Hatch cover/battery issue


New Member
My 2nd post: our wooden hatch cover is warped and won't latch--image below shows the type of latch. (previous owner removed the cuddy and created the hatch door) We're trying to decide whether to reinstall the cubby and get a weather-appropriate battery box to keep battery in the cockpit or to find a new non-wood hatch cover and maybe a lighter battery.

Noticed older posts that say you need to make your own hatch cover--can't buy a suitably sized one. I'm guessing ours is a mod 2 since it is 1989 and came with an open cuddy--no sign of a cover (or at least I don't have one, though do have the removed cuddy). Any updates to this? @TobyOnTheTiller mentioned trying to craft one from a plastic cutting board in this post: A view from inside - Cuddy removed! Toby/@Winston29 had you done this?

We have a small Minn Kota (35lb thrust) motor and currently a very heavy Boat US Seaworthy (exide) battery NC-27 rated 100ah. Can't easily get it in and out of the modified hatch opening to charge. Unsure if this battery will hold a charge through Oct--it was only used once, but then sat on a block in our basement for 20 years until now and a full trickle charge). Since we may need a new battery soon, I'd love to hear experiences with a smaller battery for our trolling motor. It would be great to have one that EITHER won't need charging for the full sailing season (May - Oct) in which case it can be heavier and even stay in the hatch OR smaller/lighter that can easily be lifted in and out of the hatch OR compact enough to sit in box in cockpit without getting in the way. For season, assume sailing about 36 times and only using motor to get in and out of slip--maybe 10 min runtime max each sail--on a calm lake. So that's about 6 hours of runtime. Maybe say 10 hours to be safe.

We have an older (almost 20 years) solar panel charger that supposedly will keep the battery topped up slightly (or at least not draining while sitting), though have yet to try the panel. Thanks for thoughts on the above!