I have been asked by a number of people to publish the modifications I made on the engine compartment hatches on my CSY 44WO.
As most of you know these hatches are big cumbersome and, in my opinion, dangerous offshore when accessing the engine compartment. I could not even think of being down in the engine compartment with any seas and that 50 pound monster free up on the deck. Also, the rubber tie downs were not a real solution to keeping these in place in case of a knock down. I had to remove the stairs, open the door, climb over the refrigeration unit (since removed), and lock the rubber keepers. Not something that I would like to do in any seas. So I did like everyone else probably does – left it unlocked when underway. I knew there must be a better solution so I came up with the following:
For the large main hatch (by far the biggest problem)
For the big hatch I cut off @ 1” from the end toward the companionway. This allows the hatch to open side to side (from the wheel pedestal toward the seat) and not hit the wood of the companionway (Others have said they cut the wood from the companionway instead of the hatch – I don’t know how well this works). I then attached hinges to the hatch and the lip of the opening. This allows the large hatch to open easily and stay with the boat.
I then attached a piece of door gasket material to the bottom of the part I had to cut off to miss the door. This acted as a drip rail for the blunt edge. I also painted the end of the board with epoxy because the plywood was showing. When it was all installed I added a spring shock to keep the hatch open and to hold it shut.
On the small hatch cover I cut off the side by the bench seat so it stands up like this:
I left a 1/4th inch drip rail so that water does not roll under the lid.
On both of the access hatches I used a weather strip from Lowes. It keeps the noise down and does not seem to allow any water into the engine space.
Small hatch open