Lift-away hatch covers provide weather protection for the cargo hold and bear the load of on-deck containers
As a rule lift-away panels are operated with a spreader using the vessel’s cranes or shore side container cranes. The hatch cover panels can be stowed on top of adjacent covers which are placed on the quay or the ship’s deck. Non-sequential operation and partial opening possibility enables flexibility in loading and discharging, and is therefore preferred by many ship owners.
Lift-away hatch covers for use on the weatherdeck are divided into two categories: single-panel covers and multi-panel covers.
Single-panel types comprise one cover for each opening, i.e. there are no joints. They are normally specified for bulk carriers in the case of single-opening abreast, and for cellular container ships in the case of multi-opening abreast configurations.
Multi-panel covers comprise several separate panels for each hatch opening, they are used for cellular container ships in the case of longitudinal joints, and for multipurpose cargo ships and heavy cargo tonnage in case of transversal joints.
Lift-away covers can be equipped with special fittings, as required: for example, with stanchion sockets for loading timber, cement/grain feed hatches, and ventilation hatches or water spray arrangements for dangerous cargo.