Hatch Cover Material

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by MJT, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. MJT
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: North Kingstown, RI

    MJT Junior Member

    I'm building new main (companionway) and secondary (deck) hatches, and I'm at the point where I need to choose the tops. Here are three possibilites:

    (1) Tinted polycarbonate sheet is the natural choice, as that would match the original hatches. Strong and transparent, but not non-skid underfoot.

    (2) Marine ply covered with two layers of biaxial glass, painted white and nonskid. Strong, easy, but totally opaque.

    (3) Fiberglass (more than two layers) with no ply substrate. Strong, more glasswork, and translucent.

    I'd like to go with (1), but the cost is a factor. I need two 24"x24" pieces and one 36"x31" piece.

    Is there a serious drawback to not being able to see through the hatches?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
     
  2. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 693
    Likes: 21, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    What do the hatches go to or where are they located? In the long run I'd go for ply and glass. If you need to see out why does the poly sheet need to be full size, why not smaller in a ply and glass hatch?
     
  3. MJT
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: North Kingstown, RI

    MJT Junior Member

    There are two deck hatches and one sliding companionway hatch. The boat in the image is similar to mine and shows two deck hatches that appear to have a tinted glass/plexi/polycarbonate insert. All have to be strong enough to be stepped on.

    I'm not sure I need to see out, but, on the other hand, it might be convenient to be able to glance up and be able to look skyward.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 136
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Its more than just convenient to be able to check the sails when below and foreward.

    I like tinted carbonate hatches because you can see thru them and they can be simple to fabricate if you're doing a slick modern "frameless" install. Opaque is classical, translucent is like the middle ground, but it can be hard to not have the naked fiberglass look "cheap". Half framed like in the above pic is a better compromise, but expensive. I guess it all depends on what kind of "look" you are looking for in your boat.
     
  5. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 693
    Likes: 21, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    I take it back, a boat like that deserves proper hatches, might do one poly and build a fitting teak inlaid hatch and make it pretty....
     

  6. MJT
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: North Kingstown, RI

    MJT Junior Member

    There's a hatch on the aft deck (under the mizzen boom) that does not need to be transparent. That one will be done in teak for sure. Thanks for the thoughts.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.