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Old 08-10-2015, 09:47   #16
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

If you do a search you will find some threads with interesting ideas, like inexpensive alarms that are heat sensing and will turn on lights, or sirens if you wish when someone gets close to your boat, and before actually boarding.
Good idea I think and if it's just a light, and they are friends, then if nothing else it's sort of friendly to turn on a light for them isn't it, but if they are there for nefarious reasons, maybe lighting them up, may make them just motor away?
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:01   #17
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

For my 1m x 1m hatch I incorporated a three part hatch closure in the expectation of cruising through varied countries - one 10mm thick perspex waterproof, one stainless insect screen and one stainless security bars. All three slotted into ss runners mounted below the hatch - just pull up what you need. Seemed reasonable at the time but probably overkill in retrospect. Works well though. Easy and cheap to get done living in Hong Kong where most residences have combination doors and windows in ss.


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Old 08-10-2015, 10:05   #18
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

We are a senior couple and during our cruises we have met very few folks who had a problem. However, when they did. It was really bad.

I have devised a simple system to warn me of an intruder. I have several tiny pins on each side of my hatch on the inside. Hardly noticeable. If I am somewhere outside of a "safe" marina or very crowded anchorage, etc, etc, I string a 1 lb fishing line zig zaging across those pins. One end is fixed, the other slips over a tiny, momentary contact toggle switch connected to my bilge alarm. String tension holds the switch but if the fishing line is disturbed, it releases the switch and the bilge alarm sounds.

So far, never had it trip, but a safe deterrent.

Find yourself a military person. We know of many types of easily triggered alarm or anti personell divices. Can't mention them on the internet. Too many liabilities. But.... from my viet nam days we had some good ones.

BTW. My bilge alarm is a back up alarm bought from an auto parts store for about 9 bucks and it will wake the dead. Its about the size of a 35mm film can. Remember them???

Safe and happy cruising to you.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:22   #19
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

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Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
For my 1m x 1m hatch I incorporated a three part hatch closure in the expectation of cruising through varied countries - one 10mm thick perspex waterproof, one stainless insect screen and one stainless security bars. All three slotted into ss runners mounted below the hatch - just pull up what you need. Seemed reasonable at the time but probably overkill in retrospect. Works well though. Easy and cheap to get done living in Hong Kong where most residences have combination doors and windows in ss.


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Would like to see that. Can you post some photos?
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:28   #20
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

Most of my sailing was in Northeastern waters, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc. We never locked the companionway while we were on board, but almost always did when we left.

Now on the Pacific Coast I have an older boat with an old "skeleton" key lock (and 35 years later the key is still with us!). I have however bought modern padlocks which, again, we use only when we leave the boat for anything longer than a day.

I am usually hyper-vigilant about security in a new area, and admittedly have not gone to extremely crime prone harbors, so I may sing another song in a few years, but as of now I just wouldn't feel comfortable locking us in at night.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:36   #21
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

Regarding Companionway Hatch Security:

I know this topic has been discussed before here on CF. That does not mean I am trying to limit this particular discussion. Instead, I just want everyone to know there are many previous comments on similar topics.

Here is a Google Custom Search showing 900 or more mentions of "hatch security" in previous threads, some which have very similar questions.
hatch security - Google Search

_______________

My concern is not so much being able to lock myself in a boat to keep bad guys out of my boat while I am IN the boat. I can understand if people DO have a concern with that, though I think the likelihood of an intruder coming aboard while you are aboard is rare (though possible) and not something I would worry about. There are many much more common things to worry about (like dragging anchor).

My bigger concern is to deter theft of my essential cruising gear and goods (laptop, camera, electronics, etc.) while I am away from the boat such as when ashore doing some touristy visiting or eating ashore or shopping. My main concern is when the boat is left on the hook with nobody on the boat. So, I am interested in some form of locking the companionway securely from the outside.

Of course I know that most companionway hatch boards can be easily breached and there are other hatches too.

Still, my interest is in having something more than the commonly seen small clasp lock on a piece of acrylic or thin wood held on with two small screws.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:44   #22
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

I often locked us in in the third world, or even other places... depends on the region and what you hear is going on locally. Anything from just a barrel bolt to hold the companionway hatch, to SS bars that slide into the companionway board location for ventilation.


Most hasps are made to cover the screws.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:48   #23
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Would like to see that. Can you post some photos?

