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Old 06-09-2018, 12:35   #1
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Should I install a new hatch in the head?

Have a Pearson P39 with two hatches, one in the v-berth, the other in the main salon area. Was wondering about installing a new hatch in the head. Two main reasons would be for ventilation and adding a bit of headroom for myself.

I searched the forum and found loads of threads about replacing, repairing, but haven't come across any where a person actually cuts a new hole in the deck to install a brand new hatch.

Issues? Comments? Suggestions?
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Old 06-09-2018, 14:35   #2
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

It can be done, had some friends who installed a hatch to ventilate the galley on their boat. Part of the job was strengthening the deck to support it all, framing for the opening--theirs was a teak hatch with acrylic "glazing." You say you're in Maine, so you maybe have a short sailing season? If your boat is out of the water 6 mo/yr., just how often would you enjoy this extra headroom? Surely it would be closed when it rains?

I'd say, if you shower in there, it might be worth the effort and expense, because the steam could go immediately out of the boat. You're the only one who can evaluate how important the extra headroom would be to you. (I'm a shorty.)

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Old 06-09-2018, 14:54   #3
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

If there is room, sure. Nice to have the ventilation for showers and other things! As mentioned, once you cut, gouge out the balsa core around the perimeter and fill that space with wood ~ 1/2 x 1/2 + epoxy, or other solid stuff.
Consider mounting that hatch so it opens on the aft side, that way it will extract air out of the boat.
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Old 06-09-2018, 15:51   #4
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

I am currently in Maine, but headed south for winter. Thinking this may end up being my “comfort project” for winter.....you know, the project that gets done after all the important stuff.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:00   #5
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

I have a Pearson 424 and have added small Bomar Nibo (10.75" x 10.75") hatches in the head (shower stall) as well as the aft cabin. Both provide needed ventilation. I have experienced zero issues with the install. I would recommend that you do it.
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Old 07-09-2018, 15:01   #6
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

Be careful of installing any off-centre deck openings. Downflooding angle is a primary measure (it's "the" primary measure) of what constitutes an offshore-capable sailboat. I've read of one large sailboat that foundered at anchor in the Med - mistral (katabatic wind) struck side-on and open companionway hatch (off-centre) was underwater long enough to sink her. An extreme example but any deck hatch will do it, offshore, if too far from centreline.

How far is "too far"? On a well-designed offshore yacht, you really don't want to create an opening any further from the CL than existing hatches without first checking with a competent designer.
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Old 07-09-2018, 16:06   #7
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineGuy View Post
Have a Pearson P39 with two hatches, one in the v-berth, the other in the main salon area. Was wondering about installing a new hatch in the head. Two main reasons would be for ventilation and adding a bit of headroom for myself.

I searched the forum and found loads of threads about replacing, repairing, but haven't come across any where a person actually cuts a new hole in the deck to install a brand new hatch.

Issues? Comments? Suggestions?
Affirmative!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:22   #8
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Re: Should I install a new hatch in the head?

Maine-
I've replaced portlights and deck hatches, and whether you are replacing an existing hatch with a bigger one, or installing a new one, is really the same job. You're going to be cutting a hole in the deck. If you're doing that in a flat and level place--no problem. If there's any curvature, you're going to need a way to match that up to the flat hatch fittings.
Check both sides carefully, make sure there are no wires running in the overhead, trace carefully and then use a jigsaw or other tool for the cut. Clean, prime, seal as needed and it is really no big deal. If the deck is the usual wood coring of some sort, plan to clean some of that out and saturate it with epoxy before you install anything, so that even if there's some water leaking, it won't penetrate into the coring.
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