Footy deck hatch covers

Hi All,
I am new to the site. I have reviewed a lot of information about footies and have started building a Razor. The hull is complete and I am about to add the deck.
My question, what is the best way to cover the deck openings?
I have seen pictures of many footies but none that clearly show how hatch covers are held in place. On my 1 Meters I use sticky back dacon material.

Any suggestions


what i might make in the future is an opening with a raised lip, going 90 degrees up from the deck. about 1/8 to 1/4" high. on that there would be a thin lip (like a fuel fitting barb). then to seal the hatch, slip a condom over it. cheap and re-usable
no jokes please…condom…on yer foot-long.

I have to make a new hatch every time out but Press-n-seal plastic wrap works well for me. Certainly no weight issues. :slight_smile:

Another footy tried using it though and couldn’t get it to stick. The paint on plastic finish wasn’t working. Test it out.

It’s too bad you can’t make a cpolythene over with a zip-lok type seal on it. Just press it on, and pull it off. The curved corners is or a joint are the impossible parts. There is probably a way to make such a cover, but not an easy one for a hobbyist.

Why do you take the cover off so often? Some power boat guys seal the battery (rechargeables) in the boat ( i.e., in a sealed radio box) and only need to fish out a wire to charge the battery. The seal on the radio box is only broken when the battery needs replacing or the radio needs servicing.

On the last USOM I built, I made a cover and put a magnetic strip around the edge. It worked well.

On the Razor, I’m planning on a wood deck with a layer of plastic on top. The plastic will take the tape better.

I use a thin clear plastic like overhead projector film. Cut to shape with an overlap over the hole and tape down with half width vinyl electrical tape. This holds perfectly on a well varnished wood deck and can bt carefully lifted and replaced a few times before needing to re-tape.

I like to use Duracells for power so have only lifted the deck once during the last summer season. Sailing maybe 2 hours a session every other week on that particular footy.

Hope this helps…


We have been using a tape called “hockey tape” to seal hatch covers. We find it in sporting good stores with the hockey stuff. The advantage enjoyed withthis tape is that it will stick & restick to the deck even if it isn’t perfectly dry.


Nothing better, IMHO!


Even thin strips of velcro will work, but it’s not waterproof.

IMO, hatever method is used, should be able to detach & re-attach at least a few times, like you’d do during a regatta.


I use a coffee can lid for the hatch cover.
The rim is made by creating a ring from a thin strip of fiberglass sheet about 1/2 inch tall. I bend the thin strip around the inside of the lid and mark the point at the overlap. The strip is trimmed to this length. I cut a small length of the same height strip material to back-up the ring where the two ends meet, and attach it with a bit of Ca. This assembly can be done while the strip is in the lid because Ca glue doesn’t really stick very well to the plastic. Don’t glom it on though because you will have to help enforce the curve by holding the back-up strip in place until the glue kicks, and Ca sticks really well to skin. When the rim is cured remove it from the lid and see if it retains its round shape. If not, try it again. It took me a few tries before I got it right.
Once the rim is made I wrap a length of 45 pound test dacron fishing line around the upper edge on the outside of the rim and tack it in place with Ca. When the line is properly adjusted to make a smooth lip I lay on several heavy coats of Ca. Ca accelerator helps make this a fairly quick procedure. Once the Ca is fully cured you can test to see if the lid fits the new hatch coming. If its too loose then another layer of Ca is in order. If its too tight and the lid doesn’t fit on it then you need to sand down the dacron lip until it fits on tightly (the tighter the fit the more waterproof the hatch). If the dacron line was saturated sanding should not be an issue. If it should fuzz up while you are sanding then apply some Ca, wait until its cured, and continue sanding.
Do all this in a well ventilated area!
The hatch coming is now ready to install. When you install this hatch coming make sure to allow enough clearance between the bottom of the lid and the deck to be able to remove the lid. Sounds obvious doesn’t it - don’t ask why I include this proviso.

A very neat idea Niel, thank you for explaining it. It sets me wondering if there are cans or plastic food containers where the rim could be used from the container too. On a larger scale a friend has a ‘Tupperware’ lid/rim hatch on a US1M and that works very well although heavier.



for deck hatch openings i use those lamination sheets you can purchase at “Staples” or any kind of office product store. the brand i use is Avery and comes in packs of 10 sheets, about the size of typing paper. I have put a piece on to cover the lazarrette on my ODOM and have not removed it since September. I also use it on my Ericca and Kite IOMs (and on the Kite is use BIG pieces and no leaks). Only thing is the boat has to be dry when applied. I will go with the dacron patches on the IOMs in the future but all my boats will have at least one clear ‘window’ to check for leaks or any other potential problems.

Thanks for the build instructions, Niel…your hatch is a much more sophisticated approach than my packing-tape version!

I’m wondering if you found out that CA sticks well to skin the same way I dicovered it? :wink:

Bill H


On my ODOM, I totally replaced the opaque fiberglass hatch you get with the kit with one from plastic, made from a replacement welding faceplate. Those are kinda thick, and come in flat sheets, so I just traced the old cover, and cut it out. Now I keep the opaque fiberglass cover in the box just in case.

I was using a simple piece of clear packaging tape on the lazarette, but I’ll consider your sheet plastic idea- it might look less cheap.


Graham - Long, long ago, in the days when we sailed the X-Class, I used the rim cut from a canned ham and the plastic lid that came with it as hatch coming and cover. Enamel paint, varnish, epoxy, no matter what I tried rust set in on the metal rim after half a season. Brackish water will erode almost anything, and rust stains on a wooden deck are not attractive. That is the origin of the idea.
I think that the plastic containers that have these “snap closed” lids are made of variations of polypropylene, and most glues won’t stick to it. Also, most of these containers have pretty robust walls and weight would be an issue. You might try the new Glad or Zip-lock containers, they seem to be of lighter material, but they may be a bit large for a Footy. By the way, 4-1/2 inch coffee can lids weigh in around 5 gms.
If 4-1/2 inches is too large for your Footy, and you have dainty fingers, try a cottage cheese lid at 4" and 4.7 gms, or the 3-1/2 inch lid from a small can of walnuts at 4.3 gms, or the 3" lid from a can of Pringles potato chips coming in at 3 gms even.
Bill - I’ve glued myself to objects with various materials for 30 years now, and I’m in my forties. I still find myself attached to various boat parts thanks to the tenaciousness of Ca. Acetone (nail polish remover as well) de-bonds Ca, but is carcinogenic (isn’t everything?), so use it sparingly.

Have you tried “Goop Marine” or “Amazing Goop” by Eclectic Products Inc. for gluing those polyprop plastics? I rediscovered their products while browsing a Victoria building website. It’s very sticky and durable (heck, I pretty much resoled my sneakers with their “Shoe Goop” product once). It can be difficult to apply just where you want it though.

Maybe apply a ring of Goop where you want the lip to be and then set the lip into the Goop. Once it’s cured, snap the lid on.

Just a thought.

These are a selection of hatch covers for “TAHI”
Left to right …the side out of a DETTOL bottle, 2/ the top of a takeaway food container, 3/ DEPRON… a meat tray… and finally at the back a superb bit of craftmanship from Nigel, a CARBON FIBRE version.

I used styrene sheet on my Victoria, it is a fair amount lighter than the kit hatch (ABC) and comes in various thicknesses. I found some at a train hobby store. I think it is used to construct building models for model train terrain.

I’m working on onr that ha a hump down the middle. Either the increased head clearance allows a taller sailwinch, or maybe you can stick the receiver to the hatch to save floor space?