Covers for Hatches
by Roc Palaia, Sea Life, #1477
Here is a project I did over the winter.
I wanted an overhead hatch cover that would give privacy in the v-berth and head. I also wanted a means to cover the hatches to stop the sunlight coming in and heating up the cabin while we're away. The hatch covers should be easy to install and remove, and should be easy to store. I thought the best way for them to be mounted is by the simple friction fit method, so no holes to drill. I wanted the hatches to be opened easily while still in place so when in the v-berth, the hatch can be cracked open. The material should be rigid enough, but still flexible to roll up and store. Also, the material needed to be durable. Most of all, they needed to be inexpensive. I made the covers out of the insulation material that has two faces of aluminum foil with bubble plastic sandwiched in the center. This is rigid enough to fit and stay inside the frame, and can be rolled for storage. It also will reflect the sunlight when installed. This material is just perfect! Home Depot doesn't sell it (believe it or not). I bought it at True Value. Unfortunately, it comes in a huge roll, so be prepared to buy the whole thing.
I made templates for each overhead hatch out of brown paper being careful to achieve a tight fit. Then simply used them to cut the insulation material to fit each contour of the hatch. The hatch cover fits perfectly inside the perimeter of the hatch and the friction holds it in securely.