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Removeable forehatch hinges   Total Page Hits: 1862

Post Type: Technical/Project

Boat Part: Deck

Date Modified: 03/08/2018 9:39 PM


The girls' favorite position on the boat is standing in the forehatch with their heads out in the wind. The height is just right and it's easy for them to brace themselves in the hatch. The problem has been that with the hatch up the jib fouls itself on the hatch every single tack.

I started looking for removeable hinges and didn't find anything that came close to the existing hinges, which on my boat were four inch long strap hinges (all the holes in a single line). The most affordable hinges were from Sea Dog. They're considerably beefier than is needed for such a small hatch, but they're still only $20 apiece.

I tried two kinds of hinges, both from Sea Dog. The regular hatch hinge (their part number 205280) didn't reach far enough to bridge the gap between cabin top and the hatch. The long reach hinge (their part number 205285) works fine. In between the two would have fit even better, but that's okay.

The mounting screws are a problem. On the cabin side there's plenty of room for the four screws necessary (or, if you wanted, I'm sure you could get away with two actual screws and two dummy screw heads). On the hatch side, though, the coaming of the cabin top fits inside the hatch almost against the hatch itself. I think there are places where a nut on the inside of the hatch would run into that coaming and keep the hatch from closing.

I got around this, at least for the time being, by mounting blocks of Starboard to the cabin and the hatch using the existing holes. The hinges are then screwed into the Starboard. This means that the blocks are only secured on the very ends. I kind of doubt this will be a problem, the forces acting on the hatch being so low (and the hatch will probably be removed altogether during most sailing). If it does turn out to be an issue, I know a squirt of 3M 4200 will glue the rest of the block on with more than enough strength.

If the whole arrangement works this season then I'll look at either screwing directly to the cabin & hatch or replacing the blocks with something nice.


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