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Old 20-03-2016, 19:24   #1
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Adding a salon hatch to a C&C 34 MK1?

There's a ton I love about my 1977 C&C 34, but one of the things I'm not crazy about is the amount of ambient light in the cabin. A previous owner actually installed two hatches on either side of the cabintop, just forward of the traveler, in an attempt to let in more light.

I was looking at the classic diagram of the C&C 34 and it clearly shows a rather large hatch just aft of the mast:

I wondered if this was ever done on any boats but couldn't find anything until earlier today I saw this picture on a 2011 listing for a C&C 34 called Relentless out of Chicago:

The hatch looks to be a different size/shape than on the diagram, and as it's the only one I've found I expect it's aftermarket. However, seeing that it can be done has given me encouragement to make it happen on my boat, but I wanted to talk to folks here and see what everybody thought. Questions:

1) Have any C&C 34 owners done this already?

2) Can anyone think of a compelling reason why I should definitely not pursue this? Am I asking for trouble cutting a sizable hole in the deck of the boat? Do I weaken or compromise it in any way (aside from the standard concern of water entry)?

3) How would you go about doing this? My current plan would be to cut from the bottom through the headliner first to inspect the deck and make sure it's good to cut.

Here's a picture of my boat:

You can see the two aftermarket hatches already installed just forward of the traveler. They do a nice job of giving a little more light, especially when open. I've outlined roughly where I would install the new hatch in green. I would remove the unused deck hardware (I'm planning on using it on the starboard cabintop as part of a running rigging overhaul). We presently don't have a boom vang installed and we'll be adding one this season, so the hatch would be installed so it opened facing rearward.

What do you folks think?
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Old 22-03-2016, 17:47   #2
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Re: Adding a salon hatch to a C&C 34 MK1?

Anybody? I figured at least I would have some old salts telling me it was a damn foolish thing to do and I should just light a kerosene lamp in the cabin or something : )
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Old 22-03-2016, 19:28   #3
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Re: Adding a salon hatch to a C&C 34 MK1?

You will probably have more luck with this by asking a few of the people on the C&C list at C&C Yachts - C&C Photo Album & Resource Center.

Good luck!
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Old 22-03-2016, 19:58   #4
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Re: Adding a salon hatch to a C&C 34 MK1?

While not your boat, our C34 came with one. Earlier boats, like mine, came with a solid Bomar hatch. Later ones came with flimsier Lewmars.

A BIG choice you have to make is whether it opens fore or aft. Ours is aft and with the V berth hatch open is just fine.
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 22-07-2016, 04:52   #5
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Re: Adding a salon hatch to a C&C 34 MK1?

I have actually also been looking for ways to add more ventilation/light into the salon of ours! We have an '82 C&C 34. I can definitely verify that we have a hatch that looks like it was manufacture installed just aft of the mast as in the diagrams you displayed. I have a boom vang on mine and unfortunately the hatch opens forward and i always gets in the way. So my suggestion is to mount it to open towards the rear. We also have a couple of the solar powered Nicro vent fans near the winches on either side of the mast, but they don't do too much.

This one isn't mine, but it shows the same hatch that I have. 1982 C&C 34 Centerboard sailboat for sale in Virginia

I am interested though in the other two hatches you have installed. Would you maybe be able to take some close up pictures inside and outside? My wife is always complaining about how hot it gets in the cabin and would love to add some more openings.
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c&c 34, hatch, salon

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