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- 16/05/2012 at 2:17 pm #4448wanderingwaif477Member
Does anyone have any experience of fitting a larger rectangular hatch to the forward bulkhead of a Plus S? Mine has the standard small round hatch which doesn’t allow much access if any.
I understand that this can be done but I need to worry about a number of things i.e. the swing of the heel of the mast as it is lowered, the strength of the bulkhead and the watertight nature of the hatch that is fitted.
Any thoughts or experiences that anyone may have would be greatfully received.
Ken16/05/2012 at 10:06 pm #10860SwiebertjeParticipant
It can be done, I have one, but its not worth the trouble IMHO. The hatch is hard to reach. There is always something in front of it, not in the least the mast and the tabernacle. You have to lay on your belly to get at it. The standard wedges, though good for a horizontal hatch, like the back hatch, don’t work on a vertical hatch. I have replaced them with wing nuts, 6 of them to get a good seal. Also I had to stiffen up the edge of the hatch to get an even pressure on the neoprene seal.
Then there is not much storage space. The tank is small because the bow goes up and the sides come together. Because of the tabernacle you cannot get large items in. It is a pain in the you-know-where to close it. Once I finally managed to get it to fit good enough to pass the annual buoyancy test, I don’t want to touch it again. You may end up glassing the hatch permanently close out of frustration.
I added the front hatch option when the boat was build, mainly because Frank Dye had it. (we all want to be like Frank don’t we?) But I ended up never using it. I think a waterproof bag (made to fit?) with a zipper between the front tank and the tabernacle is a much better option. Or even better, add a waterproof bag in front of the aft tank. Someone else mentioned it on this forum a while ago, with the address of the guy that made it. Or use standard waterproof bags and bungees to fix them to the boat.
In my case I put everything that needs to stay dry in the aft tank. I have one waterproof bag with spare clothes under the side bench. The rest of my gear does not need waterproof storage. Most of it is stored behind webbing that closes the space under the gunwales. The webbing is held in place by a bungee cord square. Pull, throw it in, let go. Also there is bungee/webbing in front of the front seats, from the seat to the tank. This forms a pouch that is very handy to throw a coat or sweeter in if it gets warmer. Am I making sense? Or should I take pictures?17/05/2012 at 9:47 pm #10862wanderingwaif477Member
Thanks a lot for that everything you say makes good sence. I’ve been worried about the quality of the job and the forward tank leaking also I see what you mean about access to the tank via the hatch with the tabernacle in the way .
I like your storage ideas and if you had a few photos that would be great. I think the way forward is to try all other storage ideas before playing with the front hatch.
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