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Old 17-03-2015, 17:14   #16
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

access to everything.
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Old 17-03-2015, 20:55   #17
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I have not tried this yet, but next time I get motivated to mess with my cabin sole its onthe list.

Instead of messing with latches i am going to route out a small slit in the underside of the boards and epoxy in neodinium magnets matched to a thin slip of steel epoxied into place. A 1/2"X1/2"X1/8" square in each corner of the board would have an attractive force of about 30lbs. Easily enough to keep it down even in a roll over, would require no tools to open, and should last forever.

K&J Magnetics: B882
Hi.

That is an interesting idea. I like magnets too. And the more powerful ones can be very useful, even in small sizes.

I am assuming the issue being discussed is still that of the best way to secure the sole hatches (plywood segments).

If using some kind of magnets to hold down the plywood sole, I would be worried more about the contents of the locker (or below the sole heavy stored food cans and tools etc.) forcing that sole/deck section off during a capsize (which is the most dangerous possible event).

Also, if the magnets would be strong enough to hold not only the plywood sole (deck segment) AND any heavy items below that when the boat is inverted, then it seems to me those magnets would also be very resistant to easy opening when needed.

For that reason, I would stick with proven flush mounted SS latches (locking or not).

Also, will a bunch of high strength magnets have any effect on the boat compass or other devices?
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I found these points interesting about neodymium magnets:

Strong magnetic fields can interfere with compasses and navigation.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) and US Federal rules and regulations cover shipping magnets by air and ground delivery. Magnetic fields can influence compasses or magnetometers used in air transport. They can also affect internal compasses of smartphone and GPS devices.

Neodymium magnets can corrode.

Neodymium magnets can rust or corrode in the presence of moisture. While the three layer, nickel-copper-nickel plating on most of our magnets provides enough protection for many applications, they are not waterproof. If used underwater, outdoors or in a moist environment, they can corrode and lose magnetic strength.
There are more risks and cautions on the following page:
SOURCE: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/safety.asp
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Old 17-03-2015, 21:27   #18
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

++1 wot he said ^^
Quote:
Easily enough to keep it down even in a roll over, would require no tools to open, and should last forever.
plus, you are still going to need a handle of some sort to be able to lift the 30lb. plus weight of the hatch itself. Fingernails wont do it. Teeth wont do it. So handle or tool.
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Old 17-03-2015, 22:49   #19
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

I went through the whole thought process of hinges, handles and catches for our hatches when I laid the teak sole in 'Spirit of Sobraon'. I didn't like the feeling you get when you walk on a modern production boat. The soles squeak and move and feel very "cheap" for want of a better term.

I had also seen a number of older boats with hinges and recessed finger pulls and didn't like the cluttered look.

A boat builder friend showed me his construction method for the hatches on his boats that had no fittings at all. With over 110 cruising boats built I took his advise and am very happy.

The only tool required to open the hatch is a cheap toilet/drain plunger. The secret to keeping them secure is accurate fitting. The fit tolerance is close so that they will bind if they are not lifted out squarely. I have described how I installed the sole here: New Cabin Sole

The whole process was easy. The project looks daunting although I found it well within the ability of anyone with basic woodworking skills. To make the fit perfect the hatches are trimmed so that the edge glued pieces are about 1mm oversize, then they are carefully sized and fitted using a belt sander.

The photo below is of the hatches and sole in my aft cabin during construction prior to final sanding and varnish. The dark edges on the hatches are the teak edge strips. They are the pieces that are carefully sanded to give a snug fit.




We have had the boat in some very heavy seas and never had a hatch move and they are very secure. In the unlikely case of a 180* rollover some of the hatches may come adrift, however that would be the least of my worries. It is likely that the violent movement would cause them to bind.

In the shot below you get an idea of the size of the hatches in the saloon sole and how it all blends without the need for stainless fittings.



Walking around the interior the sole feels very solid. No creaks or movement.

I hope this helps.

Garry
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Home Page - www.sobraon.com
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Old 17-03-2015, 23:05   #20
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

Steady Hand,

For a panel that has stuff stored under them no magnets wouldn't work, or at least not very well. But for bilge hatches that won't be required to contain flying objects they should be fine. If you need to restrain flying cans of food then you are going to need something much more substantial.

As for magnetic fields... Unless you are lying on the floor while trying to use a compass I doubt it would be an issue.
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Old 18-03-2015, 00:12   #21
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

If you get rolled or knocked down in heavy seas, there could be quite a lot more force than just the weight of the floorboard trying to brain you. This calls for positive latches. The traditional Perko latches are hard to beat, with a short dowel at the other end of the hatch.

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Old 18-03-2015, 01:19   #22
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

While a capsize of a yacht is not common, it is not unknown. It is one of the worst possible things that can happen to a boat.

Of course, like anything else related to boating and choices we make in life, we all have to make choices and each will have different priorities or reasoning. And, some sailors will rarely leave a bay or sheltered waters, so the risk of capsizing may be remote.

My choice will be to use proven positive action/closing/locking hatch or locker latches. I don't mind the look of them, I don't mind that they may collect sand or dirt or dust, and I don't think their expense is unrealistic for stainless steel boat parts. That is an opinion, and everyone can make their own choices. YMMV.

