The motor/ram assembly will be belowdecks
so it should be well out of the elements, but
an optional snug-fitting low-cost rubber boot
is easily installed by just sliding it over the
motor as shown (photo1). Not a bad precaution, especially if you are boating in saltwater.
I purchased a single (auto centering
off) pivot spring-loaded flat rocker switch,
but any of the “bat handle” toggle-type
switches similar to those shown would
work (photo 2).
The brackets need to be positioned so the
arm will rise high enough to lift the hatch
to its fully open position, and the base is
mounted securely on a structural surface
that can take the weight of the arm and the
hatch (photo 3). You may want to tape them
down while checking that everything will
work before fastening the two mounting
AS MY BOATING YEARS ADVANCED along with my age, I noticed that the 95-pound engine access hatch on my boat kept get- ting heavier and more awkward. Since I needed to lift the hatch to check storage batteries and engine oil, and to store extra ground tackle and other items, I decided to find a way to do this
electrically with the flip of a switch. Here’s how I installed my new lift.
NEED A LIFT?
This push-button hatch lifter costs less than $150, can be utilized
on any hatch, can raise a 200-pound hatch in 16-18 seconds, stops
automatically – and the motor is ignition protected BY CLIFF STEELE
PRACTICAL BOATER | DO IT YOURSELF
Robbie Dickson, CEO of Firgelli
Automations, where I bought my new lift,
asked a few questions as to weight and lift
height requirements and recommended a
ram, two plated steel brackets, pins, and a
spring-loaded rocker switch. The ram needs
to be 12-volt, compact, extremely powerful,
and have internal limit switches to prevent
it from jamming. Make sure you buy a unit
with internal switches that reverse the direction when it reaches the limit of its range.
Having trouble lifting that hatch?
An electric hatch lifter is an easy
option to replace gas-assist rams.