Hatch Cover Maintenance and Operation: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition) (eBook)

Published Date

August 2019

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Hatch Cover Maintenance and Operation: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition) (eBook)

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This illustrated guide explains the fundamental importance of weathertight hatch covers to the safe and profitable operation of cargo ships. Poorly maintained or secured hatch covers can result in total losses in heavy seas and are one of the principal sources of cargo damage claims.

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The guide describes the various types of hatch cover in use today and explains how they should be inspected, maintained and operated to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety. The second edition has been extensively revised and updated and includes information on hatch cover testing, recent IACS contributions to hatch cover design and operation, plus a glossary of terms. The guide is intended for ships’ officers, ship operators, technical staff, surveyors, lawyers and claims handlers.

Chapter 1 Benefits of Keeping Good Hatch Covers


Chapter 2 Hatch Cover Design Principles
2.1 Types of hatch cover
2.2 Basic design features
2.3 Recent changes to hatch cover design rules
2.4 Importance of steel to steel geometry
2.5 Sealing arrangements
2.6 Drainage
2.7 Securing
2.8 Locators
2.9 Problems from new


Chapter 3 Operation
3.1 Safety
3.2 Closing and opening
3.3 Securing
3.4 Common problems
3.5 Inspection by onboard staff
3.6 Surveys
3.7 Testing methods
3.8 Use of hatch cover sealing tape and other temporary sealants
3.9 Checklists and reporting
3.10 Other watertight closures


Chapter 4 Maintenance
4.1 Routine upkeep and maintenance in service
4.2 The importance of cleats and seals
4.3 Corrosion
4.4 Keeping the drainage operational
4.5 Operating gear
4.6 Spares
4.7 Temporary repairs
4.8 Permanent repairs


Chapter 5 Implications of Poor Hatch Cover Condition
5.1 Seaworthiness and cargoworthiness
5.2 Records and evidence
5.3 Use of sealing tape and other sealants

The objective of this guide remains as before: to provide information in straightforward way to those on board ship and those ashore who have an interest in the voyage. The aim is to provide practical guidance to the target audience of ships’ officers, ship operators, technical staff, surveyors, lawyers and claims handlers.


The guide deals with hatch cover design principles, operation, maintenance and safety. Appendices are included which provide checklists for routine onboard inspections, notes on recent IACS contributions to hatch cover design and operation, and a glossary of terms.

North P&I Club

North is a leading global marine insurer with over 160 years of history in the industry. Our purpose today remains as it was on our inception in 1860; to enable our Members to trade with confidence.

Over the years our service offering and our global office network has grown but our business has remained grounded where it all began; the North East of England. With a global service built around you and your business, expect a warm and friendly welcome whenever or wherever you deal with us, from people who genuinely care about your business.


Title: Hatch Cover Maintenance and Operation: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition) (eBook)
Edition: Second
Number of Pages: 64
Product Code: WS1710EA
Published Date: August 2019
Author: The North of England P&I Association Ltd

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