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After Pius's great trip around the Med, he raised the issue of hatch design. This started a discussion which we can continue here.

I have one-piece hatches that hinge outboard. They give great access when open and are completely watertight when closed. They are good for pretty much everything except sitting inside once there is water coming over the boat. Because I often sail offshore and have water coming over the boat, this has been a problem for me. I have racked my brains and made several sets of drawings of possible alternatives and have considered:

- Rory's design with sliding hatches and a canopy. Good for everything except easy access to the cabin - this is an issue for me as my family sail often on day trips.

- a permanent raised cabin (about 9") in the area of the standard opening with hatch access. This would be good in wet weather, and would allow me to sit up inside the cabin underway with the hatch closed. Still not great for general access to the hull.

- the standard Wharram design with a canopy/dodger to keep most of the water off the hatches. If the standard hatch can be made water-tight, I'm starting to drift in this direction.

What d'yall think?

Roger

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I think I  have found a solution to stop water coming inside through the outboard side of the joint between the two pieces of the standard wharram design hatch. I'll soon make a drawing and post it and see what you think before I'll make it

Stef

   

Thanks for starting this discussion Roger as I too will be rebuilding my hatches this winter. As I've said
previously, I find the folding hatch design quite versatile and feel that refinement of this design is my
likely direction. My current folding hatches don't seem to let water in, but I have not pushed the boat to the
point where I have a lot of water coming over them.

The advantages I find are:

  • Good access to the cabins. Fold the back half forward and slide the folded hatch forward.
  • I can sit in the hull with the hatch folded forward, leaving the front part of the hatch covering part of the opening. In a bit of chop, the half hatch stops most the the water and keeps me a little warmer.
  • I can sit half in, on the rim. I'm high up and can see all around. Useful when coming in through other boats and mooring.

I think there is a concern that the hatch might blow right off if not secured. I have some catches on the underside of the front half of the hatch which have two positions where the hatch can be locked: closed up, and set forward for sailing with the hatch folded open.

My problem is that I didn't get the hinge mechanism just right when I made new hatches. I don't have drawings or good hatches to copy so I had to make it up. This is why I need to start again.

It would be great if people shared their design ideas. I will.


Ian

Ian,

Do you have an e-mail address? I tried to contact you through your page but it didn't work.

I have the same design of hatch as Ian and also have a problem with the hinges. The hinges are real simple ones with mates straps on the outside and bolts that pass through the side timber and double nuts on the thread on the outer side of the metal strap. However the bolt head has worn through and pulled out. 

I am looking to change the side timbers for 25mm thick timber which will allow me to countersink on the inside and add washers to the bolt heads. 

It would be nice to raise the hatches and give more head room. But a bit too much work now as we are heading into summer here soon and time to sail. 

Trying to get paint on at the moment and the spring winds and rain are continuing on and on and on. 

Jay 

Because of the splashes taken during navigation we had problems of water infiltration through the joint between the two hatches (see photo) I will try to glue and screw a little plywood plate on the rear hatch to cover the joint and see what happen. For the rest I agree with Ian, I find folding hatches quite versatile and I will make the new ones similar to those. The wooden lip has some rotten parts and I'll replace the Okumè plywood with 6mm 5 layers mahogany, much more solid than the old one. 

Stef

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I like the look of your hinge fittings Stef. 

Quite functional although the 4 screws are tiny and short screwed in an old pine wood. Ill replace the pine with a bit thicker mahogany  

Here is my work around for seating and main hatches on the Tiki 21. It is not elegant but functional. I fish salmon off the boat all summer long and sail her through out the winter in the local harbour. We live on the BC Alaska border at close to 55 degrees lat and this place is the wettest in Canada with 3500mm or 11 ft of rain per year on average. So far no leaks. My seats do not allow me to sit in the hulls which means I'm always exposed to the weather which can be very bad here. However I added soft canvas pocket storage systems to the inboard side of each hull and this has worked out well with easy access via the outboard hinged hatches. I did not rebuild the hatches to make them more robust like I did to the motor well but as long as you don't bang them down they appear to be holding up. I've used them for almost a year and in rough weather and so far they seem to work well. Cheers

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Bill, are you aware of the upcoming Race to Alaska, from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan? There are two Wharrams doing the race - I'm going in a Tiki 21, and the guy I built that boat with (Scott Veirs) is going in a Hitia 17. Where are you located? Would be fun to see you out there!

Bill Proteau said:

Here is my work around for seating and main hatches on the Tiki 21. It is not elegant but functional. I fish salmon off the boat all summer long and sail her through out the winter in the local harbour. We live on the BC Alaska border at close to 55 degrees lat and this place is the wettest in Canada with 3500mm or 11 ft of rain per year on average. So far no leaks. My seats do not allow me to sit in the hulls which means I'm always exposed to the weather which can be very bad here. However I added soft canvas pocket storage systems to the inboard side of each hull and this has worked out well with easy access via the outboard hinged hatches. I did not rebuild the hatches to make them more robust like I did to the motor well but as long as you don't bang them down they appear to be holding up. I've used them for almost a year and in rough weather and so far they seem to work well. Cheers

Hi Michael. I was not aware of this race! I would love to go in this but I'm committed to finishing the refit on my big trimaran (www.pacificcloud.com) by Sept so can not afford to take that much time off.

