These comments pertain mostly to a Scamp but could be applicable to other designs as well.
Here’s the deal:
Scamp offers a ton of storage, literally. It is possible to install anywhere from 10-15 hatches in various places on this competent little micro cruiser.
Now for my question:
Since we can install hatches everywhere on Scamp, does this mean we should?
Here in resides the problem. Each and every time you cut a hole in your boat you compromise safety. You compromise the boats integrity. Sort of like someone telling little white lies until they get out of control and become a chronic lier, steeler or murder. Well, that was a bit extreme, but you get the point. It’s very easy to go Hatch Happy on a Scamp and I believe I’ve been guilty of this heinous crime.
If you think about it, the number one reason for storage compartments isn’t actually storage. No, the number one reason for storage compartments is buoyancy. And, if cutting holes jeopardizes buoyancy, why are we doing it?
We’re doing it for storage, dummy! If we didn’t need storage, we wouldn’t have any holes in our boats. OK, how much storage do we actually need? The answer to this question depends on how we plan to use our boat. And, once we’ve determined how much storage we actually need, let’s agree to just install this number of hatches. No more, no less. Now we would have a boat with sufficient amounts of storage for our needs without overly compromising the integrity of the boat with hatch overgrowth.
If I build another Scamp I’ll have a minimal number of storage hatches and probably none in the seats. Well, almost none in the seats. I would install 2 hatches in the vertical front face of the seats under the veranda. At least this is my current level of thinking.
Remember also, that a dry bag secured under the veranda could easily hold a weeks worth of clothing and provisions.
Scamp is a very sea worthy micro cruiser if we don’t scandalize its sea worthiness by going hatch happy. My confidence level in my own Scamp will be much higher if I minimize hatches and make them water tight.
Water can’t get into your buoyancy chambers if you don’t cut a hole and allow access. This seems overly simple, but might be profoundly true. Read almost any boating disaster, it probably began with water intrusion.