? I am concerned about rot from direct contact."  

Dave Allen, Nordic Tug Factory — "Are you referring to the side doors? Along the bottom of the side doors there were a couple hard plastic pads that helped the door from riding on the bottom of the wooden door track and allowed the door to slide freely. It is possible that those plastic slides have been worn and the wooden door is sliding inside a wooden track. I tried to locate these earlier but was unable to find a source."

Evan Effa, Tugaway, 37-147 — "I created my own slide blocks out of plastic cutting board material. It works very well."

Al Johnson, Nuthin' Fancy, 26-088 — "Mine were round plastic discs with nails sticking out to mount in the track. I had to sand them down a bit to get the height correct. You can get them at Home Depot. And just remember everyone, the doors are not square, they are a bit of a parallelogram shape due to the slope of the deck and pilothouse roof."

Brian Dodsworth, Tanguer, 32-100 — "On our 1997 NT 32 I use a candle and rub it along the top and bottom of the door runners.  This helps smooth the movement of the door."

Charlie Billings, former owner of BeBe, 26-001 and Nobska, 32-057 — "On both my 26 and 32 NTs (both with wooden doors), I used a 1/2" (as I recall) plug cutter to cut plugs out of a piece of nylon material which I inserted in the existing holes on the bottom of the doors.  The original plugs had worn down to the point that the doors were riding on the surface of the wood track slot.  With new plugs, doors slid easily - perhaps too easily on my 26, since the 26 doors slide forward when opened, and any substantial wave/wake crossing encouraged the doors to slide closed on their own accord."

Bruce Thiedeke, Nautica, 26-102 — "I have installed TapeCase 423-10 Polyethylene Tape with Acrylic Adhesive [available on Amazon] with great success. Make sure the surface is dry before application. It makes the doors slide very easily. You might want to check the nylon runner studs as well and replace as per Dave Allen"

Vince Meyer, Tugzilla, 32-038 — "Early 26 & 32's had teak doors with plastic sliding blocks running in a teak track.  Over time, the wood track gouges a channel that makes the door hard to slide. The best way  to maintain reliable smooth sliding doors is to install a brass flat bar 1/8 x 1½ x track length, available from any internet metal supplier. Use one screw at the forward end of the bar ahead of the plastic slide on the door (so you don't run over the screw every time you open the door) and use polyurethane adhesive to bond the flat bar in the door track. Drill a drain hole at the back end of the bar to allow water to drain. Install new plastic slides on the bottom of the door & countersink as needed for clearance, any hardware store has slides for chairs,  etc...  install the door stop and voila!  A smooth sliding door that doesn't wear out and looks like it was done on purpose...  I modified our pilot house doors in '08 with no door issues since."


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