No pics on hand but will get when next at the boat.


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Old 08-10-2015, 11:05   #24
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1oldbuzzard View Post
We are a senior couple and during our cruises we have met very few folks who had a problem. However, when they did. It was really bad.

I have devised a simple system to warn me of an intruder. I have several tiny pins on each side of my hatch on the inside. Hardly noticeable. If I am somewhere outside of a "safe" marina or very crowded anchorage, etc, etc, I string a 1 lb fishing line zig zaging across those pins. One end is fixed, the other slips over a tiny, momentary contact toggle switch connected to my bilge alarm. String tension holds the switch but if the fishing line is disturbed, it releases the switch and the bilge alarm sounds.

So far, never had it trip, but a safe deterrent.

Find yourself a military person. We know of many types of easily triggered alarm or anti personell divices. Can't mention them on the internet. Too many liabilities. But.... from my viet nam days we had some good ones.

BTW. My bilge alarm is a back up alarm bought from an auto parts store for about 9 bucks and it will wake the dead. Its about the size of a 35mm film can. Remember them???

Safe and happy cruising to you.
We had a similar thing.. it was from Radio shack. $10 nine volt loud alarm that is tripped by a line. We use heavy fishing line and put it across the cockpit. man that thing was loud. It was about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:23   #25
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

This is in regard to nighttime security. I have little sliding bolts on the drop boards already, for keeping boarding seas from going below, and can close the sliding hatch from outside (where I'll surely be in those conditions) if I'm being swamped to that degree. Closing the sliding hatch also effectively locks the drop boards in place.

The question was asking for opinions from cruisers-- I should say US coastal cruisers --whether they lock themselves inside their boats at night, along the ICW or over in the Bahamas. Again, I've never seriously considered locking myself inside, but I've also never made this snowbird trip out to the islands.

If it was a very simple matter to install an inside lock/bolt for the sliding hatch, I'd have done it, but I can't picture a workable setup. And sorry, I don't have a pic of the sliding hatch from the inside to show you what I'm working with.

I did see someone's post somewhere a while back who installed a pivoting or removable stick of hardwood that jammed the underside of the hatch, preventing it from sliding open. Maybe I can rig something simple like that for those secluded Bahamian anchorages, but it would have to be such that it could not be rattled loose by some determined boarder.

Lastly, my only other hatch (forward) is not big enough to get in/out of.

Any and all ideas welcome....
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:33   #26
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

You could put good Velcro on the stick and hatch to keep it in place.
Usually the wood aft end of a sliding hatch will go over the companionway boards and allow a stove bolt to be used into the wood on the perimeter that holds the sliding door boards. If that makes sense.
We really need pics to solve your problem.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:49   #27
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

We don't lock ourselves in but we haven't been anywhere where we felt we needed to do so. However, we are going to get security bars and a security hatch welded before we set out because we would at least like to have the option.

Sometimes the issue is not the country or community you are anchored in but other cruisers. Some cruisers are bereft of morals and have blatantly ripped off other cruisers when not on their boats. Other times, there are just freaks in the boating community - marathon comes to mind. Not enough of an issue to leave a great anchorage but enough to say to yourself "if I have to leave my wife alone on the boat to travel I'd really like her to be safe."
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:34   #28
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

I made nice SS security bars, but if I was doing it again, I would probably use some kind of "expanded metal" instead... easier and more closed also. I'd likely just go aluminum.
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Old 08-10-2015, 21:00   #29
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

Came handy locking myself in puerto Morelos yucatan mex two drunk locals swam to the boat early am to steal dinghy (assumption of mine) threatening with flare gun made them jump back in the water and swim back to shore. At St Vincent recently last year had lock us in and had locals come on the boat looking for pocket change threw some ECout of a hatch they left with the change a flashlight and a pair of plyers. If I'm in a harbor i don't know much about always lock me in.
Ernie on the Mary Jane presently in curacao
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Old 08-10-2015, 21:40   #30
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Re: Companionway sliding hatch security

I need to spend time in more challenging areas. I don't lock my house or motorhome while in Canada when I am in them, nor my condo or sailboat in Florida. Yes, I am conscious of situational awareness, and perhaps that is why I don't worry about locking them. I've never been concerned.

Would that change in different areas? Of course it would. And it is for those different areas that threads like this are invaluable... great ideas here.
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