The fore hatch on the Freeport 41 has always been a problem for us. Its heavy and dangerous. The 3/4 inch Lexan top was crazed and ugly.
In addition, when we carry or Rib dinghy on the foredeck, the hatch cannot be opened to give ventilation.

Below is our attempt to improve on function and appearance.

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Here is the hatch as it was when we purchased Flying Cloud.

The Lexan was crazed and checked and the Lexan surface was very slippery to walk on.



The rebuilt hatch has two opening hatches that open to the sides, Gull-wing style. The dinghy chocks will mount just aft of the small hatch and when the dinghy is stored on deck these smaller hatches can be opened up to match the "V" shape of the dinghy bottom. I'll post pics with the dinghy onboard when this is finished.

This is a very large fore hatch and it came with two very small hatch dogs on the inside. I am installing two external twist latches that will really secure this hatch.

Once again the teak was all salvaged from old teak decks that were removed and the teak tossed out.

I might add too that the deck strips you see would normally, on a true teak deck, have hundreds of screws.
I plane and trim all the teak strips, lay them upside down on a sheet of polyethylene and the I lay fiberglass mat with West System epoxy across all the strips. When finished I have a one piece board that I cut to size and install with 3M 5200 and a half dozen screws.

This hatch always leaked water when a wave broke onboard. So I redesigned the way the hatch seals in the inside.
I built some coamings around the hatch opening so that any water would drain out. Sort of the same idea as a dorade box.

This design can be found on page 47 or Eric Hiscocks book, "Cruising Under Sail", second edition.


Two of these along with the larger hinges should make this hatch pretty secure in any weather

T I'll post more photos and info once I complete this phase of the project
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