CAM & Compression Latches

Marine compression and cam latches are used to hold a hinged lid or door in the closed position. They are common on rod lockers and livewells in bass boats, fish boxes and dry storage boxes of offshore boats, and floor compartments on towsports boats. » Read More

Learn More About Cam & Compression Latches


What Are Marine Cam Latches & Compression Latches?

Cam latches, compression latches, and lift-and-turn latches are latches that are closed by manually turning a handle. They are typically mounted near the edge of a hinged panel, like a compartment lid, hatch, or door. When the handle on the latch body is turned, a cam bar on the back of the hinged panel also turns, catching the “frame” around the panel.

Cam lock latches and compression latches differ from slam latches in that they do not automatically latch. On the other hand, they provide a tighter and more secure closure.

Common Uses for Cam & Compression Latches

On boats, marine compression latches and cam locks are commonly found on the lids of deck hatches, livewells, anchor lockers, fish boxes, and dry storage compartments. Bass boat latches are typically used on rod lockers and tackle compartments, where they can secure the contents, and on livewell lids. Read More

Important Measurements for Boat Cam & Compression Latches

Cam and compression latches have several important specifications that determine fit. To get the right latch, it’s important to understand the terminology: Read More

Cam or Lift & Turn Latches vs Compression Latches

Although they function in essentially the same way, a cam latch (also commonly called a lift and turn latch) and a compression latch have some key differences. Read More

Cam & Compression Latch Materials

As is true for most boat hardware and fittings, stainless steel is generally the most attractive and durable material. It’s also by far the costliest. On freshwater boats like bass boats, tow boats, and pontoons, plastic or nylon compartment latches are perfectly functional and much easier on the wallet.

Locking Marine Cam & Compression Latches

Most cam and compression latches are available in locking and nonlocking versions. Lockable boat latches are ideal for compartments where valuable gear is stored, like fishing rods, tackle, or electronics.

Cam & Compression Latches for Carpeted Surfaces

It’s important to be aware that certain cam and compression latches are made specifically for use on carpeted surfaces. Others can be used on either carpeted or smooth surfaces, and still, others are compatible only with smooth surfaces. Be sure to choose a compression latch that will work with the surface of your hatch or door.

Boat Latch Cam Bars & Parts

Sometimes you just need a new part to repair a broken cam latch, rather than a whole new latch. The most commonly and easily replaced boat latch part is the cam bar. Also referred to as a pawl and a catch, the cam bar threads onto the stem of the latch and contacts the frame of the hatch or door being held closed. Replacement cam bars are available in several lengths and shapes to suit different applications.

How to Choose the Right Cam or Compression Latch

If you’re replacing an existing latch, the first step is to remove the latch and measure the diameter of the cutout. Unless you plan to drill a larger hole, this will immediately narrow down your choices. Read More

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Commonly Asked Questions About CAM & Compression Latches

What is the difference between a cam and a compression latch? (show/hide)

What is a marine cam or compression latch? (show/hide)

What is the benefit of using a marine cam or compression latch? (show/hide)

Are marine cam and compression latches easy to install? (show/hide)

Are marine cam and compression latches available in different sizes and styles? (show/hide)

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