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Old 19-08-2012, 02:20   #1
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Hatch Covers

Okay, so this really is not a Liveaboard topic but I cannot find any other category on CF which would apply to this topic.

I want to have Sunbrella external hatch covers made to cover our deck hatches. To protect from UV damage causing crazing. Actually, I would prefer insulated hatch covers -- with hopes that the insulating material might help ward off some of the winter condensation that builds up on the hatch frames inside the boat. I have seen many boats with nice looking hatch covers but have not had the opportunity to closely inspect how these covers are made and how they are attached to prevent flying off during high winds.

A friend in the USA said their hatch covers are secured by snaps installed in the hatch frame. I hope there is another way because I am very leery of drilling holes in our hatch frames. And very leery of installing stainless steel snaps in an aluminum frame.

Any suggestions regarding construction of hatch covers would be greatly appreciated. Hoping to have these hatch covers made in a shop in Marmaris. Thanks in advance.

Judy
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Old 19-08-2012, 06:31   #2
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Re: Hatch covers

Try: blueperformance.com
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Old 19-08-2012, 06:44   #3
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Re: Hatch covers

Sailrite? Sailrite.com | Home

They have its for all kind of things as well as fabrics, and you could make them.
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Old 19-08-2012, 06:53   #4
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Re: Hatch covers

Also, West Marine has them, at least in 3 sizes.
ROBSHIP P012816906 at West Marine
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Old 19-08-2012, 07:02   #5
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Re: Hatch covers

As an alternative to Sailrite, may I suggest Sailmaker's Supply

Sunbrella, Marine Canvas, Fabrics, Hardware and Supplies - Sailmaker's Supply

If you want the hatch to open when covered, you have to fasten directly to the hatch frame in some way. Snaps, or you could do a drawstring. If you do a drawstring, be sure to make the pocket right next the edge of the project and don't do a deep pocket as it won't draw closely round the hatch frame.

If you don't mind having to remove the hatch cover before opening the hatch, install the snaps into the deck next the frame and make the hatch cover a bit bigger or add tabs to the hatch cover for the snaps.

I guess you could glue Velcro to the hatch frame and Velcro the cover to that but I've never been a particular fan of Velcro

oh, ps. when installing snaps, ALWAYS use 4200 on the threads of the snap screws, whether into the deck or to the frame
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Old 19-08-2012, 07:10   #6
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Re: Hatch covers

s/v BEbe,

The hatches on Bluestocking are the cast aluminum Bomars which have front and rear hinging type. The type with the 2 bars across.
They sit raised on 1"high teak surround frames
We made Sunbrella covers which are shallow wedged shape in profile, and 25% longer fore'n aft.
We used push type snaps into the teak frames perimeter which allows us to orientate the cover as a scoop facing forward, or reverse for rain -proof ventilation.
The opening is supported from grommetted corners to cowl vents or life lines.
Stayed in place at 65Knots.
You might carefully adhere wooden strips to the glass to avoid drilling the glass.
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Old 19-08-2012, 08:27   #7
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Re: Hatch covers

My original insulated hatch covers, and many others I've seen, were secured to the hatch with bungee "waist band".
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Old 19-08-2012, 09:37   #8
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Re: Hatch covers

Judy,
Several years ago I made hatch awnings out of Sunbrella Shade and secured them to the hatch frames with DOT fasteners (snaps). I like the shade material because it lets in a lot of light, but still knocks down enough IR to keep the cabin cool in the summer. I made the awnings such that I could slip insulation material between the awning and the hatch acrylic, but I've never done that even in 100 deg F heat. I'd rather have the light in the cabin.
The awnings stay on deck 365 days/year and have held up well, including in winds over 70 kts.

I documented the making of these awnings at Sails & Canvas

Admittedly, the awnings are not elegant, but they work well. A better sewer than I could have made them with fitted corners.

John
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Old 19-08-2012, 10:43   #9
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Re: Hatch covers

I have seen many held by bungee cord hemmed in round the perimeter.

It is a good practice to remove them prior to closing the hatch then place them over the closed hatch. This way you can avoid accidental catching of the cord under the gasket on the corners. If you catch the cord, such a hatch may leak somewhat in heavy rain or under water hose pressure.

PS You can add a layer of foam under the sunbrella to add insulation properties.

A highly recommended thing for any boat sitting in the tropics or other sunny area.

b.
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Old 19-08-2012, 10:50   #10
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Re: Hatch covers

Most I've seen have the snaps installed outside the frame, they are removed to open the hatch. I suppose they are used mostly for boats that sit alot and taken off when going sailing. I would be reluctant to drill the Aluminum frames also.
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Old 19-08-2012, 11:44   #11
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Re: Hatch covers

I have homemade insulated covers with drawstrings on Lewmar Ocean hatches. The little plastic tightener's last a couple of years. I replace the drawstrings at the same time.
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Old 19-08-2012, 11:55   #12
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Re: Hatch covers

I did drill and pop-rivet the snap studs to the outside of the frame on my Lewmar Ocean hatches. That is, the frame of acrylic, not the hatch base. AFAICT, no water seeps through the rivet to the inside of the frame, but even if it did the water would be outside of the gasket and drain away.
The hatch opens and closes with the awnings in place.

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Old 22-08-2012, 11:26   #13
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Re: Hatch covers

Thanks to everyone for all your replies and suggestions.

I've decided that we will try the snaps and JB Weld idea, if we can find a local shop with the right snaps. We are still very leery of drilling into the frame and installing snaps --- not because of leakage but because of the 2 dissimilar metals of the snaps and the frame.

If snaps are not available locally, then I will make the covers myself and do the cord through the hem with toggle closure to tighten around the hatch.

The local West Marine does not sell the hatch covers as one might find in the USA, so this will have to be a custom made project.

Judy
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Old 22-08-2012, 12:34   #14
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Re: Hatch covers

Judy,
Good luck with the JB-Weld approach. It didn't work for me, but maybe with better prep it will work for you. I was in a hurry to get the awnings finished during a very hot North Carolina summer.

I have to admit I didn't consider the problem of dissimilar metals. If I had I probably would have probably purchased thin plastic washers about the size of the snap stud base (or made my own out of plastic sheet) and placed them between the stud and the hatch frame. I did use aluminum rivets.

John
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Old 01-11-2012, 17:01   #15
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Re: Hatch covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
My original insulated hatch covers, and many others I've seen, were secured to the hatch with bungee "waist band".
I have just completed a "wind scoop" in the form of a sided hatch cover for a Hans Christian and, other than two loops at the fore to attach to a rod run through the locking pin eyes on the deck, the rest was secured by strong bungee within a hem of the cover and tied off around the rear locking hinges.

This boat does have though heavy hatches with a good overhang of the GRP decking but if other wooden hatches were similar then this method should work really well.
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