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G,day all, I am at a loss as to how to lock/ secure the main hatches, actually all the hatches now that I think of it.I read somewhere that a bloke secured his front hatches with a bit of chain fixed inside the the main hatch with the other end of the short piece of chain going to a saddle with a lock on the underside of the hatch.This allows you to get a hand in to open the lock but restricts you from opening it until the lock is undone.

cheers paul.

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Paul, I have a waterproof, locking t-handle latch on my hinged forward hatches; the sliding aft hatches have a line that I cleat off on the inside to hold them closed. I can't get into the aft hatches unless I unlock the forward hatches, in other words. Both my hatches are large enough to enter/exit the cabins, though.

Talk to Boatsmith re the locking system for his tiki 30. . .I don't see any pictures of them on this site right now, but I have seen some elsewhere that show the locking system.

Difficult to describe. I use a chain for the main-hatches. This chain goes around the grib and than to a u-bolt near the seats. the chain is secured by a padlock. The security of the forward hatches is tricky. there is a rope knotted on the inside of the hatches. I can secure the rope in a clam cleat, if I insert my hand throug the inspektion hole in the bulkhead. the hatches aft on my boat are not secured.

A pic for clarity.


On Zest I secure my main hatches by reaching in through the side opening before closing the polycarbonate washboards.  The washboards themselves are then locked using over-centre catches, which you can see in the attached picture.  Have a look at www.protex.com for a huge range of high quality catches.

My foreward hatches are not locked.  They only open into the anchor and warp lockers.  Something might get stolen at some point but so far I've not lost anything.  A long time ago I spent a year cruising on a Frances 26 and didn't have a lock on the big cockpit locker, and nothing went missing from that, so fingers crossed...  I've attached a picture showing the bungee arrangement I use to hold the foreward hatches shut.  There's a loop on the foreward side and one on the rear.  The loops then clip together with plastic hooks.  Out at sea I'd also lift the other part of the loops into the hooks, which more than doubles the tension.

Hope this helps.  Regards, Rob


Thanks Rob for the heads up.I have done this on my forward hatches.

P.s can i ask you for the name and make of those hatches you use on the main hatches in bad weather?

all the best paul.

Hi Paul, they're Lewmar hatches, model 60 Low Profile.  I've attached another pic of one, taken when I was installing the main hatches.  They'd normally be beyond my budget but a local chandler has some sort of deal with the makers.  They take surplus stock, end of line, etc, and sell it at a very good price.  I still paid GBP 300 for the pair, but that was about half price.  I thought it was well worth it as hatches are such a critical component when the green stuff starts climbing aboard.  I had a few big ones right over the top in my Frances when crossing Biscay, and I like to know that when you shut the hatches the sea will stay outside!  Zest is a GRP version of the Tiki and the folding hatches that came with her would hardly even keep rain out, so one of the first things I did was replace them with strong wood epoxy ones.  I built them to suit those Lewmars.

Regards, Rob


Our system works on Peace IV and cost very little time or money.  We have eye bolts on each side of the hatch and Nev cut a piece out of one of them.  There is a strip of stainless with a hole on one end and a slot on the other.  The hole allows the cut eye bolt to go in there and then the strip of stainless can be drawn over the hatch and the other eye bolt fits into its slot.  You just clip the lock there. 

When we are in rough storm seas, we can clip a snap hook instead of a lock to secure the bar and never have we had a problem.  Normal sailing we just leave them unlocked and unclipped and never have we had a problem.   If we want to lock our hatches with us inside, we have a small cleat and a string that closes them and they are quick and easy to untie.

There are detailed pics of this system on our web page which Cliffton Thompson took and posted there at our request.


Some of the types wanting to break in to your boat might make good drinking buddies, some might be down right bad asses.  Since you never know, I keep a bottle of whiskey in plain view right inside the hatch'n washboard. No locks on the cabin just line for rough weather and bungee cord for everyday use.  I've never found a washboard or a dinky little lock to keep the determined out of a cabin anyway and I'd rather they gain access without breaking stuff.  The whiskey is there as a distraction to get their mind off the bother of taking rusty old tools, expired flares and the twenty year old VHF I leave on board if they really want to take something home with them.  My nav kit is all portable so unless they are desparate there's nothing of value onboard that they can sell other than the outboard.  As to Neptune raising a fuss I can secure the main hatches from inside with a strongback and line if I'm hove to in the nasties.  No forward hatches on deck - didn't want the leaks. I put Hobie twist and seal hatches in the forward bulkhead that are big enough for me to squeeze through and plenty big enough to store away whatever crap I have onboard that I won't need right now!  Too many people get hurt protecting a bunch of stuff that in retrospect wasn't worth the pain and agony.

Hey it's 8 years later.  I've never locked my boat where ever I travel and nothing has ever been taken.  What has been others' experience? Cheers.


Paul, I wondered the same thing a while back and Ann and Neville (of T46 Peace) gave me their solution. They used stainless strap, bent over the hatch. If I remember correctly, it could be completely removed. For locking, you dropped one slotted end over a ring and then rotated it 90 degrees to prevent it being lifted. The other end then went over another ring for securing with a padlock. The mounting points for the rings were blocks attached to the deck. The conversation might be on the forum still. 

Your idea sounds perfectly workable too. 

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