Hinge Selection for New Projects
When selecting hinges for new projects many considerations come into play. Below, we’ll break down those options as well as other factors to be mindful of before making your purchase:
Types of Hinges and Their Common Uses
Butt Hinges - The most common boat hinge, usually used on livewell lids and hatches, these are available in a wide variety of types, mounting styles and material compositions.
Piano Hinges - Similar to butt hinges, these are commonly used on console and storage center doors and are offered in both standard as well as friction style. In addition to marine applications, we often see these hinges used for a wide array of other DIY projects, from furniture making to aquarium lids. In addition to the standard piano hinges we now offer friction style piano hinges which have become the latest go to for most boat builders on their console doors.
Concealed Hinges - Used primarily on cabinet doors, this hinge style provides a hidden look not visible from the outside when the door is closed.
Glass Door Hinges - These hinges are specifically designed to hold a piece of glass by applying pressure on both sides of the material without having to drill through the glass. These are commonly used for glass dividers or partitions as well as on glass shower doors.
Specialty Hinges - In addition to the commonly used hinges above, we also carry a variety of specialty marine hinges that can be used in applications like for ratcheting seat backs as well as quickly securing your bimini top to the boat to name a few.
You’ve Selected Your Hinge Type, Now What?
Friction vs. No Friction - When determining whether or not to use friction style hinges there are a few things to consider. Depending on the material you are installing the hinge to, you will need to ensure the amount of force the friction hinge has will work for your application. If the force is too light, it will potentially not hold as intended. On the other hand, a hinge with too much force may flex, and even break, material with repeated use. Additionally, when using a friction style hinge, it may be best to thru-bolt when installing as the friction can back out fasteners from the material.
Available in differing mounting styles, selecting the right boat hinge without the pros and cons of each at times can be difficult.
Top Mount - Easiest to install as it requires little to no tooling, but sits proud and can be a stub hazard for unprotected feet.
Flush Mount - Harder to install as it requires tooling into the material in most cases, but installs flush leaving no proud surfaces.
Swaged - This style requires a bit of tooling similar to a flush mount hinge to allow the leaf to recess into the material, but still leaves it sitting slightly proud.
Offset - Specifically designed to add extra clearance, an offset hinge moves the pivot point further from the hinge to increase swing, allowing for more access to the opening.
Material must also be considered when selecting a hinge for your next project. We primarily carry hinges made from stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel marine hinges are usually more expensive, but give an appealing finished look and will not crack or break as easily as those composed of plastic. That said, plastic hinges may be a better option if you are looking to save a little money and don't need something as durable over time.
The Decision Hinges on You Now!
Whether you’re looking for an exact replacement or for something for your next project, we’re confident we can help you get the right hinge for the job. Remember, we employ a team of experts who are here to help, so just give us a call!