Are your boat hatch covers faded, peeling or leaking?
Are they constantly falling open?
Have you constructed an elaborate bungee cord system to keep it closed?
Whether you have a sailboat, a liveaboard trawler or even a fishing kayak, boat hatches offer convenience and comfort factors for everybody on board. If your boat hatch covers have seen better days, it might be time to do some replacing.
Fortunately, replacing boat hatch covers is not a terribly expensive procedure, compared to the many other things that can happen when you own a boat. Read on for some hints and tips on choosing the best boat hatch cover for your boat.
What Is a Boat Hatch Cover?
A hatch is a place on a boat for storage, light or ventilation. Most people think of the window at the front of the boat, right above the V-berth, as a hatch. I like to call it the star-gazing window.
Built-in storage containers like livewells are also called hatches. Electric/fuel line access openings are also known as hatches. The cover is, quite simply, the lid that you open and close. A whole hatch system consists of trim, O-rings, support poles (like cam latches) and an optional screen (for window use).
Uses for Boat Hatch Covers
- Access for storage
- Livewell coverage
- Protect electric and fuel lines from water and weather
- Windows/Ventilation (you can even install roller or pleated shades to block light)
Features of Boat Hatch Covers
You’ll want to be sure to choose corrosion-resistant or non-corrosive materials that can withstand saltwater and marine conditions.
Vertical or Horizontal Use
Depending on where the hatch is, it can be positioned either vertically or horizontally. Boat hatch covers come in either style.
Well-sealed trim prevents leaking, either from outside elements getting in, or inside contents spilling out (such as with livewells). Do you really want a bunch of bait water leaking out all over your boat deck?
Boat hatch covers come in a variety of shapes: square, round or rectangular. A long rectangular one is good if you’re planning to store water skis, fishing rods and floating water mats. Small square ones are perfect for storing electronics. Larger square ones are good for anchors and anchor rope.
Material and Construction
Boat hatch covers are typically made out of aluminum or polycarbonate. Aluminum is a bit heavier than polycarbonate, but both are durable, corrosion-resistant and hold up well in marine conditions.
If the hatch is on the floor or interior sides of the boat, where people will be walking, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t stick out too much. Additionally, window hatches on the deck (like for a V-berth) shouldn’t be so tall that people trip over them.
Types of Window/Portlight Boat Hatch Covers
For windows, there are several types of boat hatches.
- Flush — The flush-style boat hatch cover sits flush against the surface of the boat, whether it’s the deck or the sides.
- Low-Profile — A low-profile design is lightly more elevated but still close-fitting.
- Medium Profile — The medium profile has more of an edge and a taller “pronounced” look.
- High Profile — A high-profile hatch is definitely noticeable. It’s a good choice for a side window. It wouldn’t be a good idea for floor installation.
- Pilot Hatch — The pilot hatch type is usually found in cockpits. It slides back and forth rather than staying open with a cam arm.
The Best Boat Hatch Covers
SEAFLO Circular Non-Slip Inspection Hatch
- 4-Year Warranty!!
- Color: White
- Anti-Aging, Ultraviolet Resistant ABS Construction
- Simple Installation and Usage
- Heavy Duty Lid with Non-Slip Surface
This inspection and access hatch cover has a heavy-duty and detachable cover with a non-slip surface.
It’s resistant to UV rays and is easy to open with just a twist. It’s also available in smaller sizes.
- Type: Flush
- Shape: Circle
- Dimensions: 9.8” x 8”
Tempress Cam Hatch Without Lock
- Features two dog down latches
- Functional and stylish
- No lock included
- Beveled and skirted lid covers all fasteners
- Patented Integral hinge assembly that allows for easy lid removal
Designed for heavy traffic areas, the Tempress Cam Hatch is tough and water-resistant.
It’s made of strong and durable polypropylene with a gasket for a water-tight seal. There’s a positive locking system that won’t pop open.
What’s really great is that it’s strong enough for people to stand on it, which makes it acceptable for deck floor use. The lid has squeeze-twist handles and is removable.
- Type: Low-profile
- Shape: Rectangular
- Dimensions: 10 ¾” x 15 1/8”
SEAFLO Marine Boat Deck Access Hatch and Lid
- Low profile hatch, designed for installation on internal or external flat surface
- Heavy duty, UV stabilized white ABS construction
- Reinforced lid with non-skid surface
- The lid hinges 180° and completely covers the mounting flange, for an attractive flush finish
- Rubber seal ensures weatherproofing when mounted on vertical surfaces
The SEAFLO Marine Boat Deck Access Hatch is designed for internal or external installation on a flat surface.
It’s made of heavy-duty UV construction with a reinforced lid and non-skid surface.
The lid hinges to 180 degrees for extra wide access.
