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Thread: Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Rushworth, Australia

    Default Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

    Anyone got ideas how to make a hatch roughly 12 wide and 24 for aft but being in bottom of cockpit it has to seal. Only needs to open once a year .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    Default Re: Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

    "It's dawning on me that I should have worked out the tumbler details more in advance, rather than rely on bluster and over confidence. But that's just silly." Jim Ledger.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Australia

    Default Re: Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

    I've seen very tidy hatches made for Kayaks, I'm sure there's a thread in here somewhere....

    There is a kayak forum;

    I've seen a neat solution with a rabbeted inset for the lid, and surgical tubing to create the seal. Lid locked in place with a twisting wooden peg.
    Would it hold back green water....maybe. The weight of the water might clamp it tighter.

    Just found this;
    Last edited by gypsie; 09-09-2020 at 10:52 PM.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    East Quogue,NY

    Default Re: Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

    Aquinian's link shows a great job.

    If you only need annual inspection, instead of regular access, a guttered perimeter likely is not required. Create a rabbet/ sill by affixing narrow shelves around the underside of the cutout perimeter using wood, or aluminum stock ( my choice). The part you cut out of the deck becomes your hatch lid--clean up its edges and plane it down about 1/8-1/4" all around. This can now be set in non-adhesive, or mildly adhesive, caulk upon the sill you created.

    You could tap the shelf/sill and add machine screws for good measure, but really, the goop may hold it down fine.

    Cut the bead of sealant when you need to open the hatch. Scrap the shelf and reapply sealant when you want to close it.

    Trivia: In production fiberglass boatbuilding, a hatch as described is often called a," soft patch" and is used to cover fuel tanks and other items that need access but not weekly or monthly access.


    Edit: coat the end grain edges of your plywood cutout and the hatch cover piece in epoxy.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA

    Default Re: Sealed hatch in cockpit sole

    If it were my wooden boat I would leave it open all the time except when I was using the boat, for ventilation. Use a boom tent to keep the rain out. I once inspected an "R Boat", a lovely boat, with a such a hatch in the sole. When I opened the hatch the smell of rot about knock me over.

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