Amel 54, For those who do not really like the entrance hatch locking system


Arno Luijten
 

Dear Forum,

For some time I had been wondering what Amel was thinking when they came up with the locking system for the entrance hatch. For me it felt like an afterthought and not very secure/convenient.

In an attempt to improve it I changed the system as shown on the pictures below. It is now much easier to open and lock the hatch with one hand and it is also impossible to slide it down without disengaging the lock.
Let me know if you would like to have more details on the locking device I used.

Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121



Dean Gillies
 

Hi Arno,
I know what you mean!   Anyone who needs to enter my boat without me present is always amused by the plethora of instructions I give them about entering.  Contractors look at you askance .. "do you think I don't know how to enter a boat?" lol

Personally, the only thing I don't like about the Amel system is that the door can free-fall all the way.  It would have been great to have some kind of piston in the design which supported the weight of the door, and either lowered it in a controlled way, or required a little downward pressure to open. As if our boats are not complex enough, right!

I think most people looking at your mechanism for the first time would find it obvious to operate, and probably not let the door drop.

Cheers
Dean
SV Stella A54-154

   

 


Sv Garulfo
 



I would venture to think the idea was to be able to have intermediate positions. Not that we have made use of it much, but maybe one day...

One handed operation sounds great, though 

Best,

Thomas
GARULFO 
A54-122
Huahine, FrenchPolynesia 


On 19 May 2021, at 16:02, Dean Gillies <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Arno,
I know what you mean!   Anyone who needs to enter my boat without me present is always amused by the plethora of instructions I give them about entering.  Contractors look at you askance .. "do you think I don't know how to enter a boat?" lol

Personally, the only thing I don't like about the Amel system is that the door can free-fall all the way.  It would have been great to have some kind of piston in the design which supported the weight of the door, and either lowered it in a controlled way, or required a little downward pressure to open. As if our boats are not complex enough, right!

I think most people looking at your mechanism for the first time would find it obvious to operate, and probably not let the door drop.

Cheers
Dean
SV Stella A54-154

   

 


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Thomas,

I did consider the intermediate position case. Apart from the fact I’m still able to add it if required the reality is that I never used it in the time we’ve owned the boat. When rain comes in from behind I typically close the hatch all the way up. When the sailing is so bad I get to the point of closing the hatch because of potential waves I will close it completely anyway.
The new lock also makes closing and opening the hatch much faster and a one hand operation.

Cheers,

Arno
SV Luna,
A54-121


Alexander Ramseyer
 

Looks great to me.
Congrats to another good solution on you LUNA!
Alex
sv NO STRESS


Jose Venegas
 

Perhaps my solution for the SM may work for the 54.  see my post "Making it easier to open companionway door"

Jose Venegas
IPANEMA SM 278


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Jose,

I really like your idea. Very clever. I used to live in a house that had that system for the sliding windows.
For the boat it seems to have some additional challenges.
- How do you prevent the weight from sloshing around when the boat is in motion?
- I tried to support the weight of the hatch on one side but the hatch has the tendency to rotate slightly and prevent a smooth motion upwards as a result. What did you do to prevent that?

Cheers,

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


Jose Venegas
 

Hi Arno,
To avoid the weight from sloshing around I used the track that I mentioned to guide the weight along the vertical direction.  It is very smooth because it runs in roller bearings.  With this, the weight could only slush when the vertical acceleration of the boat is greater than 1G,  which should never happen.  It is true that the pull from one side of the door creates some friction but still much less than the weight of the door.  Also, that friction prevents a rapid fall of the door.  I am not sure that the weight of the 54's door is the same as that of the SM but there is still some room to increase the size of the weight if you need to.  Worth testing before making the counterweight

Jose Venegas
Ipanema SM278


Jose Venegas
 

Hi Arno, I realize that with your modification, the point at which you can attach the line to the door is further away from the wall than in my case. where I simply attached it to the cross wood and tt is perhaps for that reason that the balance weight created more friction.  I think that if you extend the point of attachment to the right, the friction will be substantially reduced.  For this you may need to fabricate a plate to extend the point of attachment of the door towards the wall.

Jose Venegas
Ipanama  SM 278