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Old 09-12-2011, 15:40   #1
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Companionway Hatch Frozen Shut

So I got back to my boat the other night, and my Companion way hatch was frozen shut. I had to climb through my aft hatch over my bed luckily I had left it unlocked. Any winter liveaboards have any experience with this or solutions for this? It's nice and warm inside as long as I can get in. Thanks James
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Old 09-12-2011, 15:49   #2
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

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So I got back to my boat the other night, and my Companion way hatch was frozen shut. I had to climb through my aft hatch over my bed luckily I had left it unlocked. Any winter liveaboards have any experience with this or solutions for this? It's nice and warm inside as long as I can get in. Thanks James
If you're at a dock, you're paying for electric no matter how much you use, get a small ($15) heater. It should keep it from freezing. I had my first sub freezing night last night, that little heater kept me toasty. Put it low, heat rises.
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Old 09-12-2011, 15:56   #3
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

Move South?

Ok had to say it lol

You must have water that is freezing around the hatch. I would try a canvas cover to go over the outside of the hatch to keep water out and heat in.
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Old 09-12-2011, 16:02   #4
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

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If you're at a dock, you're paying for electric no matter how much you use, get a small ($15) heater. It should keep it from freezing. I had my first sub freezing night last night, that little heater kept me toasty. Put it low, heat rises.
Not all docks have the same electrical policy.

I'd be very cautious leaving an electric heater running when not on the boat. I wouldn't do it with one that has exposed elements, I did sometimes do it with an oiled filled one that had a shutoff mechanism if it tilted.
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Old 09-12-2011, 16:55   #5
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

It was a few years ago, but live aboard in Connecticut, NE blizzard, company putting up the crew in a local hotel, but I'm docked 10 minute walk (without the snow), valiantly march through the snow to the dock, notice there is no glow from the heater in the cabin. The hatch is frozen shut. Pry it open, but it breaks the hatch cover. I find no electric service on board. Follow the shorepower cable to the stanchion on the dock. The winds and rocking of boat and floating dock have undone the twist lock and the umbilical cord is in the drink. It's frozen. bend it around to the galley and roast it over a burner. It gets softer. Water starts running out of the connector. After a while it is mostly dry and I stuff it back in and throw the breaker. The heat comes on. The hatch cover gets disassembled and reassembled while the storm rages. Horizontal tons of snow. The calendar in the galley is plastered with snow, as is the whole cabin inside. The hatch is closed and I crash in the bunk still in my eskimo gear. The next morning the snow on the calendar is still plastered. The thermometer is still below freezing. The heater didn't make any headway. The crew at work tells me about the great blizzard party they had at the hotel on the company's dime.
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Old 09-12-2011, 16:59   #6
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pirate Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

Leave the de-icer in the cockpit....
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Old 09-12-2011, 17:07   #7
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

How about putting a thick blanket over the hatch when you leave. While not guaranteed to prevent the freezing it should allow the temperatures to get lower before it freezes.
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Old 09-12-2011, 17:08   #8
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

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Leave the de-icer in the cockpit....
That would be the bottle of brandy?
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Old 09-12-2011, 17:23   #9
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Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

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How about putting a thick blanket over the hatch when you leave. While not guaranteed to prevent the freezing it should allow the temperatures to get lower before it freezes.
It might freeze to the entire surface.
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Old 10-12-2011, 13:32   #10
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pirate Re: Companion way hatch frozen shut

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That would be the bottle of brandy?
Brandy is in the galley won't waist it on the hatch, but it warms me once I crawl in my aft hatch.

the blanket idea might work Ill try that, could help the heater warm the hatch.
It was eleven degrees last night, and frozen shut again.
Going south is sounding better all the time. too bad I have about a years worth of fitting out before I'm ready to do that. eventually I'd like too winter in Florida or the Caribbean and summer in lake Michigan.
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Old 10-12-2011, 13:46   #11
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Re: Companionway Hatch Frozen Shut

How about those cheap desk lamps with an articulating arm mounted to the wall, you could swing it out and turn it on when you leave. A 60 watt bulb should give off enough heat.

Maybe rope lights on the outside?

There is also such a thing as a snow melt cable: Snow Melt Cable - Ice Melt Cables

They also make de-icing mats. They will automatically switch on when ice or snow is detected. Actually, the cables are can be automated as well.
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