Hatches,Vents and Cratch Boards
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Mon Mar 8, 2021 at 5:00pm

Hatches, Vents and Cratch Boards

There are various ways of getting extra light and ventilation in to your boat, below are just a few…..

Houdini Hatches

Houdini hatches are fitted to the roof of a narrowboat and offer additional natural light and ventilation in to a boat.  These hatches have been in production for over 50 years now and are robustly constructed using quality materials and are fitted with toughened glass.

Houdini hatches are extremely streamlined and cause minimum obstruction on the deck, they are usually silver anodised, however frames can also be black or gold anodised, or powder coated to a specific colour of your choosing.

Their large glass area means that a lot more natural light is let in to the cabin, in addition when fully open it allows a nice welcome cooling breeze during the summer months.  

This can also be utilised as an additional exit point in an emergency.

Side Hatches

Traditional narrowboats with an engine room have hatches, this allows ease of access and allows plenty of light into the engine room.  As well as having side hatches some boats have what is known as a top hatch which is a hinged item, boats with engine rooms usually have a second hatch the other side of the engine.

Hatches are also fitted in other areas of a narrowboat typically in the galley area, with these doors open it allows light to flood in and offers the opportunity to see life pass by on the canal whilst eating your breakfast!

Pigeon Box

A Pigeon Box traditional venting device constructed from a metal or wooden box with pitched, hinged lids which fits over an opening in the roof of the boat. The lid usually has a glazed section built in to allow extra light into the cabin or hinge to allow additional ventilation.

Pigeon boxes were traditionally fitted to engine rooms, but also more recently have been used over the living accommodation.

Mushroom Vents

A mushroom vent is situated on the roof of a narrowboat and has a dome shaped cover which is adjustable allowing ventilation into the boat without letting water or debris in. They are adjustable on a screw thread and are usually made from chrome, stainless or brass finishes.

Cratch Boards

Cratch Boards are wooden structures situated in the front well deck of a narrowboat.  The benefit of fitting a cratch means it provides you with an extra 'room', it can really help to make you more comfortable, by giving you an additional seating area or storage space.  Having a Cratch Board and cover could potentially free up some of your onboard living area.  

Additional benefits to having a Cratch Board and cratch cover is that as well as having an extra sheltered area, it can also help to keep the cold draughts out,  and if you have windows in your cratch cover, it will still allow natural light to come through to your narrowboat.