If you are building to a standard, you need to choose hatches that meet or exceed the standard. For instance, a yacht built to European standards would meet an appropriate design category and be approved and documented under ISO 12216. Category A is ocean. An example is here (for Vetus):OK, what deck hatches do you like other than the solid aluminum USCG rated units?? Must allow light to pass thru, reasonably easy to open. Are there any options other than the Lewmar type?? Offhand I can't come up with a hatch that has any major extra strength than the Lewmar type.
The "Lewmar type" are appropriate where they meet the standards you are building to, as well as design criteria independent of any standard. Even within approved products with identical paperwork, you will find differences in quality or details. If the light breaks, is the hatch useless? Can you fit a blanking plate? What are the dogs made of? What is the test pressure? Etc. Some products exceed standards by large margins, others don't.
Ocean sailing really requires prudence in these matters and merely meeting minimum standards is not enough, in my opinion. Deck openings on small boats are *especially* important because we rarely have true subdivision belowdecks. But because the majority of sailing is done near shore or in summer conditions offshore, the expectations are simply not the same as they are on a commercial vessel, where this is more likely what you have, more or less:
I'll add that on big boats, I've done custom made hatches with glued-in laminated safety glass lights. Each has a blanking plate carried onboard.
Last edited by a moderator: