Two of you have mentioned the main hatch
in the Cat27. That was indeed one of my concerns . Let me illustrate the point by telling you that the fishing
vessels I knew in my youth, boats out of the westcoast ports
of Jutland (Denmark) that spent their time in waters where the wind
comes howling down from Greenland/Iceland screeming like a thousand demented banshees, had wheelhouses that were JUST wide enough for a grown man to stand facing forward, and no more. That was done for safety's sake so you could brace yourself before you got thrown when the ship rolled.
I loathed the C27 most particularly because in any kind of a seaway, that hatch
is NOT safe to stand in because it is too wide, and as the instructor with four students aboard, that is where I HAD to stand. Nor would the hatch stand serious green water
coming under its lip unless seriously modified. It would simply be torn off, and the boat would fill. You cannot "batten down" a Cat27 as it came from the factory. I think in the case of the Cat27, "factory" is a more appropriate term than "builder's yard" :-)
I considered the "hatch problem" particularly serious due to the boat's propensity for pulling her rudder
out and broaching violently if overpressed. This is a fundamental design problem stemming from jamming more volume into the boat than the waterline length can carry. That "excess" volume derives from making the Waterline Beam too great and the bilge
too hard to retain any kind of seakindliness.
As we've discussed in other contexts, neophytes tend to hold their canvas
too long, and I have a very clear recollection of two women becoming widows in English
Bay, smack in the middle of metropolitan Vancouver, off a rented Cat27, about a mile and a half off shore, for that very reason. Held a 130% genny too long when a flukey squall came over, the boat broached while one man was on the foredeck trying to strike it. The deck
went sideways out from under him as the boat broached, he went straight down into the drink, and his mate made the classic error of jumping in after him. The women hadn't a clue what to do, and the Coastguard brought the women and the corpses ashore.
Thank God they hadn't been my students!