A look at superyacht doors and hatches

| With thanks to Pacific Coast Marine, Profab Access Ltd and The AAADM


With superyachts being designed and engineered to offer the upmost comfort, practicality, flexibility and space saving features, Yachting Pages has investigated some of the most advanced and impressive door systems on board.

salon sliding door

Automatic doors: What you need to know

Before specifying what types of automatic doors are required, you should have an understanding of the various doors available and laws and standards that apply. When automatic doors are properly selected, installed and maintained, they provide welcoming, convenient and secure access leaving captains and crew with one less problem to worry about. Most, if not all companies in this sector offer a specialist tailor-made service to work directly with shipyards, crew and management companies to provide the best solution for each individual yacht.

pacific coast marine doors

Types of automatic door

Christopher Johnson, from The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers explained how there are three major types of automatic doors: swinging, sliding and folding.

Automatic sliding doors: Automatic sliding doors provide effective two-way traffic. Sliding doors are equipped with a feature that allows the sliding door to swing when pushed out in emergencies. This feature, known as “breakout” or “breakaway”, qualifies them to be used in locations that require emergency egress capability.

Sliding doors are offered in various configurations, including traditional biparting, single slide and telescoping models. These doors require an adequate amount of slide room in which the door can move.

Automatic swinging doors: Typically, when a swinging door is automated, two doors are used. One door swings inward and the other door swings outward, this enables two-way traffic. Two-way traffic through a single automatic swinging door is not normally recommended. The exception is a low-energy swing operator that has different characteristics than a fully automatic door. It is crucial that these types of doors are well marked to indicate the direction of travel.

Automatic folding doors: A folding door requires minimal space to install, yet provides plenty of clear door space. This makes this type of door a preferred choice when space is at a premium. These doors should have an emergency swing feature if the door is being used as an egress location.

Automatic folding doors have two or more separate panels. The first panel swings and the second panel slides, enabling it to slide as both panels swing into a “V” shape, which is the fold. Automatic folding doors may include either a single folding door that swings in or out or a pair of doors that simultaneously fold in or out.

curved doors marine

When sourcing a company for your doors or hatches, there are a few key points to consider

Are they a partner or approved supplier to any of the industry’s largest yacht builders?

Professional equipment suppliers tend to build their business around supplying to the industry’s largest builders and this information is usually found on their website.

Do they use innovative technology?

Product development and innovation requires experience, sound engineering and financial stability in order to be successful; a great company will push themselves to be leaders in this industry and develop new systems and solutions.

Are all designs completed in-house rather that sub-contracted out?

Keeping design work in-house will stop lengthy delays while communications are sent back and forth. Plus, using naval architects and designers that are familiar with the door or hatch system the customer wants, will ensure that they get an elegant and smooth solution that works.

Do their production facilities and workshops boast the latest machinery?

Having the latest machinery and tools will make sure the products are manufactured to the highest standards, have better finishes and be more accurately put together.

Can they custom create a whole boat solution to your exact requirements?

Even if you only need a smaller system, making sure the company doesn’t baulk at a larger job will assure you that they are more than capable to work on your project.

What safety factors (SF) do companies provide?

Testing their products should be at the forefront of any business model as Tom Davies, sales and marketing manager at Profab Access Ltd confirmed, “Profab recently gained ‘Certifire’ certification.

CERTIFIRE is an independent third party certification scheme that assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products. Recognised by regulatory authorities worldwide, it is an internationally respected mark of fire safety and one of the most authoritative in the industry.

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