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post #18 of Old 01-21-2007
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Originally Posted by Giulietta

Truth is, if one of my hatches goes, and the weather hits, I am done. So after this, I am going to make wood plates for my hatches, just in case.
Giuletta, your English is pretty good, considering all the unusual nautical terms you have had to learn.

I have a steel boat with only two small (7 x 14 inch) recessed hatches in the aft transom. I have two similar opening hatches, one in the head, and one in the galley. The other portlights are covered in solid 1/2" Lexan, gasketed and through-bolted. I have two Atkins and Hoyle 20 x 20 inch hatches with teak coamings on the cabin top, and a 24" x 24" solid steel hatch with a four inch coaming in the forepeak, which has a small tempered glass opening hatch. The forepeak is separated from the saloon by a collision bulkhead, watertight save for some pluggable limber holes.

The pilothouse is very bright, but again, here only the center "windshield" is openable, and two small hatches in the pilothouse roof. The rest is sealed by 1/2" Lexan portlights. I have to create storm shutters for these.

The pilothouse can be sealed by gasketed doors from both the aft cabin and the saloon (the two "downstairs" areas). The pilothouse also has large and usually sealed scuppers so that if the companionway boards are stove in, the inrushing water should not get into the rest of the boat nor into the engine compartment directly below.

This area can get very hot, admittedly, in summer, although a cross-breeze is easily obtained in good weather. Besides making storm shutters, I have to weld up a stronger companionway hatch (the sliding hatch is fine) that is beefier than just a single piece of smoke-grey 1/4 Lexan with a teak strip. I need 1/2" dropboards and stronger slots to drop them in. The top dropboard could conceivably have a vent to increase airflow.

Speaking of vents, I am persuaded that running all water and fuel tank vents to the top of the pilothouse to a gooseneck or "U" fitting is a good idea. Waterline vents can easily fill on a heavy heel and promote contamination.
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