Oh those pesky hatches
Our Prout catamaran has experienced a number of problems associated with hatches. For example, lines easily get caught under protruding aluminum frames, even if the hatch is closed and locked - the overhang is too great for the given rope diameter to simply roll off.
While having the mast close to the cockpit is nice, the resultant huge genoa requires long leads. While tacking in boisterous conditions, the ropes will swing and whip with wild abandon. Thus lines whip into the cockpit (where they get wrapped around things like the motor controls), or across the deck and roof (where they tend to stick under a hatch). Extreme caution and attention is required in stormy conditions - it is better to power down to the second jenny whose lines do not whip into the cockpit.
But Prout also found a way to make good hatches prone to leaks. A set of recessed hatches meant for vertical installations can be found in the rear bedrooms. These hatches were installed on a 45 degree angled surface, so any water that runs down that surface will also run into the hatch. As the hatch has mechanical assist "clicks" that hold it in place, the hatch can look closed and yet leak water. It is very important to dog down these hatches to keep the elements out as even in the summertime these hatches tend to sport puddles between the acrylic window and the aluminum frame.
At some point in the future, we'll replace these hatches with low-profile hatches that open to the outside and hence have a tendency to keep water out, not pool it between the frame and the window.
A similar hatch was "misplaced" in the cockpit. Stress cracks have developed in the gel coat. Naturally, a cosmetic fix was effected by Prout Catamarans at the factory and we have to really wax this section of the boat to prevent the dirt from accumulating and showing through the patch. The cracks emanating from the hatch hole give some pause... Not what you want to see.
Given the "flexible" history of the boat, it is no wonder that these cracks spread. No fix short of reinforcing, refinishing, and re-painting the whole section is possible. This sort of installation mistake really makes you wonder if the Prout Catamarans employees who put the top of the boat together talk to the folks who finish the bottom half. This is a project that we'll address when the bigger projects have been tackled.
Best Estimate of Time Required:
|Replace rearmost hatches||TBD|
|Reinforce, refinish, paint cockpit wall around window||TBD|