How to Automate Your Boat Hatch


Owning a boat brings lots of benefits and fun, as you can sail whenever and wherever you want. Out-of-date equipment, however, can literally destroy any trip, turning it into a complicated mess. The development of new technologies does not pass around marine automation, though. It is not surprising, that now you can automate almost everything on your boat and even do so with your own hands! If you are still fighting with your old-type hatch, it is high-time to automate it with the help of linear actuators.

Types of Hatches

The hatch is an indispensable element in the design of yachts and boats. It is used for ventilation, emergency or regular access, as well as natural lighting of cabins. Forms of deck hatches are diverse: Round, rectangular, square, and trapezoidal. Classic yacht deck hatches have an anodized (usually, light-colored) aluminum frame and triplex glass. Frames can also be made of plastic, bronze, stainless steel, and metal.

Types of Actuators

There are three main types of actuators:

  • Pneumatic;
  • Hydraulic;
  • Electric.

Electric actuators are more popular because they are easier to install and cost cheaper. Inside the electric linear actuator is a conventional electric motor. It can be of the direct or alternating current type. The mechanism of the linear actuator converts the torque of the engine into the linear movement of the working mechanism. To function correctly, the linear actuator must include a gearbox and spindle screw.

Actuator systems for boats must meet two basic requirements. Firstly, they should organically fit into the design of the vessel, and secondly, they should be suitable for work in harsh marine conditions.

Why Automate Your Boat Hatch With a Linear Actuator?

The automation on board makes sailing more comfortable, saves your time and strengths as well as optimizes the space on a boat. You can easily operate hatches and other equipment with a simple click of a button. The linear actuator will set the lifting mechanism in motion. Now, you do not need to apply any force to open the hatch.

Where to Buy a Linear Actuator?

There are a dozen shops where you can buy a linear actuator for your boat hatch. However, it is better to trust a reliable and certified seller. Firstly, explore models and their features to choose the most suitable one. Then, read and watch reviews to make sure that this model is really high-quality and will function according to your needs. Do not forget to measure the exact length of the future mechanism.

How to Install an Automated Boat Actuator?

As soon as you get your linear actuator, you can start the installation onto the hatch. Usually, actuators have a step-by-step guidance on how to install them included. First off, you have to connect your actuator to the boat’s engine using wires. Take two wires (+ and -) and attach them to the boat’s operating panel through the 12V switch. Then, put the control panel in an accessible place so you can easily operate the hatch.

If you are not sure how to install it, you can always contact a specialist who can help you.

Boat Hatch Automation: Conclusion

Life is too short to waste time on tiding routines. Opening a boat hatch can be one of them. The good news is that technologies are making our life easier (in this case as well). You can install a linear actuator to open a boat hatch with a simple button click. It is a cost-effective solution, which optimizes space and time for you to enjoy sailing trips even more.


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