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Hi sailors out there! We are back from sailing marabu in the carribean, we sailed the boat in mainly rough conditions and we are proud about this boat! We went upwind with 35 knots and big waves and she sails fast and secure. The only negative  thing are those foredeck hatches, I built them exactly to the plans, but when the seas splashes over the foredecks they always take water. Are there similar experiences? solutions?

Cheers Daniel

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Did you have a seal of some sort ie rubber car door type on inside of the hatches? I do a lot of kayak fishing and these hatches too still allow the water in a bit on rough days or when the kayak has over turned in the water.

Yes I have a neoprene seal stripe in the hatch. The problem with a sliding hatch is that she provides not enough pressure on the seal.

We have a Tiki 46 and we have rather thick seals on our fore hatches.  When it is going to be rough, we have some stainless strips that can be placed over the tops of the hatches and they press down on the hatches so they squish the seals and when we open them after the passage is over, there is a "whoosh" sound as the air gets in past the seals.  I think if you go to our page, you will see the pics where friends of ours posted the kinds of bars I am talking about.  You might also use bungee for pressing down on the hatches.  Our seals are made of material we got at an automotive store and it is used where pick up trucks put a cabin on over the back of the truck making it into a camper. The seals go between the camper top and the truck bed.  Only the most forward hatches need this seal on our boat.  I forgot to put it in some of our other hatches and it did not seem to make any difference, but it certainly is needed on the two forward hatches.  The Tiki 46 is higher off the water than the Tiki 38 is so you might need it on the other hatches as well.  But we had a Force 10 off shore in our boat and it was dry below under all the hatches.  Waves broke on deck several times that storm.

     Remember to write here again if you find a solution to your problem so others can learn too.  All the best,  Ann

HI Ann thanks a lot for the explanations. So if I understand right the  iron bar goes in to the eyebolts and then you screw (?) them down? I have seen the pictures you posted on this site and I just can see the iron bar and the eyebolts but not how they are mounted over the hatch. Did you glue the counterparts on the deck or are they throughbolted?My decks are all sandwich so I am not shure if i can bolt something.Are the hatches easily to open? The foredeck hatches on a tiki 38 are acces to the head and one cabin so it should be easily accsesible..with regards Daniel

Stainless steel strips are what we use and not iron to fasten down our hatches and we only use them when we need to securely close a hatch in rough seas or perhaps lock up a hatch when leaving the boat.  When we are sailing, the two forward hatches are securely closed using snap hooks every time because at high speeds there is some splashing up around those hatches.  For the other hatches, we do not use their stainless steel strips unless we are locking up the boat for maximum security. 


The strips were cut by Nev so that one side of the stainless strip has a hole in it and there is a cut in its matching eyebolt allowing that strip to be threaded into the eyebolt.  The other end of the stainless steel strip has a slot cut in it  so it fits right over its own eye bolt and that is where the lock or snap hook is fitted when needed.  We first thread the strip through a little cut Nev made in the eye bolt using the hole in that end of  the strip, and then we lower the stainless strip over the closed hatch and the eyebolt on the other side goes through the slot in  the other end of the stainless strip.  Nev made the strip so it has a little spring action which keeps the hatch tightly closed but it is always easy to open it if you just flatten it against the hatch lid.  All of the other hatches in the boat do not need to be kept so tightly closed when sailing so we do not use their stainless strips at all  unless locking up the boat. 

As for the fitting of the eye bolts, Nev  decided where he wanted the eye bolt and put a thin drill from the inside drilling upwards through all the layers of our sandwich decking but he had me on the outside to yell to him when just the point of the hole saw peeked up through the upper decling layer.  That way the hole saw worked from below to cut out a little one inch diameter hole and the hole saw cut through our foam sandwich and it just left a tiny hole in the top layer of decking.  He then put a wooden plug he made up in there from below to replace the foam sandwich layer and the inside ply layer and we epoxied it in place and we then glued a back plate on the inside from below made of solid wood three or four inches across that became the back plate on the inside.  Then he through bolted the eye bolts and they were back plated with the 3 inch disk of solid wood so it is strong and does not cause any problems for the sandwich decking.  This is all standard boat building practice.


We like our hatches, find them water tight, and you will see that there is nothing to complicate our use of them when sailing.  I repeat that only our forward hatches are snugged down with the snap hook when sailing and we only lock up when away from the boat.  I would not use iron in the air on a boat because it will rust.  This is a nice place to use all stainless which we were given by a friend.


Good luck with your hatches and let us all know if you come up with anything better.  We gotta share on this web site!   All the best,  Ann

Thanks Ann for your exact explanations! Now I see how it works. Good solution! How thick are the seals inside?

I will definitely do these hatches before leaving towards the azores in may. I also found a decks hatch fitting wich is bolted to the hatch an the hatch frame , wich give pressure by turnig a "wheel" down. I am not that good in english to explain but if I go that way I will post a photo. Your solution is better because it locks the hatch when away.All the best! Daniel

The seals are less than half inch thick and they are very soft and similar to what we call "memory foam" as used on the tops of modern mattresses.  It looks like something that would break apart, but for some reason it does not.  It is sticky on one side with a peel off strip of paper and it comes in a roll and was not expensive.  We got it at an automotive store.  I would definitely get some before a trans Atlantic.

I sure like the sound of the voyage you will be taking.  Although I am old now, I would love to sail that passage even now and a Tiki 38 will be a wonderful boat for that trip.  Perhaps you will stop in Bermuda?  It is expensive, but you don't need to buy anything and it is a lovely place to go for a walk and catch up on sleep before continuing on your way.  Be careful of the surrounding reefs which are beautiful but dangerous.  Anchor near the dinghy club on your starboard side as you enter St David's harbor.  Then go for lovely walks ..... Ahhhhhh, so beautiful and the anchorage so friendly!  As a single hander I made many wonderful friends there long ago.  Some distance anchorages are kind of magic and that is one of them.  Enjoy your trip!   

Hi Ganz

Dragon (T38) has the same problem. I screwed two saddles either side of the hatch and tied a line tightly over the hatch to these saddles to help add pressure to the neoprene seal (ordinary  household stuff bought frorm a hardware store) and to ensure that the hatches were never washed overboard if we ever buried a bow in a wave (we never have).

I still get a bit of water in the lockers but less than a bucket full and so I dont stress over it. Bail it out when the weather improves and put stuff out to dry. Keeps it all clean and tidy!



Thanks Ann and Neville, we will stop in the Bermudas and do as you mentioned, walk and sleep....Hi Dave, where is Dragon now?We got much more then a buket (about knee height in both cabins)and thats really too much, the estonishing thing was that the boat kept on sailing as befor and that was a lot of weight in in the bows! cheers and take care Daniel

It seems all of us have same problem ...... i solved it with normal rubber windows gaskets, those for cold climates, they look similar to fridge gaskets but are cheaper and the material is PVC which is UV resistant, bought at home depot in rolls...the only problem we have is the edge close to the deck when we open the hatch, coz the gasket is rubbing against the deck and the painting get marks.... i will work on that detail ( maybe by introducing a wider gap between the deck and the sliding guides at the end of the guides , so when i open the hatch it separates more and more, hope you understand what i mean)

wish you fair winds


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