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Old 25-07-2011, 09:41   #1
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Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

Hello all,

I am new to the forum. My husband and I and our 3 kids will soon be liveaboards on our boat. We had to move on her due to my mother-in-law being ill and with us being 300 miles away with a house that isn't selling --it was our only alternative.

Anyway, my question is regarding hatch shades. In our v-berth cabin and our aft cabin we have 2 ft x 2 ft hatches. They are right over the mattresses and makes the cabins extremely hot on sunny days. Ocean air shades are very expensive as are the Peek-a-Boo shutters.

Does anyone have any experience with DIY hatch coverings?

Thanks very much!
Z
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Old 25-07-2011, 09:57   #2
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Re: Advice needed for hatch shades

Z, We make hatch covers from sunbrella that we sew ourselves. You can sew in some bubble wrap on the inside to provide additional insulation. use a light color and that helps even more and will let some light in during the day. Buy an inexpensive sewing machine to start out, be sure it will sew through multiple layers, get a book on boat canvas projects, and you will be surprised how much money you will save and what kinds of projects you come up with. Or you can hire the local canvas shop to do it for you. Chuck
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Old 25-07-2011, 09:58   #3
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Re: Advice needed for hatch shades

I do not have experience with doing it, but fabric and canvas snaps should take care of the shade need. It does require sewing skills, and the basic snap tools. The OceanAir shades also have fly screens though. Here is a link: Oceanair SURFACE Skyscreen Sunblind & Flyscreen at AhoyCaptain.com - Always your best source..

If you have to aquire the tools needed you might not save much $.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:01   #4
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Re: Advice needed for hatch shades

The silver shades for automobile windows are composed of mylar over cardboard. I'd look into shades made of reflective or semi-reflective material like that.

Edit: I was thinking of inside the boat, obvously outside would be heavy material with snaps.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:12   #5
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Re: Advice needed for hatch shades

For an el cheapo quickie solution, tape aluminum foil on the inside of the hatches. It works fine on my boat, reflecting the light and heat.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:23   #6
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Re: Advice needed for hatch shades

Aha, I knew something was in my head that seemed useful. The mylar blankets at the camping and sports stores:

Light Pocket Size Reflective Mylar Survival Space blanket-Go Fast and Light

Two bocks and trim to fit.
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Old 25-07-2011, 11:37   #7
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

Alternatively you can get cheap Walmart tarps and string those up. Put them up high enough and you can open the hatches to let air in(even on a rainy day) and they also help keep the sun off the deck, which really helps to cool the boat.

The down side is they make it harder to crawl around on deck.
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Old 25-07-2011, 13:52   #8
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

Welcome to the forum Z.
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:30   #9
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

On last boat, I had some made that were flat (in other word, not contoured), and wrapped around the hatch lid, with the ends secured to each other with shock cord. This allowed the cover to stay on when the hatch was opened. I had them made of 2 layers, white on top of black (needed to keep the light out).

There was binding (I think it's called) around the edges, but not where it would be compressed by the gasket.

Worked great. The black makes the difference. I may be able to find some pictures if this isn't clear and you are interested.
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:58   #10
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

We made our own out of Phifertex that we purchased from Sailrite. It is a 80% sunblock permitting you to still see out, but not in. It also significantly cuts down the heat. Phifertex Plus Vinyl Mesh White 000 54" Fabric - Sold by the Yard
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Old 25-07-2011, 18:00   #11
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

welcome , z...... from zee---i use plastic tarps, raised about 3 ft off deck and tied to my shrouds--i have a ketch. here in mazatlan it works for sun and for rain. good luck. on my ericson,, a boat i still have in sd bay, i have sunbrella covers that cost me not even 200 dollars for 3. they are easy to have made-- if you have some made, do have them add extra lip on the open area so you can keep em open in rain. makes a biiig difference.
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Old 26-07-2011, 06:47   #12
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

We use shade tarps that are sold inexpensively as automotive tarps. They are not waterproof, but they are also not noisy in the wind like the plastic tarps.
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Old 26-07-2011, 07:44   #13
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

Thanks all for your great ideas! As a newbie, I probably should have been more specific -- I am looking for interior shade ideas -- my wording is confusing.

The exterior ideas are great! If we can't find interior ideas then we will definitely go with one of those.
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Old 26-07-2011, 07:52   #14
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

If you do decide to opt for exterior covers check out the ones by Blue Performance. If you want netting, it stored in a pocket in the cover. We use them on PEREGRINA - we live aboard and they make a huge difference in summer.
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Old 26-07-2011, 07:56   #15
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Re: Advice Needed for Hatch Shades

Interior shades would seem to be safer and less work to adjust from inside. Most posters here tend to try to design everything as if it would be made of stainless diamond plate.

BTW diamond plate would keep out the sun.

Hatch shades
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