These are the original "Quick and dirty" hatches I build for the boat. Front with window, rear with window and the one for the top of the slot. The fore and aft stored in the boat just fine, but the top one ended up being 59" long x 20" wide, and was a tough thing to stow inside the boat underway. So Decided to cut it in half. I ended up with 2 pieces at 30" x 20" that are easily stowed inside the boat in several places.
Obviously I want to keep the hatch joint freeway in the rain tight, so I built an interlocking joint.
I wanted something quick, cheap, simple and secure for battening everything down both on the trailer and on the water. Shock cord and thumb cleats made out of scrap plywood work just great.
When the hatch was full size, I could slide it back and forth on the rails to stand in either end. The thumb cleat and shock cord detail allowed me to secure it in many positions. I now can just install one of them and have the other easily stored in the boat at only 30" x 20". Good foul weather setup that allows me to stand provided the wind isn't too strong for the sail i have up at the time. I don't show the rear companionway hatch installed here, but it most certainly can be, and leaves me a nice 29" x 16" opening to stand in well supported and protected.
In the picture above, you can see where the top hatch pieces now normally store. I stuff them along the sides right behind the batteries. Just quickly tuck them behind my Perma-bungees like I do with the throwable cushions to keep them out of my way when needed. The fore and aft covers can get stuffed lots of different places being much smaller.
Aft hatch in the normal position with ventilation through the bottom, matching the opening at the bottom of the front hatch. Rain tight but well ventilated. I can of course wedge something in these openings to cut the airflow if needed. In bug season I'd only need a little bit of netting at these openings.
The bungee system on the rear hatch lets me slide it down like this to ventilate out the top instead of the bottom. This is what I'll probably do when using a cabin heater or cooking inside to keep from Asphyxiating myself. The front hatch ventilates through the bottom end always. The taper on the opening keeps me from sliding that one up or down like this.
The front hatch opening I've been talking about. Also in this picture is another issue I've been meaning to deal with. The Mast opening in the foredeck. No good way to seal that with the mast in place, or even with it out of the opening in transit. The hole is also flush to the deck, making any water on the foredeck an easy path into my front storage area. But I found a solution.
More lumber from the scrap pile. There's a reason i never throw away any wood bigger than a playing card.
The finished product (except for paint, bedding, screwing it down, and putting the rigging fittings back)
I can now take a plastic bag, cut a hole in the bottom and slide it up the mast before stepping it. Bungee the bag tight to the mast and the bungee the bottom of the bag over this collar. Whole mess raised off of the deck so only water running down the mast has any chance of getting in.
I'm now rain and spray tight. Even in a knock down past the slot edge not much water should get it through the slot before she self rights. If I have the hatches battened that is. I have a little more lean that will allow me to put a window in each of the top hatch pieces to let me see the sail when underway completely enclosed. More on that when I get it done.