We currently live in Prince Rupert which is just below Ketchikan (< 60 miles). I've taken my big boat through most of these waters and during the race time frame. You probably know all of what I'm about to write but if not then maybe it will help. June is a good month due to the way the tides work in the narrows. Large floods and minimal ebbs. There should be limited NW winds and maybe some SE gales to push you up.

Are you going to go on the outside or go up through the inside passages? Debris in the water is very high at that time of the year due to the spring run off so I would not travel at night. However it will be the longest days of the year and where we are the light lasts almost to 11pm and is up again just after 5am so certainly enough time to sail. What are you going to use for a second form of propulsion? I would worry about being caught in those big tide and no wind. I've played around with a sculling oar and it seems to work well but have yet to move beyond experimentation.

I'm following your other thread on keel stubs, daggerboards etc and in this area I would love to see what others think. The Tiki 21 is a good boat for this race due to its stability and all around practicality; carrying capability, beach ability, large sleeping platform etc but it does not point as well as I would like and has a small sail area. I know these are limitations due to design but I race my Tiki all winter long against monohulls and that extra 5, 10  degrees off the wind I must go and small sail size in light airs always loses me first place. A daggerboard or better keel is an area I am much interested in. In this race pointing will make a big difference especially if NW winds really pick up which they can. In the inside passage any outflow wind brought on by the NW will bring your progress to a complete halt.

Anyways I'm babbling as I love this race concept. I wish you guys all the best luck and tons of fun and if the suns align right maybe next year I can do it.

Great tips Bill - we're still trying to figure out whether to go full inside passage, sneak out into Hecate Strait, or split the difference by sneaking around the back of e.g. Banks Island. Any advice there?

I agree about the small sail area, I've fitted larger sails - a Hobie 18 mainsail at 176 sf (I've fitted reef points) and a modified Etchells 22 jib which is now about 90 sf, and it lighter airs it moves much better. Hasn't helped upwind performance as much as I'd like however. If we do anything with keels or daggerboards (I'm considering, but time is running out) I'll let you know.

For manual propulsion, see details I just posted in the separate thread.

Will you be in Prince Rupert in June? If we end up passing through there it would be fun to meet up. Let me know if you head to Seattle as well, there are a few Wharram fans here and we do like to drink beer and talk about boats!


Bill Proteau said:

Hi Michael. I was not aware of this race! I would love to go in this but I'm committed to finishing the refit on my big trimaran (www.pacificcloud.com) by Sept so can not afford to take that much time off.

We currently live in Prince Rupert which is just below Ketchikan (< 60 miles). I've taken my big boat through most of these waters and during the race time frame. You probably know all of what I'm about to write but if not then maybe it will help. June is a good month due to the way the tides work in the narrows. Large floods and minimal ebbs. There should be limited NW winds and maybe some SE gales to push you up.

Are you going to go on the outside or go up through the inside passages? Debris in the water is very high at that time of the year due to the spring run off so I would not travel at night. However it will be the longest days of the year and where we are the light lasts almost to 11pm and is up again just after 5am so certainly enough time to sail. What are you going to use for a second form of propulsion? I would worry about being caught in those big tide and no wind. I've played around with a sculling oar and it seems to work well but have yet to move beyond experimentation.

I'm following your other thread on keel stubs, daggerboards etc and in this area I would love to see what others think. The Tiki 21 is a good boat for this race due to its stability and all around practicality; carrying capability, beach ability, large sleeping platform etc but it does not point as well as I would like and has a small sail area. I know these are limitations due to design but I race my Tiki all winter long against monohulls and that extra 5, 10  degrees off the wind I must go and small sail size in light airs always loses me first place. A daggerboard or better keel is an area I am much interested in. In this race pointing will make a big difference especially if NW winds really pick up which they can. In the inside passage any outflow wind brought on by the NW will bring your progress to a complete halt.

Anyways I'm babbling as I love this race concept. I wish you guys all the best luck and tons of fun and if the suns align right maybe next year I can do it.

Roger - for the upcoming Alaska race I'm looking to change our hatches as well. Current design is a simple one-piece hatch that also hinges outboard. The mod I'm considering is similar to the Tiki 26 hatch mod I found online somewhere ages ago and saved, but I plan to fit a hinged lightweight panel that's normally tucked away inside the hatch, but that can swing out to create a fully enclosed cabin from which you can sit, steer, and work the sheets, all out of the wind & spray. It will have pretty high windage, but if it keeps us even a bit warmer and drier on the way to Alaska I think it will be worth it. Should also make changing in/out of drysuit etc easier. 

Have you considered something like this & ruled it out? If so I'd be curious to hear why, as perhaps there's a flaw I haven't considered...

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