My choice is influenced by considering the consequences and history of other sailors who have experienced capsized boats. I have read several accounts of capsized boats. Some mention how everything in the boat came out of the lockers and the resulting chaotic mess. In one account the skipper was seriously injured on his head. That boat was lost. Of course I don't plan on capsizing and hope I never do. But, I do appreciate the consequences and will do what I can to eliminate the risks I can.

This video of a purposefully capsized boat (in controlled conditions) shows how things fly across the boat. Watch carefully and you will see a square segment of the cabin sole drop with force. As I recall, that is also described in the video narration later in the video.

http://youtu.be/Gqe1Sxa2GXo?t=4m42s

If you just want to see the capsize and want to skip the intro, then fast forward to the 4minute 42second mark and watch from there.

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Old 18-03-2015, 10:18   #23
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

Yeah, people have a tendency to think "it wont happen to me". An interesting read in a sailing magazine this month about an unlucky sailor who in the last 10 years:
2004-structural hull damage forced retiring from an off shore race
2006-structural hull damage forced retiring from an off shore race
2008- Collision at sea forced retiring from an off shore race
2014- Dismasted doing a delivery
2015- Dismasted during an offshore race


I saw some hatch board locks once that I thought made a lot of sense. They looked like a near flush chrome button the size of a quarter. One slot in the top for turning the catch with a coin or screwdriver. The only hole you needed was just a simple round drilled hole. for most hatchboards that would be great I thought.
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Old 18-03-2015, 19:00   #24
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I saw some hatch board locks once that I thought made a lot of sense. They looked like a near flush chrome button the size of a quarter. One slot in the top for turning the catch with a coin or screwdriver. The only hole you needed was just a simple round drilled hole. for most hatchboards that would be great I thought.
That would be like the PYI items referenced above. The only problem I see is that you need a tool to open them. Other than that they are great, small, unobtrusive and solid.
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Old 18-03-2015, 20:57   #25
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

An excellent way to build sole hatch retainers and openers is to use flat head cap screws (meaning they use an allen wrench). The screws are modified by turning off the threaded portion for about 1" below the head. Mounting receptacles for the screws are machined from bar stock with a countersink so that the screw head fits flush. The receptacles are flat bottomed and sized to fit into a shallow counterbore cut in the hatch. The receptacles have a thread cut into the bottom of the countersink instead of the usual thread clearance hole. The combination of the threaded receptacle and removed thread area on the screw creates a captive screw. Once screwed into the receptacle it is free to turn and cannot be lost. To open the hatch, after the screw is unthreaded from the sub sole thread it engages is can be lifted up the length of the removed thread (ie about an inch) and becomes a handle to lift the hatch by. When it is screwed down the hatch is totally secured, everything is flush, there are no recesses to hold dirt. It is a clean, functional and inexpensive system.
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Old 18-03-2015, 21:22   #26
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

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An excellent way to build sole hatch retainers and openers is to use flat head cap screws (meaning they use an allen wrench). The screws are modified by turning off the threaded portion for about 1" below the head. Mounting receptacles for the screws are machined from bar stock with a countersink so that the screw head fits flush. The receptacles are flat bottomed and sized to fit into a shallow counterbore cut in the hatch. The receptacles have a thread cut into the bottom of the countersink instead of the usual thread clearance hole. The combination of the threaded receptacle and removed thread area on the screw creates a captive screw. Once screwed into the receptacle it is free to turn and cannot be lost. To open the hatch, after the screw is unthreaded from the sub sole thread it engages is can be lifted up the length of the removed thread (ie about an inch) and becomes a handle to lift the hatch by. When it is screwed down the hatch is totally secured, everything is flush, there are no recesses to hold dirt. It is a clean, functional and inexpensive system.
Never heard of a set-up like that, but it makes complete sense. Mcmaster-carr calls them captive panel screws, and you can get them in stainless for under $5. Sure is a better deal than the PYI set-up

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Old 19-03-2015, 23:05   #27
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Re: Cabin Sole Access Htaches and Fittings

I note that this is Cruising Forum and yet some of you want to compare preparation for an off shore race to that of a cruising boat.

I would possibly have one of the most secure boats currently circumnavigating. We continually are critised by other cruisers that our boat doesn't look like a real cruising boat because it doesn't have all the clutter both down below and on deck.

As I stated earlier a few bilge inspection hatches coming adrift in the almost unheard of complete roll over on a cruising boat would be the least of your worries.

I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, it is my opinion that one of the reasons most 'want to be cruisers' never make the break is because of the constant over analyzing of problems that don't exist.

Our boats hatch system is exactly the same as that found on super-yachts worth in the 10's of millions of dollars. Ours have never come adrift.

We have been in some horrendous storms, one that was big enough to have snapped our boom in half. Believe me, that was scary, but the last thing I was worrying about was whether a bilge access hatch had come adrift.

Let's face it. When you drive down to Walmart to pick up your latest purchases, do you spend hours tying all of them into the back of your car on the off chance that you may be involved in a roll over. No! I would like to see the statistics of the probability of a roll over in a car compared to that of a cruising boat.

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