Originally Posted by Wotname
I would love to hear of DIY quick access solutions for soles.
I have seen lots of different methods that are either expensive or a major to retrofit. We have light hatches and store nothing in the bilges (our bilges are full of fixed items such as water tanks
, grey water
sumps, mufflers, etc) so I just used el cheapo Durabell type plastic catches like these -
The bayonet bit hanging vertically off the bottom of the hatch
aligned with the hatch
edge and the mating bit it latches into on blocks under the sole at the edge of the cutout in the sole. I found I needed no more than two on any of our hatches - one needs a good pull to get the hatches released, they certainly won't fall out by themselves.
Can be very tricky to fit as can't get into the bilge
to line the catch pieces up with each other - I did it by mounting the mating pieces screwed in final position, stuck the bayonet piece into it with tight fitting screws through its mounting holes such that when I pressed the hatch down on it the screw points left dimple impressions in the bottom of the hatch. Then just screwed the bayonets onto the hatch bottoms using those dimples as the guide. They all worked out first go. For all similar things an alternative way is to mount one piece of the hardware
and then temporarily gluing the mating piece on using hot melt glue, breaking off and readjusting as necessary before screwing in final position.
The other similar difficult one is the hatches under bunks and settees. The best and simplest solution I know of, in my view, is just simple toggles cut out of thinish ss flat bar, screw with washer under head
through the centre and mounted on the fixed part so that rotating it one side of the toggle sits over the hatch board (all metal edges rounded and pan head
screws to avoid abrading the bottom fabric
of the squabs and the fastening screw in tight enough so toggle is firm but still able to be rotated).
Regarding the "finger breaking" holes and latches in locker doors, the secret is that one has to make the finger hole generously sized so there is plentry of room for the finger to go through at an angle if one is thrown around, and remember to never try to undo the latch cack handed ie if finger latch on right hand side of the hole then use left hand and vice versa.