Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

I'm planning to build a Shearwater 17 this winter, and I'd like to use a deck plate for the front hatch.  Does anyone know how wide the flat area of the front deck is?  I imagine that the flat part is where CLC recommends cutting the standard hatches.  If anyone has tried this, I'd like to use an 8" Beckman plate, which is actually 10" in outer diameter - any idea if that will fit and/or work generally?  The reasons for using a deck plate are (i) it's watertight - not convinced with the performance of wooden flush hatches and (ii) not likely to kick up spary like a raised VCP-type hatch.

Also, for the rear hatch, I definately want to use a plastic oval hatch rather than the wood option that comes with the kit.  The Kajaksport and VCP hatches are great - but really expensive. Duck Works has an oval hatch made by Seadog for less than 1/2 the price.  Has anyone tried one of those, and would you recommend it?

 Thanks for all your help both with this question and the myriad of questions that I've found answers to while lurking on the board.


7 replies:

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RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

I used the same 8" Beckman hatches in the bulkheads- fore & aft of my Shearwater 16 leaving the deck 'clean' of any distractions. Fit fine in the fore bulkhead but, putting it in the rear bulkhead did necessitate cutting the flange to fit and adding a wooden ring to reinforce the cut bulkhead. Back band is fitted with 'quick-release' connections and just 'flips up'. It is a pain to access the compartments but my paddling is all short trips anyway. I'm going to use the same Beckman hatch on the front bulkhead of the Shearwater 14 I'm building now but put something else[TBD] in the aft deck for access. Did you see the deck mounted big black access plates mounted fore/aft someone posted here a while ago? I thought they looked good.

To your original question, I think it will be 'close' as to whether you have the room side to side for the 10" wide flange on the flat part of your fore deck. Ask CLC to measure their demo boat deck for you.



RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

I second Lew's recommendation that you check with CLC.  I am not sure that you have any truly flat deck and any distortion of the hatch flange will make it imposible to screw the cover on or off.  I bulkhead mounted these hatches in my MC 16.5.  The aft one is great, but the forward one is so far up under the deck as to be useless so if you put one there, think about how you are going to get to it once completed.  I went with the flush wood hatches on my Shearwter 17 Hybrid.

Good Luck,

Paul G.

RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

Thanks for the ideas.  I'll call CLC to find out.  Hatches in the bulkheads won't really work for me - I need them on the deck.  At any rate, I can always use the VCP-type.

RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

I finished a Shearwater 17 HB this spring and think trying to install a 8" deck plate will only give you trouble because of the size and need of flat area.

RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

I have built both S&G and hybrid versions of the Shearwater 17. The hybrid deck curves throughout, but the S&G deck is flat in the area of the hatches. The instructions (on Page 36) tell you clamp boards across the deck when you glue in the hatch sills to assure that it remains flat. -Wes

RE: Shearwater 17 Hatch Sizes

Thanks Wes.  I've followed your progress, and I really appreciate the pictures and guidance (beautiful boat by the way).  It looks like I'll be doing recessed VCP-type hatchs at this point - but I'll see what it looks like when I'm building.

Anyone have any feedback on the Seadog hatches (VCP-type) sold by DuckWorks?


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