Posted by LeeG on Jul 30, 2005

I'd call a method that secures the edges of the hatch in a mechanical closure to the deck with NO reliance on buckles or straps and no water appears in the compartment close enough to perfection. On top of that it requires no coordination or finger strength to close. If you have aesthetic issues with the solution then take it as a challenge to incorporate the functioning mechanism into a form of perfection. For some strange reason Kulzychis books talk about flush hatches leaking terribly, from what I've experienced with the swiveling closures (like on the A.Hawk) is zero leakage in surf and rescue practice whereas the original oversized hatch and rib set-up (without the existing obove deck rings) leaked like a sieve. I made a Ch18 with a fairly flat (LT) aft deck for lessons. It had a big round flush aft hatch with four 1" webbing straps and fastek buckles,,,a little leaky but not as bad as most plastic boats. The front hatch didn't leak. What I did discover is that once you tighten Fastek buckles enough to make a flush aft hatch secure on a flatish deck is that it won't take much to break the buckle. Two times a big guy grabbed the tight buckle instead of the perimeter line and the buckle snapped in his hand. Not something you'd like to have happen in waves, during a rescue, when the cockpit if full of water and you really can't afford having water come in the aft compartment. To my mind this is zero tolerance territory. If stuff breaks during a rescue it shouldn't allow water in the aft hatch,,at all, not ever, never. Because once that happens an easy rescue becomes a dificult rescue, a dificult rescue becomes an impossible rescue.

In Response to: Re: ches 17 and leaky hat by Ray on Jul 30, 2005