- Type: Low-profile
- Shape: Rectangular
- Dimensions: 23.9” X 13.9”
Taylor Made Products Ultra III Boat Hatch with Trim Ring
- Frame size: 12-3/8" x 12-3/8"
- Max hole cut out: 9-5/8"x9-5/8"
- Made in the USA
This window/ventilation hatch has tempered safety glass that’s scratch resistant and super clear for all of the star-gazing.
It has security locking handles and positive lock riser arms to easily raise and lower.
The trim ring is included and it has pre-drilled mounting holes.
- Type: Low-profile
- Shape: Square
- Dimensions: 12 3/8” x 12 3/8”
YaeMarine Rectangle Portlight Window
- Non-corrosive synthetic parts and durable rubber seal;
- ABS Anti-aging, Anti-ultraviolet;
- Easy to install and disassembly;
- Overall size 15-3/4" x 7-7/8"(400 x 200mm), Size Opening w/ Open Window: 13-1/4" x 5.0"(320 x 128mm);
- Note : Please feel free to contact us if you have any question about the product. We would try our best to solve any problem for you. Wish you have a good shopping experience.
I really like the stylish design of this portlight.
It has non-corrosive parts and a durable rubber seal as well as ABS anti-aging and anti-ultraviolet construction. It’ll stay looking good for years.
The click-in construction makes for an easy installation process.
- Type: Medium profile
- Shape: Rectangular
- Dimensions: 15 ¾” x 7 7/8”
Lewmar Size 40 Ocean Series Hatch Flange Base
- Same Day Shipping on Request
- Best Value and Performance in its Class
- 15-Years as premier solution provider
- Complimentary White Glove Service - Just-Ask-We-Take-Care-of-It
The Lewmar Ocean Series has a corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum frame.
The lower frame is a bit higher, which helps to keep water out even when the cover is open. It has a handy knob for opening and lockable internal and external handles. Friction levers keep the lid open up to 95 degrees.
I really like the acrylic lens with its pretty blue tint.
- Type: High profile
- Shape: Square
- Dimensions: 20 1/16” x 20 1/16” x 1 1/16”
Accessories for Boat Hatch Covers
Waterline Design Bug Screen for Hatches
- KEEP OUT BUGS / MOSQUITOES - LET IN AIR - Premium quality polyester net. Small mesh to keep out even the smallest gnat as the No-see-ums. Protect your crew for all small bugs, not just the mosquitoes. The smallest can be the most dangerous and don't forget the wasps.
- FAST & EASY SETUP - Throw the net over an open hatch and you are ready. Done in a few seconds. The net needs just to be little larger to cover the hatch. In the morning fold the net, store in our mesh storage / pouch bag. A net should not be storage in a closed container.
- THE PERFECT MIX - A net outside the hatch / boat window is a perfect combination for sail- and motorboats with roller blinds on the inside. Designed and devoloped in Sweden - the country of mosquitoes.
- EASY TO CHOOSE YOUR SIZE - This net is for small hatches. See our other sizes for regular and large hatches. This sizes is often used for small ventilation hatches. For hatches with outside measure 14" x 14" (360 x 360 mm). Waterline Design offer two more sizes for regular and large sized hatches. See other Amazon offer.
- A MATCH FOR ANY HATCH - The bug net throw over is compatible with all major hatch brands such as Lewmar, Rutgersons, Bomar, Taylor Made, Vetus, Moonlight, Craftsman, Gebo, Goiot and many more.
Don’t invite mosquitoes and their buggy friends to your boat bash.
This net is fast and easy to cover up an open hatch. A lead weight band keeps it in place. This allows you to enjoy cool breezes without the biting insects.
Tempress Hatch Liner
Now that you’ve gotten your boat hatch covers all, well … covered … how about the hatch liners? This liner simply drops into the opening and snaps to the flange. It’s a great place to store extra towels, phones, cameras and electronics. It could also be used as a livewell.
Lewmar Eclipse Roller Shade
- 100% Black out material that is UV stable, wipe clean and water repellent.
- Durable flyscreen mesh, providing protection and airflow.
- Low profile design.
- Suitable for Lewmar standard hatch size 44.
- Internal trims sold separately.
I like a good sunrise as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s just a little too early for that much light.
This low-profile roller shade is the perfect option for when you want to block out light for sleeping or just plain privacy. It’s made of 100% blackout material. It’s also easy to clean and water repellent.
The flyscreen mesh is durable and provides airflow without letting in the insects. Simply slide the shade closed when you’re ready to block out the light.
Hopefully this has helped you with your boat hatch cover concerns.
It doesn’t take long to replace them, and the difference can really update the appearance of your boat.
Sandy Allen is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties range from hotels, islands and yacht charters to theme parks and family fun. She enjoys boating, snorkeling and jet-skiing along the waterways of Virginia, Florida and North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Follow her adventures at Somewhere in the Sand.