Deck Hatches

Deck hatches are an essential part of boats. They provide both protection and access to storage areas, as well as critical mechanical and electrical parts. » Read More

What Are Boat Hatches?

Boat hatches are doors that are designed to give you access through a horizontal surface (or deck) to items or spaces below. Unlike access doors, hatches are designed to stand up to foot traffic. They come in all different shapes and sizes to serve a variety of purposes, ranging from covering ski lockers to allowing breeze into ventilated cabins, providing a means to escape from a sinking vessel.

Boat hatches can serve many purposes. One of the most common hatch uses is to allow access to the bilge, as the area below the main deck is known. They are also used as escape hatches. Should a disaster happen aboard your boat, escape hatches allow for an easy escape from the cabin. Hatches can also be used for ventilation and as windows.

Specialized types of hatches are also used to cover lockers used to store water skis and wakeboards and to cover lockers where anchors are stored. If you need access to any part of your hull that receives foot traffic, hatches are the tool to use.

Boat Hatch Materials

Hatches can be made up of different materials. Some hatches, like the Innovative door (white or black), are made of weather and UV-resistant Saralon polypropylene resin. Starboard is another popular choice for deck hatches.

Starboard is a high-density marine-grade polyethylene sheet designed for the marine environment. It has been on the market for over 30 years with phenomenal success. It is strong and will never rot or deteriorate. Acrylic is a popular choice for hatches that need to be transparent. Acrylic is not as durable as Starboard but can be polished to a cleaner finish and act as a window.

Parts of a Deck Hatch

Most hatches consist of 4 parts: the hatch door, frame, hinges, and latches. The hatch frame sits within the deck providing a mounting place for the hinges and support for the hatch door. The hatch door is the piece that swings open and allows access. The hinge assembly is the assembly that the entire door pivots on. Most hatches either utilize one long piano hatch or multiple smaller piano hatches. The last part is the latch.

Different hatches employ different styles of latches. Compression latches are common, requiring you to both lift and twist to open the deck. Hatches that serve as windows and ventilation typically use large single-handle latches that twist to open the window.

Custom Boat Hatches

Boat Outfitters carries a large variety of hatches to fit most of your needs. If they don’t carry a hatch in the dimensions you require, they provide custom-built options to fit your needs. These options include choices of various color options, pre-drilling for face mounting or inside mounting, locking and non-locking latches, and hinge placement options.

Boat hatches can make a huge difference in the ease of access, storage, and usability of your boat. Shop Boat Outfitters variety of custom-built and OEM hatches whether you’re replacing an old hatch or installing a new one. 

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Commonly Asked Questions about Boat Deck Hatches 

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