Have some spare time? Safety latch your hatches

Any boat venturing outside sheltered waters should be able to survive a knockdown undamaged, with the gear inside still in place rather than strewn all round the boat.

Go round the cabin, imagining what it will look like with the boat on its side, or upside down. Tip most boats over and the contents of every locker would escape, including the beer if you have a top opening fridge.

It is not just the mess, or the likelihood of loose bits clogging the bilge pumps; anything could become a projectile, with serious consequences if a crewmember happens to be in its flight path.

All sorts of fancy and expensive catches are available, but the ordinary barrel bolt and the home-made turn button are as secure as any. The chrome-plated barrel bolts on my own boat are almost thirty years old and work perfectly.

I make turn buttons from 20mm x 3mm aluminium flat bar and fit them to all top opening lockers, like those in benchtops, seats and bunk tops. Just cut the alloy bar to length, smooth the edges, drill a hole in the centre and bolt it down. Use a Nyloc nut so you can adjust the tension. The turn button should be easily turned by hand, but be held in place by friction.

Pantaenius Sailing
Windcraft
Jeanneau Sun Fast
Multihull Group
Ronstan
Listings Added
West System 3