Cabin Entry Doors

Boat cabin doors help to compartmentalize and protect spaces on boats as well as keep spaces dry from spray or other water that might damage electronics and other items. Doors, hinges, and hatches also get a lot of use and will eventually wear out or break. This is where Boat Outfitters comes in and has standard-sized doors or custom door design solutions for every boat. » Read More

Common Types of Boat Doors

  • Access Doors: Also called cabin entry doors, these are versatile and widely used door types for partitioning off different areas of the boat. On larger vessels, they will separate the cabin or rooms from the main deck. On smaller boats, they could be used in the bathroom (or head) to provide security, privacy, and protection from the marine environment. On larger sportfishers and yachts, cabin doors may look much like household doors, while on smaller vessels, they are often smaller and may feature a bifold opening mechanism.
  • Console Doors: Located on the center console of boats, these serve as an access point to the console area and electronics. They provide easy access to the controls and instruments for repair and access to the storage space inside the center console.
  • Deck Hatches and Lids: Deck hatches are designed to handle weight and foot traffic. They are installed in areas like fishing platforms or on the deck of the boat and act as access points to storage compartments, equipment, or other areas that need access below the deck, but provide stability and durability. Lids are secured to the compartments on boats using hinges and allow access to bait tanks, livewells, or other compartments built into the hull or cabinets on a boat.
  • Wind Block Doors (Walkthrough Doors): Often found on dual console boats, catamarans, or ski boats, this helps to block the wind and water from getting to the seating area of the boat. They can be made of Starboard, plastic, or glass and provide protection and comfort to passengers.

Common Problems With Boat Cabin Doors

Boat doors suffer from typical issues with any door or cabinet that is used frequently. Especially in a marine environment, these doors are more prone to rot, rust, and other signs of deterioration. Oftentimes when replacing a hatch or door, the hinges, latches, and seals should also be swapped out for new parts.

Some of the common issues with boat doors and hatches are listed below:

  • Hinges: Hinges can be worn, corroded, or damaged, causing the doors to stick or lose alignment. This will affect the smooth operation, and the hatch or door will likely not close properly or at all. Lubrication of hinges will help prevent corrosion; however, it may be necessary to replace the hinges.
  • Latches: These keep doors and hatches secure and hold the doors in place. If damaged or worn out they will no longer function correctly, and this can lead to the doors opening and slamming shut while underway. Not only is this annoying, but it can be dangerous and damaging to the rest of the boat or door frame.
  • Door Frame: The frame of the door provides the stability and support to open and close. These frames can show signs of aging such as cracks, warping, or rotting. If ignored, the frame could fail, damaging the door and hinges, and the door will need to be removed entirely and replaced.
  • Seals and Gaskets: One of the most important functions of a door on a boat is to seal the elements out of protected spaces. Water intrusion can occur if the seals and gaskets are cracked, worn, or compromised in any way. Replacing these seals is straightforward but can help with the rattling of boat doors and water intrusion.

Options for Replacing Boat Doors

Boat doors and hatches are made from a variety of materials, each with advantages and disadvantages:

  • Starboard has become one of the most common materials as it requires the least amount of maintenance and is suitable for the harsh marine environment, especially in saltwater. Starboard boat doors are also good for applications that will get direct and prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Acrylic doors are also used in some applications and can be found in a variety of colors. However, acrylic is more sensitive to UV than Starboard and can fade or become discolored over time whereas Starboard will maintain its color for a much longer period.
  • Teak wood is a more traditional and classic choice; however, it requires significantly more maintenance. Consistent care and varnishing are important, but teak wood can last for years if cared for properly.

Custom Doors & Hatches

While some doors and hatches are standard sizes across boats, a majority will have their unique dimensions, and it might be difficult to find direct replacements. Because of this, Boat Outfitters offers custom doors and hatches based on the dimensions provided or the old doors that have been removed.

We are the leading supplier of boat doors and hatches and likely will have built the original door or a replacement for the hatch on most boats. Using the dimensions of the old hatches and doors, a digital model is made, and a replacement part is milled from Starboard which is a replica of the original part. The replacement front door door will also include molded recesses for the gasket to be placed to keep water out and help with the vibration of the doors while underway. This is by far the best solution for hard-to-find parts or those concerned about maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the boat.

In addition to custom doors, custom hardware alternatives are also available to match the aesthetic of the boat.

Easy Steps to Order Custom Doors or Hatches

  1. Decide on the type of door needed or wanted and what material will be used.
  2. Take the measurements for the space where the door will be or measure the existing door that will be removed.
  3. Choose the color, features (vents, windows, etc.) and finalize the order or give Boat Outfitters a call at (866) 633-7961 for any custom options. 

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