The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2020.05.23 - Abused by Latches I

One of the non-maintenance tasks I want to get done before Naiad goes back in the water is to rectify a small problem with her layout that bugs me a fair bit.


It's to do with these, the latches for the lockers under the cockpit seats. There are two, one either side and they do the job fairly well.


They were bought with the intention of being able to padlock the lockers closed, but I've never even bought locks for them and most of the time, they are not even closed.


This is the problem. When viewed from above you can see that the latch extends past the edge of the thwart and this has the unfortunate result that if you are not careful climbing in or out of the boat or just moving around in the cockpit, the latch scrapes your leg and that can be quite painful as well as bloody if you moved too quickly. The latch may have deburred edges but it can still gouge a nasty hole in your leg of you don't watch out.


So, each latch will be replaced by one of these.


It sits mostly flush with the thwart and has a latch that clips under a keeper on the inside of the locker.


Ideally, I would have liked to have put the new latch in the same place as the old.


But there's a reinforcing strut just there so the latch will have to be offset.


Like this.


Mid-way between the two strengthening struts and as close to the edge as I can manage.


The first thing to do is to cut a section out of the edge timber.


The cut off piece will be screwed to the locker and will hold the keeper.


Screwed in place.


You can see how the lid fits.


Like this. The 45 degree angle serves two purposes. Firstly to avoid sharp right angle edges and secondly, to make the lid centre more easily when I do the adjustment in a bit.


Back to the workshop and time to mark the position for the hole.


No going back now, the hole is cut.


The latch is a snug fit, it's always good to have the correct sized hole cutters.


The backing plate is bolted to the main latch body and holds the latch securely in place.



Back to Naiad for the fitting.


The keeper fitted to the section of the lid cut out before.


Ready to go...


And one side completed. Looks nice. There are a couple of things I don't like about this new arrangement, for example, water can collect in the top of the latch but nothing that I would consider worse than being abused by the original latch!

Time for a cup of tea.