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Old 05-02-2008
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"Witzgall - the forward hatch in the picture is going to break or develop a severe leak quickly."

Well there's a statement that i completely disagree with. The majority of production boats have their forward hatches mounted with the hinges aft and they rarely, if ever have a problem. The dog side of the hatch (vs hinge side) usually has the better seal since the dogs compress the gasket making a forward facing hatch more watertight when hit with green water (half blue-half yellow) when closed. An open forward hatch will catch jibsheets whichever way it faces.

In terms of ventilation, I had a boat which had a forward hatch that could open either way (you shifted the hinge pins) and it clearly had better ventilation when opened to the rear. There is a theory of ventilation that suggests that the area of the exhaust end of a non-compressed ventilation system should have 50% more area than the intake end. On my boat the forward hatch has its hinges facing aft (opening facing forward) and the main cabintop mounted hatch has its hinges facing forward (opening facing aft) which when combined with the area of the companionway seems to be consistent with that theory.

I do leave the midships hatch with the forward hinges open when sailing in moderate or less conditions and it does not seem to take spray down below.

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Old 05-02-2008
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So one more question - What kind of goo should I use to seal the flange to the deck?Lewmar specifies a sealant, as opposed to an adhesive, but they don't go as far as to recommend a particular one.
1984 Wauquiez Pretorien
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