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Old 17-03-2008, 02:56   #1
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Flush Deck Hatches

I am considering using flush hatches on a boat I'm designing, and would appreciate any feedback, and pros/cons regarding these. As it will be a new build, it will not be difficult to design these in now.

I have found 3 suppliers so far:

Lewmar: Lewmar

BSI: Flush Deck Hatch unveiled - BSI - 1680

Rutgerson: RUTGERSON MARIN

Any practical feedback is appreciated.

Regards

Alan
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:16   #2
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Any thing flush will be recessed. Anything recessed with either leak, or let water in when the hatch is opened. I have to agree it would please the eye, but possibly no the practicality. Also I don't step on my hatches, and when they are raided they are easier seen when seeing is difficult.............MH.02 cents
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Old 18-03-2008, 12:46   #3
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To me it sounds like a better idea than it works out to be. Being raised at least helps them not become a drain as water flows over the deck. I see some have a recessed edge / frame that catches the water flowing down but I doubt they catch it all.
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Old 18-03-2008, 13:23   #4
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Any deck penetration* should be on a raised pad, located at the high point of a downward sloping surface.
A Flush Hatch, which implies a recessed frame, is begging trouble.

* Including: cleat bolts, chain plates, and hatches, etc.
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Old 18-03-2008, 20:33   #5
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The ones I've seen have been installed with a scupper around them with a drain hole tubed down and over the side out a thruhull fitting. And like Gord stated, they were on a bit of an angle.

You might consider these type (low profile). They are not flush but they are not much of a trip hazard, and lines don't get caught up on then when closed.
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Old 19-03-2008, 01:34   #6
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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
The ones I've seen have been installed with a scupper around them with a drain hole tubed down and over the side out a thruhull fitting. And like Gord stated, they were on a bit of an angle.

You might consider these type (low profile). They are not flush but they are not much of a trip hazard, and lines don't get caught up on then when closed.

Thanks for the input guys. I know that until recently flush hatches were the domain of expensive custom built boats, but with the advent of standard hatches at roughly the same price as standard ones, we can expect to see them on smaller boats.

My worries are exactly the issues brought up here, how watertight they actually are (probably not a major issue) but having to find room for a hose to drain water away, and having to conceal this. It will either mean lots of hose leading to a drain, on each side of a cat, or individual drains for most hatches to keep the hose runs to a minimum.

The low profile hatches are the alternative I'm looking at.

What I was hoping for was some people who have had this kind of hatch for a number of years, and what their experience is.

Regards

Alan
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Old 22-03-2008, 21:07   #7
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Quote:
I am considering using flush hatches on a boat I'm designing, and would appreciate any feedback, and pros/cons regarding these. As it will be a new build, it will not be difficult to design these in now.
They are likely to be suspect to leakage.
Quote:
What I was hoping for was some people who have had this kind of hatch for a number of years, and what their experience is.
The fact that you are having difficulty finding people with experience in their use may be a pretty good indicator that they are not the most seaworthy arrangement. If they were great and performed well, you would most likely see them in common usage. They are not a new concept.
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Old 23-03-2008, 06:34   #8
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I respectfully disagree with the sentiment thus far:

Flush mounted hatches can be designed to drain well and there are imho distinct advantages:

If I am working say on the foredeck in rough seas I have one thing less to worry about, i.e. where I step. Also nothing gets kinked, particularly true for the hatch on the forepeak that can attract the genoa-sheets in a tack.

To me flush mounted hatches are more than just a fashion-statement.
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Old 23-03-2008, 12:04   #9
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Originally Posted by Sailormann View Post
They are likely to be suspect to leakage.
The fact that you are having difficulty finding people with experience in their use may be a pretty good indicator that they are not the most seaworthy arrangement. If they were great and performed well, you would most likely see them in common usage. They are not a new concept.

With due respect Sailormann, I don't believe that the fact that their use is not widespread is proof of anything, and definately not that they are unseaworthy. Their use has primarily been on high end larger vessels, until the advent of mass market suppliers like Lewmar taking them up.


These hatches have to gain CE approval to be able to sell them in Europe, so I,m not so worried about the seaworthiness, more the longevity, and other maintenance issues, mounting issues etc.

I to like the no tripping/no rope catching aspects of them.

Regards

Alan
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Old 27-05-2009, 10:58   #10
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Flush hatches suck. They drip water every time you open them!
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Old 27-05-2009, 11:37   #11
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These guys make some nice flush hatches:
Marine Hatches. Freeman Marine Equipment, Inc. provides the finest marine and specialty closures available. Custom fabricated doors, hatches, portlights and windows.

Of course, not cheap.

Paul L
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Old 27-05-2009, 16:27   #12
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Goiot Hatches. Standard equipment on Swan.
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Old 27-05-2009, 17:35   #13
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Flush hatches suck. They drip water every time you open them!
In my limited experience, this is the main issue.

My flush forehatch is on a slope, has a slight channel round it, and does not leak at all when closed (as long as I keep the seals well maintained).

But it can drop water if you open it with dew / rain / spray on top. Lying into the wind at anchor, it also has to be closed in the rain. There is also absolutely no protection from light water (e.g. a little spray) running down a gently heeled deck. So it remains closed even in very benign conditions.

Sure, it could probably be designed a different way. But I think that the low profile design above would make most of my little problems go away.

Flush is fashionable, but it requires more work to make it fully functional.
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