(MC16) To hatch or not to hatch...

Hi gang,

Got the deck on my Mill Creek 16 and was starting to think about hatches. I bought the flush hatch option when I got the kit but now am thinking why do I even need hatches? We don't plan on camping out with the kayak it will just be a day paddler down at the lake, the most we'll be taking is maybe a towel and a six pack.

So was wondering of all the hatch people out there - how often do you use them...really?

If I decide to go sans hatch do I need to put a small hole in the bulkhead to equalise the pressure for any reason? This would tend to negate my other reason for going without hatches which is having two really good flotation compartments - the boat would be virtually unsinkable(?).

Having said all that, I may compromise with one of those round type hatches into the rear compartment behind the rear seat (leaving the clear finish deck... clear).  




5 replies:

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RE: (MC16) To hatch or not to hatch...

Looking good, Steve!   I have completely dispensed with deck hatches on my current build (Ches 17LT) and will do so again on my next project.   The reason is exactly the same as you suggest - I have no intention of 'expeditioning', carrying tents, fishing poles, and the like - my use will be two to three hours a day Bay paddling at the most.   I also have to say that I hate the appearance of many of the built-up hatches with the webbing straps securing them - they look so out of place on our sleek craft, like a roof-rack on a Ferrari or a bike carrier on a Porsche!   Flush hatches are much more elegant - but again if you're not going to use them why bother.   And I guess in the final analysis they could always be added later if the need arose.

In my craft I put a simple screw-in inspection port of about 8 inch diameter into each bulkhead at each end of the cockpit, quite sufficient for a thermos, bottle of water, six-pack, bit of lunch, camera, whatever, for a day's paddling.   I drilled a TINY hole in the centre of each screw-in plate just to allow a bit of air movement from (say) pressure build-up inside the hull on hot days, pumping action caused by the action of waves on the hull, etc.   These holes are so small (about a sixteenth of an inch) that it would take forever for any amount of water to get through in either direction.   Furthermore, they are so placed that with the craft right way up or inverted they would be well clear of the waterline even if the cockpit held water.

I hope these thoughts help.




RE: (MC16) To hatch or not to hatch...

the inspection ports are good but i'm glad i went with the hatches. we have been on some long paddles and it was nice to stow away extra windbreakers, lunches, and shoes when we get out to hike around. I went a different route and made my own hatches. i wanted the boat to lhave the look of a 1930's era yacht (pics here) http://cid-3d8b1d0065f1f759.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.res/3D8B1D0065F1F759!484/?sa=688952446 the pics of the hatches are near then end of the photo's. i can also get some large dry bags into both, we also stow our seat cushions, pdfs, gloves, and float bags in them when not in use.

good luck with the build and wishing you calm waters.


RE: (MC16) To hatch or not to hatch...

Thanks to wordsmith and toolbox,

I think I will go with just the round inspection type hatch in the rear bulkhead and leave the front sealed as flotation (with a small pressure equalising hole), this will also do a lot for my landlubber first mates confidence...

I have another question though, have just completed the seats today and before I glue the rails in place I was wondering if the MC 16 can be paddled solo successfully? If so, would I need to make allowance for movement of one of the seats? Or can you paddle from the rear seat in its original position?

 Also, the seat slats I presume they are not epoxied so they remain flexible? I think the manual calls for tung oil (from memory), which I don't have, is danish oil a suitable equivalent? Or do I need more of a sealing finish?

Thanks in advance


RE: (MC16) To hatch or not to hatch...

as far as the seats i have paddled solo in th MC 16. it tracks ok. but i have to move my seat forward at least 20+", but then i have no foot braces. I left the seats free to slide along the rails. and adjust the cam buckles. if i were to build another i would probably use a different method for the seating. either no rails, or use an after market canoe seat with padding

as far as the finish. i used epoxy on all the parts after it they were assembled and then varnished. we use padded bleacher seats on top of them for comfort.   


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