Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster

One of the problems with using internal bungees to hold hatch covers on place is getting the tension right. Typically this involves tying a stopper knot in a best-guess position, trying the hatch, and if the tension is wrong, untying the stopper knot and trying again (and again..). Sounds simple enough, but getting a tight knot out of a piece of stretched bungee cord inside a dark hatch compartment can be a real pain, and having to do it multiple times is just a waste of the limited minutes we have to spend on this Earth.

For my Wood Duck 12 I came up with a simple and quick tension adjustment. The idea seems way too simple to be unique, but I've never seen it documented before, so I thought I'd share it with the gang.

As the picture shows, it's just a bit of wood (1/4 inch ply in this case) and 2 holes that are just barely wide enough for the bungee cord to get through. The friction of the cord in the holes keeps the wood from moving while in use, but if the cord is pushed through one hole at a time, the wood bit's position can easily be adjusted.

So the length of the bungee cord can be easily set to whatever gives the correct tension for the hatch. Many settings can be tried in the space of time needed to untie and retie the knot.

The other end of the bungee cord is a simple stopper knot. There's also a stopper knot at this end to keep the wood from coming off the cord, but once tied neither knot ever needs to be untied again. If someone has seen this system before, please post what it is called.

See everyone at CLC this afternoon,




6 replies:

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RE: Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster


 Dude!  Whooda thunk of that?  I've  seen that type of rig before, just not for internal hatches.  I'm glad you thought of it.  I always dread playing the knot tying game, trying to get the tension correct..... 

RE: Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster

Excellent use of some good old fashioned ingenuity, Laszlo. 

I would say, however, that this works well on tensioned lines that don't flex much but isn't very good on things that do flex, such as bungee. In this case it will probably still work well because the bungee will generally be under tension rather than flexing a lot.


RE: Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster

Thanks.  I just installed your field modification on my stripper Sea Wolf.  Nice fix.  Enjoy the weekend.   

RE: Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster

I use something like this to hold my tent fly down and make it adjustable. I wish I would have thought of it before doing the knot thing.


RE: Internal Hatch Hold-down Tension Adjuster

Thanks for the kind words, guys. I'm glad to see that it's not a completely new idea - it would have been too weird to have actually invented something this simple in the 21st century.

I had a chance to field test it yesterday. The bungee tension remained perfect through an entrie day of car-topping and paddling. Maybe CLC can include this as part of their invisible hatch hold down kit and shop tip.



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