If I knew that my friends, I would patent it and make
Wind and spray have a habit of seeping through even
the narrowest of
Of course it all depends on the type of boating you intend doing and on
local weather patterns.
consideration for the
DIYer is, will it be reasonably easy to build.
If the fore hatch is likely to
be walked on it will need
to be strong and the top non-slip.
You will also need to be able
to dog it down tight when
at sea and to make it burglar proof.
Looking for Hatch Fittings
My personal preference is for
a forward opening fore
hatch which will funnel air
below when at anchor and lying to the
The forward edge tends to be
the worst for leaks, however
it is easier to seal the opening edge than the one with the hinges.
top covering can be made from tongue and groove or
laminated with plywood.
If you are using just tongue
and groove, be sure that the
wood is reasonably stable so the joints don’t open and close as the
wets and dries.
On Mignonne’s hatch I used
tongue and groove
covered with plywood which was then painted with non-slip.
It is fairly simple to let an
acrylic panel into the top
to allow light below.
However, if this is likely to
be walked on it will need
support, such as brass rods underneath .
will be slippery
for walking on and will be a
source of condensation
Rounded corners of the
overhang will be both varnish
And a curved top will always
look so much better than a flat top.
outer sides of a hatch opening should never be within the
as this is sure to lead to leaks getting into the beans and
The outside rim of the opening
should be fastened through
The corners of the hatch frame
can be rebated however,
these do need to be strong to prevent warping, they can be strengthened
A box or finger joint will be
stronger and look
Dovetail joints will look even
better and can be quickly and accurately cut with a jig.
There are several types of
hinge available however, piano
hinges are fine.
are also numerous types
of stays for holding the
hatch open, but some of these will extend below the lining when the
closed, consider if these are likely to be a hazard.
The hatch flange should have
an overhang with a drip
groove on the underside
hatch design shown below has Weather strip, the sticky backed
sponge seals are fine and they are cheap and easy to replace.
The facing of the opening,
the level of the outer rim, these need to be well sealed to prevent any
which does get passed the outer rim from seeping behind them.
I have shown the scuppers as
being on the side however
this will depend on the slope of your deck.
Scuppers are best placed on
the trailing rim and
certainly not on the front edge where green water might be forced
I can’t guarantee that this
fore hatch design will
never leak but so far it has worked well on Mignonne.
“When a great adventure is launched with a powerful thrust, fatigue in the muscles and doubts in the mind are swept away by a fullness that moves life along like a breath from the depths of the soul.” (Bernard Moitessier)
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.