Hatches on a Pygmy

Restoring a Pygmy 14’ Arctic tern. Want to make it a day tripper/play boat. Therefore, bulkheads would improve flotation/ safety. Then my options are 1)No hatches 2) Day hatch such as Sea-Lect 3) kits from CLC. 4) DIY job. OR…. I would like to learn how to roll this thing so waterproof is a concern.

In most wood boats, the hatches are cut out of the deck and the cutout is used as the cover. A support frame is attached to the underside of the deck and weatherstripping makes it waterproof. There a many ways to hold the hatch covers in place. I suggest getting the build instructions for the Arctic Tern and/or reading some kayak building books. The Wooden Boat Store (https://www.woodenboatstore.com/) has a large selection of books on boat building. Other good resources are Chesapeake Light Craft (https://www.clcboats.com) and Nick Schade’s Guillemot Kayaks Website (https://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/).

If you don’t want the storage, you can add bulkheads fore and aft with no hatches on one or both. There needs to be a tiny hole in the center of each bulkhead to allow air pressure to equalize.

I have a boat with a forward bulkhead and no hatch, the pinhole has not allowed water into the compartment. A screw-off drain plug was provided, but I haven’t had to use it yet (11 yrs). It’s also a day boat, so the rear hatch was enough, and I like a clean front deck.

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I built a Coho and used a sea sock instead of hatches.

I was undecided on my first 14 and installed deck hatches in the bulkheads before installing them just for access should I not do more. . I later installed a deck hatch in the foredeck and a hatch with a cat bag on the rear deck. This worked out as I didn’t do overnights. The Cat Bag worked out well for keys and other small items.