Outland Hatch Covers

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2015 • all rights reserved

 

Outland Boat Hatch Covers: Hatch covers that are easy to install and use, don't shrink over time and can stay on even underway? YES!

Dave and I both really like our new Outland Hatch Covers. They look great, were simple to install and even easier to use. [UPDATE: After over a year of use, they still look as good as when we installed them. No problems whatsoever!]

Our previous boat, Que Tal, had fabric covers and were much harder to use. Over time, the fabric shrunk and the covers became progressively harder to put on and get snapped — in fact, we often had to leave one or more snaps unfastened. And we couldn’t leave them in place and open the hatches. That meant that there was no way to block the light but still get air in the boat.

Outland Hatch Covers take care of all those problems. Full disclosure: OHC is a sponsor of The Boat Galley and provided two of our covers free for review purposes. We purchased the other two and we are delighted with them. Yes, we’d buy them again.

The covers are a flat piece of a special type of PVC, custom cut to fit your hatches exactly. While all four of our Bomar hatches are the same model, OHC knew that these Bomar hatches tend to vary some in the handle placement — so they had me take a couple of measurements on each hatch, then cut each one slightly differently to match up. WOW!

They attach with a neat proprietary twist fastener that is permanently attached to your hatch.

So why do we like them so much?

  • We can leave the hatches open yet block the sun coming in through the glass (Lexan). Even though the hatches are tinted, it heats up the boat — and puts a nasty glare on computer screens. No more!
  • On cool days, if we want the sun to warm up the boat, it takes just a couple of minutes to remove all four covers. Much faster than the cloth covers.
  • The covers can stay in place for normal coastal cruising, although not for ocean passages. No taking them off every time we go out and putting them back on when we anchor up again. Not only is it one less chore, but the boat stays much cooler underway.
  • They are going to be great when we store our boat this summer. Last year we used Reflectix on the inside of all the windows and hatches. Later we learned from other Gemini owners that this can lead to warping of the Lexan in the hatches and then to leaking hatches — the sun passes through the Lexan, then is reflected off the Reflectix and back through the hatch. It’s much better for the hatch to have sunproof covers on the outside — and they keep the boat cooler, too. Since the OHC covers are on the outside, we won’t have to make anything different for the summer. Not only will they be better, it’ll be a big time saver, too.
  • They’re not going to come off accidentally. Outland says they’ll stay on in a 50-knot blow. We haven’t tested this (and I hope not to).

These are solid covers that don’t let any light in when the hatches are closed. Well, actually, there is a tiny bit of light around the fasteners and the handles, but it is tiny.

A few photos of our covers — inside and out — a few photos with tips on installing them and then a video from OHC on installing the covers. It took me maybe 15 minutes to install all four of ours, including cleaning the hatches.

The outside appearance:

Outland Boat Hatch Covers: Hatch covers that are easy to install and use, don't shrink over time and can stay on even underway? YES!

Inside, almost no light enters when the hatch is closed (there’s a weird reflection in the photo, but the only light that comes in is around the circular cut outs for the handles).

Outland Boat Hatch Covers: Hatch covers that are easy to install and use, don't shrink over time and can stay on even underway? YES!

I marked the covers so we’d know which one went on which hatch when we took them off and on. Mark in the little tabs that’ll go under the fasteners and no one will ever see the markings (I used P for port, S for starboard; F for forward and A for aft).

Outland Boat Hatch Covers: Hatch covers that are easy to install and use, don't shrink over time and can stay on even underway? YES!

I used blue tape to hold the covers exactly in place while I installed the fasteners. I found they slid just a bit otherwise.

Outland Boat Hatch Covers: Hatch covers that are easy to install and use, don't shrink over time and can stay on even underway? YES!

Here’s the company video showing how to install them. I was surprised at how easy it was!

To see more about the hatch covers, visit Outland Hatch Covers. Pricing and ordering information is here.

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Comments

  1. On my Edel cat, I used white perforated vinyl on the outside of all of the hatches. You can still see out but no one can see in and the perf vinyl shades incoming sun very well.

  2. I was just about to sew a new set of hatch covers but these sound great. I will definitely check them out. Thanks, Carolyn .

  3. We saw them at the Boat Show and will order them for our Catalina 350 🙂

  4. Claire Ford says:

    Well, we ordered our Outland Hatch Covers yesterday after many phone calls to a wonderful, understanding man named Steve Outland. The Customer Service at this company is outstanding, and I recommend them on that alone. Will post another comment when they’re installed, and I’ve slept under them for a couple of nights, but as far as reassuring a novice, they’re the best!

  5. I installed these on my Hunter 450 over a year ago, and they are awesome. Easy to install in minutes, easy to remove if you want more light in the boat, and they protect the windows from crazing while keeping the boat cooler inside. Steve Outland, the owner, is quite personable and hands-on, assisting with the different hatch sizes. Great product and company.

  6. Fingers crossed, winning would be a great birthday present!!

  7. We have talked to them at a sailboat show in Oriental NC…would love to have them on our boat! And we are from Jacksonville NC too!!

  8. Claire Ford says:

    Just an update about our Outland hatch covers. Steve Outland is absolutely awesome. We have these really weird brand of hatches, so the first set didn’t work. We had met a great man when we had our canvas done in Grasonville, MD, and he ended up measuring and cutting a template for Steve. When the second set of covers came in, Marshal installed them, even shaving the sides when needed. We really love the covers, and tell everyone we know how well they work, and how Steve sticks with you until all is right.

  9. They are absolutely the best. We are in Grenada with five (5) Lewmar sized Outland covers and one very custom cover for the sliding hatch to our “basement”. 4th cabin with only deck access.
    These guys and their product are the best of the best!,

  10. I wondered the real use of them since I already have canvass covers– so I guess it is one thing or the other there?
    While I understand they keep the light out– do the keep the heat out… Fla. Keys sunshine is brutal…

    • They keep heat out better than anything else. Nothing short of real AC will make it truly cold in the boat.

    • How do they keep heat out? They are only plastic covers–> plastic sitting directly on glass– plastic heats up and transfers heat accordingly… Right?

      On an obvious note: I can see how they would stop the crazing of plastic hatches.

    • It keeps the sun from coming in the hatch. Sun through glass/Lexa multiplies. Just like being in a car in the sun versus one in the shade.

    • They are made out of expanded pvc. They are uv resistant and air injected. The actually provide some insulation and stop the heat on top. They do not allow the heat to transfer. These covers replace canvas and allow you to operate your hatches normally without the worry of strings or elastic.

  11. These look very cool!

  12. Thomas I have been through 2 summers and they are GREAT!

  13. We have them on our IP 38. Love them. Best customer service ever!

  14. They are fantastic. We put them on Sea Glass and they look great on her. Thanks for their great work.

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