Ergonomic Hatch Dog Knobs

One of the first things that you learn when you step into a C-22 cabin is to watch your head. With the pop top down, there’s only a little over 4′ of headroom and you will hit your head on something every time you turn around. Every C-22 owner probably has scars on their scalp from the ends of hatch dog bolts. They protrude nearly straight down at you from right over the galley and settee, where you spend the most time!

Besides those sharp edges, the wing nuts used to secure the pop top don’t have much clearance with the cabin opening and aren’t easy to grip well and tighten. My first mate has arthritis in her thumbs that makes turning knobs and caps painful at times.

BEFORE - difficult to tighten and hard on the head
BEFORE – difficult to tighten and hard on the head

Get a handle on your dogs

A certain Catalina parts dealership offers some improved star knobs but they’re pricey for what they are. I use similar ones from Woodcraft in my woodworking shop for jigs and fixtures that are much less expensive and just as good. To add space between the new knobs and the cabin ceiling, I cut a 1″ nylon spacer in half and inserted it between the knobs and washers.

The new knobs are easy to grip and tighten. They guard your head from hitting the hatch dog bolts and they also are easier to hold out of the way while raising and lowering the pop top. I also put them on the forward hatch dogs to make operating that hatch and moving around in the V berth easier and safer too.

The Bottom Line

Suggested price: $17.90
$tingy Sailor cost: $4.70
Savings: $13.20

How many scalp scars have you gotten from your boat?

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben says:

    Love this solution. I have ordered the knobs, but need a little help with the nylon spacer. Can you give me specifics on where and what I need to order for the spacers?

    1. kbilling says:

      Hi, Ben

      The spacers don’t need to be anything special but they do need to be:

      Minimum 1″ long if you cut one in half to make two, or about a half inch long each. Any longer and there won’t be enough threads for the knob when loosened.
      Inside diameter 1/4″ min. to fit over the bolts.
      Outside diameter less than or equal to the bottom of the knobs.

      Anything that meets those specs should work. I got mine from the hardware area at my local home & ranch supply store but they have similar ones at the big box home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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