New (used) Forward Hatch Riser

A number of years ago the original forward hatch risers (made mostly of plastic) gave up on Cay of Sea. After repairing them several times, I gave up on them, and acquired a powerboat-styled windshield bracket to hold open the hatch. It worked fine, and is still in good shape, as it’s make of bronze – that stuff never wears out, it seems. It wasn’t an optimal fix, however. In fact, there were two annoyances with it. First, its limited travel didn’t allow the hatch to open much past an angle 45 degrees from the closed position.  Second, its binding bar extended into the cabin when closed by any degree, which means it also extended into my forehead a number of times (too many to recount, actually). Why I put up with it as long as I did . . . there are just some things I don’t understand about myself. Regardless, I found a genuine hatch riser at Bacon’s Sails (another second-hand part) and it was far past time to retire the bronze head banger.

Here’s a photo of the wretched thing. Very sturdy. Very unyielding.

Here are a couple of photos of the real hatch riser I just installed.

As you can see, there is nothing protruding into the cabin, and the binding rod is telescopic – that is, sliding in on itself. Although not shown here, it also will support the hatch at a 90 degree angle from the deck. Significant improvement with regards to funneling breeze down below. It’s also sturdy stainless steel, so I have no worries about plastic parts breaking from age and UV damage.

I now approach the vee berth absurdly gleeful at the prospect of not sustaining a head injury.

6 comments
  1. Elizabeth said:

    Hooray! One less thing to bang into painfully IS something to celebrate!

  2. Eolian said:

    Ours are springs, which when in column, hold the hatch open. I’ll try to add some pix next time I am aboard. The flaw? Only two positions: fully open and closed.

    • I’ve seen those, and thought about using them, but as you say, they’re kind of binary in function.

      • Worse, when the spring column is upset, all support for the hatch is lost all at once. If the hatch is heavy (as ours are), BANG!!

      • I noticed that about the spring hatch support too. Reminds me of a story. . . Our hatch support gave way one night at anchor – I hadn’t tightened the fiction knob enough – hatch came down with a bang, and I jumped out of the berth from a dead sleep, convinced that we had dragged anchor and blown against the bulkhead that was 75 yards to our stern. . . Ruth called out to me as I stood in the companionway bewildered, wondering where all the collision noise came from “. . . Rick, it was the forehatch slamming closed.” It took me an hour to calm down and go back to sleep.

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