Shearwater Hatch Options

I have the manual and plans for the Shearwater and I had the opportunity to check one out at the CLC store in Annapolis.  It truly i a beautiful boat and my favorite of models available.  However, I don't like the way that the hatches are secured.  I don't like the 4 tabs that hold the hatches down.  Has anybody done anything else to secure the hatches?  Thanks.


-- jaydillyo 

7 replies:

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RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

I have seen five options on this site:

toggles, straps, flush mount, manufactured and bolt.  Walk through the pictures of the various boats in the catalogue on this site for inspiration, decide what you want and then you now have a starting place.  The Tips for Boatbuilders has a couple of tips related to hatches.  So the first question I have is what method are you thinking and what is it about the four tabs that you do not like?  If you are looking for a flush deck so that there are not ugly "home made" tabs, then check out this tip for a flush mount:

If the issue is water tightness because you will be in big water, then consider bolting your hatch down:

I think the more traditional method is the straps, again walk through the pictures, even on the shearwater in main gallery you can see four of the five mentioned to check out the look (have not see a picture of the bolt method yet), but I think if you identifiy the reason for wanting something other than toggles, asthetics, watertightness, ease of construction... then the fine folks forum will be better able to advise/suggest.

Oh, I forgot option #6... no hatches... you will need something (drain plug or hatch) in the bulkhead.  On a shearwater,  that would really limit your ability to carry any gear, though there are some nice cockpit bags on the market. 

RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

I took the option of NO HATCHES on my recent Shearwater 17 build.   Reasoning - (1) I never intend to carry anything bulky on my day-sailing trips of an hour or two duration and (2) I dislike the conventional straps, etc. thet are so commonplace.   I've said before and will say again - all these straps can destroy the aesthetics of the lines of these craft - like putting a roof-rack onto a Ferrari!

No hatches meant that I couldn't follow the instructions about making the internal hull-to-deck joint, so I took another route here too, and installed conventional sheer clamps.

Worked perfectly, and I ended up with the clean lines uncluttered by any deck hardware or openings.   But if you need or want hatches, the fastening options noted by DD above are helpful.

Whatever - enjoy the build.


RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

I'm planning to use "rare-earth" magnets to hold down my hatches.  I think it will turn out very well.


RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

Thanks for the response!  The magnets are a great idea and I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't think of that on my own.  I will most likely try the magnet route.

-- jaydillyo 

RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

The magnets sound like a neat idea, but I have to ask, how often do you use a compass for navigation? I'm new to kayaking, but I know on my old sailboat, this would really cause me some problems getting to the islands when it gets foggy. 


-- James

RE: Shearwater Hatch Options

Ah, good point.  I'm glad I have everybody on this forum to do the thinking for me.  I'll have to think about it.  I don't anticipate taking any long open water trips where I would need a compass to navigate by, but you never know.  :/

 -- jaydillyo 

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