INSHORE overhead hatch

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by FAST FRED, Apr 5, 2009.

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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Our boat is used for mostly inshore work , and the times we have been most hassled is in the Delaware with 35K on the nose and short steep (its shallow for 90 miles) waves that were stoppers.

    We would stick the bow in the top 2ft , which would wash across the bow.

    At sea the waves are never as steep or close together so the boat stays dry.

    I'm looking for an idea for a hatch that would go in the pilot house roof that could slide open.

    Thought about a house patio sliding door , but its seals might not keep rain out if flat on the PH roof.

    Any one see some methods from recycled non boat stuff?

    Sure I could build a Great Maurice Griffiths doubble coaming hatch , but its a lot of work , hjust to keep the rain out.

  2. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    I think sliding hatches are a bad idea. They are not very strong unless they are very substancial. A regular boat hatch with or without plexiglass window is probably best. What I did is remove hydraulic lifts so it fits flush against deck when open and attached velcro to it to keep it banging.
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    They make flip up add-on roof windows for cars and trucks. They are even tinted. They don't leak and are relatiely cheap. They are small, though. Not as big as a patio door!

  4. Sarsfield
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: U.S. Pacific Northwest

    Sarsfield New Member

    Re: sliding overhead hatch

    I don't think there is much off the shelf stuff out there. I did a quick google search and could find only three options. Taylor Made makes something they call a "power roof window". Webasto makes several options. The one I think you'd be interested in is the "60 series sliding roof". Neither one gives much info on their websites but I got the distinct impression that both are custom products. You call them, give them your requirements and they make it for you. Webasto's site constantly mentions builders and shipyards so I'm not sure how well they would respond to a private individual. I think both would be pretty spendy.

    Rondal (a Netherlands company) makes what they call a "sliding deck hatch" but it looks like they aren't very large...maybe 3' X 3' or so.

    But hey, I've got an idea for you. Don't know what you'll think of it but I bet you could build it for pretty cheap with all (or mostly all) off the shelf parts from the nearest hardware store or chandlery.

    See the plans I sketched out. The hatch cover could be bent at a fab shop or the parts could be cut out and welded. If you can weld aluminum you could save the cost of the fab shop. Once everything is made up you could paint it, if you wanted, to match your boat. I used poly in the plans because it's easy to get at a place like Tap Plastics. I think it's slippery enough to give good sliding characteristics without much added lubrication and it won't ever rot or corrode. And (especially the white stuff) would blend right in and look good. You might have a better idea. If you glued some sort of weather stripping material inside the U-channel where the hatch hits it, you could create a weather seal when the hatch is dogged in or the cam latch is thrown. If you made it very large you would probably need to add ribs to support the top and give it some rigidity. 8 gauge aluminum weighs approx. 1.8 pounds per square foot, though, so you could end up with 50-80 pounds pretty quick if it got very large. And the tolerances between the L-metal and the kerfed poly runner would need to be pretty close to keep flex to a minimum.

    I know you know all about sealing the edges of the cut-out and how to properly bed and attach things to the deck so I'm not going to go there.

    Maybe someone else has idea's, too???

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