Opening the hatch more than the actuator will permit - what not to do

MDboaterMDboater Posts: 298Member ✭✭✭
Recent threads on increasing actuator travel/hatch opening has prompted me to post a story on a near injury.  I bought my 2003 270FV at the end of the 2014 season.  When the previous owner was showing me the boat I commented that the actuator did not raise the hatch very much and working in there would be difficult.  The previous owner then showed me how to disconnect the actuator and completely open the hatch by pivoting it back toward the stern.   The hatch seemed to have a natural resting position there.  Over the course of the following year I disconnected the actuator to open the hatch wide while working on items in the engine compartment a couple of times.  It was a little awkward reconnecting the actuator by myself but I never really thought much of disconnecting it.  So it came naturally that last fall after the boat was blocked, that I would disconnect the hatch actuator and open it wide while winterizing.  It was a breezy fall day and as luck would have it, I didn't stay in the engine compartment very long.  As I was getting tools I heard a loud bang (as did several others working in the yard who came to check).  It took a surprisingly small amount of wind to swing the hatch closed.  This could have been a serious injury or worse if someone was in the engine compartment when this happened.  So never disconnect the actuator and leave the hatch unattended.  Please don't make the same mistake that I did.


  • diggin2day1diggin2day1 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,061Member ✭✭✭
    When I disconnect the actuator I used to run a rope around the railing and tie it to the ladder to keep the wind from closing it... Now I tie a rope from railing to a davit... Wouldn't want that crashing down on me!!
  • chamberbchamberb Saint Albans, VTPosts: 265Member ✭✭✭
    Wow, close call! Thanks for sharing :)
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 2,666Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good advice.

    On the 370, especially with gear in the transom locker, the engine hatch is extremely heavy.  I don't even want to think about what would happen if it fell on someone.  
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,105Member ✭✭✭✭
    Dito, I'm allways by myself in there. allways tie off
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • summerxsummerx Middle river, MDPosts: 198Member ✭✭✭
    wow.  I NEVER CONSIDERED THAT...very good point and thanks for throwing that info out there.  Could actually save someone a serious injury or worse.
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,458Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I never understood why @tniggel 's hatch never opened more than 2 feet. On my 280 it opens 3-4 feet which is nice. On Tom's (tniggel) 270, he has to slide into his engine room. I suggested moving the actuator further back, but we weren't sure if it would hit, or worse, not close all the way.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA
    Go Steelers!!!
  • reneechris14reneechris14 Pawcatuck river CTPosts: 1,449Member ✭✭✭✭
    Good point I have always tied it off.also notice that the actuator sits on the fuel hose when resting down.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 4,236Member ✭✭✭✭
    I put a stick in it- opened enough so the weight stays on the stick even if there is a breeze- another foot or so of opening is all you really need, just a better access to get in there, once your in there does not matter much....
  • diggin2day1diggin2day1 Long Island, NYPosts: 1,061Member ✭✭✭
    Had my hatch up today and figured I'd take a picture... 
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