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Securing the main hatch for heavy weather sailing

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What is the issue?
It is critical that the main hatch be secured during heavy weather sailing. Most yacht hatch securing arrangements are washboards that are externally locked into place. This arrangement leads to crews being sealed in below during heavy weather sailing. This causes an anxious situation to develop resulting in main hatch being unsecured.

Why address this?
A single breaching wave could flood the yacht through the main companionway hatch placing the vessel in a survival situation. It is essential for the welfare of the vessel and crew that the hatch can be secured and the crew down below made feel safe.

How to address this?
Put in place a securing system that can be secured and released both externally and internally.

This may be accomplished by placing a jammed cleat internally and externally to the main hatch. Drill the main hatch to allow a length of line to pass through the front edge. Provide enough length on the line to allow the hatch to slide fully open when it is secured at mid point both internally and externally.

This is a simple, practical solution that is permanently in place and ready to deploy when needed.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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