I appreciate all the inputs. The Moonlight Hatches that several people recommended look like good quality. When I checked out the specs, it appears I would have a serious project
on my hands since my cutout dimension is 550mm square while the closest Moonlight hatch
requires a 500mm cutout. That means glasswork and a haulout that I hoped to avoid.
Before I go much further, I would appreciate some input on the European and USA requirements for escape hatches
. Our cat is rated as European Categorie 1 and I would like to maintain the rating if possible. Does anyone know If there is a USA requirement by the Coast Guard for escape hatches
I'm leaning toward modifying my existing hatches as I indicated in my first post. Briefly, that involves replacing lexan
with 1/4" (6mm) aluminum
plate and putting a s/s bolt thru four corners of the plate with backing plates
on the inside. This mod would circumvent the current
weakness of rivetted hinges and stops for lock handles. I would also mount a dedicated box wrench on each hatch
for opening in an emergency
. I recognize this is may not be the easiest hatch to escape from, but when I weigh the costs of hatches, $1,000. + and a haulout $2,000. +, I think I might like to spend the money
(I don't have) on a new gas stove for the "Admiral." Do you think this type of hatch fastening would invalidate the European Cat 1 rating? If there is a USA requirement, would I violate that also?