A No Brainer Hatch Support

I've got a hatch up in the helm area, right where you walk between the windows to get to the bow.  Its a great area for extra storage and is where I have my 3rd battery and on board charger located.  When things get real wet in the boat and I like to dry things out and open all the hatches to let a little air through, something simple I know but, a pain in the sphincter if you don't have something as simple as a hatch support or arm. 

The hatch in my boat was the kind where it'd stay open by itself, just until you stuck your noodle inside it to look for something and then it'd fall shut, nearly decapitating the unsuspecting angler in the process!  So, I shopped around at places such as Princess Auto and various boat shops, looking for that elusive arm that should have been installed at the factory.  Why would they not put something on such a hatch?  If you had little kids in the boat and that thing closed on them it'd bust a finger or even an arm!  Prices ranged from 20 bucks right up to 60 bucks for different styled arms, and I did pick a couple up to try but none of them would configure to what I needed, let alone I wasn't paying big bucks for a goofy support arm.  What I came up with was shear genius, of course, and cost me a total of about a buck!  OK, maybe 2 bucks, and a small amount of time to fabricate it.

The arm is attached with one screw at the bottom, the rubber tipped end sits securely against the lid!

I had a chunk of 1/4" square bar stock laying around the garage so, measured up the piece I needed by opening the hatch to where I wanted it to stay open, figured out where exactly I wanted to attach it and then cut it.  In the case of my hatch there was room beside the hatch itself to actually lay that piece of bar stock right in the crack, so it worked out good.  The idea was to attach this wee chunk of metal to the frame of the hatch by simply using one screw, to which a drop of Loctite was applied to keep it from backing out. On the end that held the hatch up I slipped on a chunk of rubber tubing on the arm so it didn't rattle or scratch anything.  When the lid is down the arm sits flush in the crack except for the piece of tubing that sticks up out of the crack, which makes it easy to grab but is still totally out of the way of foot traffic.  Hey, its the old KISS principle, works like a hot damn and saved me money for more hooks!!  I know, this is pretty simple stuff but, sometimes we have to think out of the box to get the simple things done, and, save a buck in the process.


The arm sits right in the crack (on the left) with the rubber tube sticking out at the top so you can grab it!