Re: 18LT / day hatch

Posted by LeeG on Sep 4, 2007

CLC sells the VCP hatches, they're the best hatch around but you have to have a flat surface to mount them. A totally flat aft deck on the Ch18 makes it look like a brick as it doesn't have upswept ends. Any arched aft deck will require almost as much effort to make a flat mount as it would be to make a flush hatch.

That's mostly personal taste, there are a lot of folks who've put round and oval vcp hatchs on the aft deck.

My $.02 would be to make flush hatches as they will be more waterproof than the oval VCP hatch with your weight on it and the process of making the hatch rims makes the deck that much stronger. Besides you can make the hatch any shape you like. The round VCP hatch is ubiquitous for day hatches but they sure stick up high off the deck. If you look around most glass/plastic boats recess the day hatch. Making hatches and recesses takes about the same effort as installing/finishing the coaming.

Check out the method of hatch closure on the Shearwater/Arctic Hawk. I've been making oval flush hatches with four swivels and one webbing strap on the front hatch and the rear having four swivels with one or two webbing straps with fastek buckles. It looks a bit busy but the webbing doubles as a hatch tether with some redundancy in case swivels get knocked during a rescue. The dificulty in making flush hatches for the sharper radius curve in the foredeck is that the sides of the hatch flare out a bit but you can compensate a little bit for it by making a slightly tighter bend on the rib. The width of the underdeck hatch rim recess and spacer don't have to have a glueing area wider than 3/4". The coaming spacers are 3/4" wide so that's a clue. I recently finished a Merganser17W and it had some dust in the front compartment, after a month of paddling the dust is still dry.

In Response to: Re: 18LT / day hatch by Doug S on Sep 4, 2007