Bow hatches on cabin boats add two advantages: illumination from above (whether closed or open) and fresh air when open, be it a cuddy, cruiser or walkaround. Some hatches are also large enough that you can use them to access the bow from inside — to man the anchor, for example.
If your cabin lacks a hatch overhead, it’s easy to add one from a company such as Bomar, Lewmar, Taylor Made or Vetus. Hatches come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. For this project, we use the rectangular Lewmar Low-Profile size 30, which measures overall 153⁄8 inches long by 20¾ inches wide and requires a minimum deck thickness of five-eighths inch. It has friction hinges (with adjustable tension) that hold the hatch open without the need for gas-assist struts. When unlocked, it can also be latched or unlatched from outside and inside.
Skill Level: 3.5/5
Time to Complete: 3-4 hours
Tools and Supplies
*Lewmar Low-Profile bow hatch, size 30 ($241.76, jamestowndistributors.com)
*No. 10 stainless-steel self-tapping screws
*1/4-inch stainless-steel bolts, nuts and washers
*Marine silicone bedding compound
*Open-end/box-end wrench set
*Power drill and bits
*111⁄16-inch hole saw
*Jigsaw with fine blade for fiberglass
*Shop rags to wipe up sealant