Hatches - RC Groups
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Feb 20, 2013, 07:47 PM
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Am building a couple of model yachts, and was just wondering what people used for holding down their hatches. I was thinking about using magnets, after seeing on here a few people using neodymium magnets. Are these okay to use with RC gear, or is there something that would be better? My hatches are made from wood. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Feb 20, 2013, 09:24 PM
Registered User
hi waikiwi:
I saw the same threads on hatch magnets also.
And I just installed them to hold the hatches on a US 1 meter I am rebuilding.
They seem to hold OK, I wondered about radio problems but the air plane guys are using them to hold on canopies and access doors and haven't reported any problems that I have read.
On another boat I used velcro and on my third boat it's just a friction fit.
Just in case I put fish line lanyards hatch to boat , and on heavy wind and water days every body adds tape!!!!!

Feb 20, 2013, 10:35 PM
Big Boats Rule!
boater_dave's Avatar
If you don't tie the hatch to the boat make sure it floats! I lost the hatch from a Dumas Etchells when the main sheet flipped it off the deck.

Feb 21, 2013, 02:16 AM
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Hot Tuna's Avatar
For the hatches, I wanted something to keep out the water while keeping to the wood theme. I saw this method on one of the other sites. They were actually quite easy. I framed in the hatch opening first leaving a raised edge so the water will not wash across the deck and down the hatch. The cover was a bit small due to the saw cuts so I needed to make it a little larger. I did that by adding a thin strip of the contrasting dark color and sanded it down to the length and width so that the edge piece just fit over the frame of the hatch opening like the top on a shoe box. Magnets on the deck and the cover hold it firmly in place. I epoxied the magnets in the hatch opening first. After the epoxy dried, I placed Saran Wrap over them, placed the magnets for the cover side on top of them (make sure the Saran is between the magnets, this is VERY important :-), a dab of epoxy on top of the magnet, and then the cover. The empty beer bottle you just finished adds just enough weight to make sure everything sets up with a good fit. The magnets in the cover are placed perfectly because they cure right where they need to be and the Saran between the magnets makes sure you have a release after everything is set up. If you vary the poles of the magnets in the hatch opening, the cover will only go on one way and your wood grain will always match. After everything was complete, I laid a piece of Saran Wrap across the hatch opening, ran a small bead of silicone around the edge of the cover, put it in place, and let the silicone form a nice seal for a little added protection. No beer bottle this time, let the magnets pull it to a natural fit. I have been in some very rough water and the boat has remained bone dry and there is no way these are going to blow off. No radio problems either.
K&J Magnets is a great source for these neodymium magnets, good prices and good service, and they carry every size you could ever need. I used a 1/8 x 1/8 X 1/8 block in the corners of the opening and 1/10 x 1/32 cylinder on the cover. https://www.kjmagnetics.com/
One source of inspiration http://www.pondboats.com/endeavour.htm
Feb 21, 2013, 08:05 AM
Registered User
Hay Hot Tuna thanks for posting your hatches, your where I got my info to do mine. But I wanted flush decks, so I glued a 1/16 "spacer under the deck then a lip sticking out 3/8"for the gasket (used great planes 1/6x3/8 for airplane wings).
I used 1/4x1/4x1/32 on the hatch corners and 1/8x1/4 in the corners of the hatch hole.I tryed to keep the round magnets just below the gasket so the hatch would be pulled down into the gasket for the seal. I poured lots of water on the hatch , no leaks, the kitchen spray nozzle did make it leak a little. I used k& j magnetics as well good price, selection and ship quick.
Also Hot Tuna nice wood work on your deck!!!!

Feb 21, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Beautiful decks both of you. Thanks for the information on how to construct the hatches - am also building a T-37 Hot Tuna
Feb 21, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Hot Tuna's Avatar
Very nice jbwfir! Is that a CJ?

There is some T-37 information on
Feb 24, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Hot Tuna it's a Mistral US 1 Meter , designed by Bob Debow

Feb 26, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Hot Tuna's Avatar
Waikiwi, is that where you live ?
Feb 27, 2013, 03:16 PM
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I live in New Zealand. My user name is just a reflection of this, and is actually the name of my first boat I ever got from Will, a T-15. Wai means water to our native people of our country, while Kiwi is a native flightless bird, as well as a term we New Zealanders define ourselves as. So waikiwi means waterbird.
Feb 27, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Hot Tuna's Avatar
It caught my attention as an interesting name so when I Google'd it and saw where it was located, I was intrigued. Living down there would certainly deserve the record for the most southern T-37, but you might already have that honor. I have always wanted to see that part of the world. If I ever get down there, I'll bring my T-37 and we can race. :-)
Feb 27, 2013, 11:10 PM
Still showing up for breakfast
lilleyen's Avatar
Originally Posted by Waikiwi

Am building a couple of model yachts, and was just wondering what people used for holding down their hatches. I was thinking about using magnets, after seeing on here a few people using neodymium magnets. Are these okay to use with RC gear, or is there something that would be better? My hatches are made from wood. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I use rare earth magnets from Lee Valley Tools, very strong for their size, come in all sizes.
Never had any trouble with my radio over it (2.4)
Feb 28, 2013, 12:18 AM
Registered User
Thanks lilleyen for that confirmation - didn't want to put the magnets in and find I lose contact with her!

Racing would be fun Hot Tuna. I'm not too sure how many Tippecanoe boats are down in little New Zealand, but I wouldn't think it would be very many. I have quite a few though, okay, perhaps a small fleet. What can I say except Wills boats are very addictive! Only problem is that they are starting to take over the house

The photos you post of T-37 racing in your part of the world are great. I would love to have the chance to race in a fleet. Once I've finished building my other ones, I look forward to a bit of fun racing - just have to convince someone else to sail them
Feb 28, 2013, 02:43 AM
Waikiwi just email Will at Tippecanoe and he will send you a list of owners in your area.
Mar 01, 2013, 03:17 PM
Registered User
My Surmount came with elastic attached inside the haul. There is a hook on the bottom of the hatch that the elastic hooks onto.

It works well at holding the hatch in place. But the seal was lacking in pure water tightness.

So I put a thick bead of silicone on the bottom of the hatch around the outside edge where it meets the haul. I then laid a tissue over the hole in the haul where the hatch sits.

I pulled the tissue taught with tape to remove any wrinkles. I then placed the hatch with the silicone on it over the hole with the tissue in place.

I then applied a slight push on the hatch to simulate the force applied to where the hook is located when the elastic is engaged.

I then pull the tape off that was holding the tissue taught to the haul and lifted the hatch off of the boat with the tissue now stuck to the silicone. I then set it aside to dry.

I read of people doing the same with cellophane. But I think this would take forever and a day to dry. If at all. Tissue will breathe and allow the silicone to dry quicker.

I also added a lip to the front edge of the hole on the boat with pieces off of the decal sheet. This creates a grove that the front of the hatch sits in. This lets the water run over the hatch when in motion much like roof shingles. Much better to wick water away. A piece of tape would do the same. I wanted something more permanent though. I hate having to bring more stuff to the field then what is needed. If this works well I might make something better up out of plastic and epoxy.
Last edited by litehawkdown; Mar 01, 2013 at 04:15 PM.

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