The ultimate guide of the author of the present guide was to explain the most important issues of the hatch cover security and also to steer the mariners towards active due maintenance of the hatch covers. It would definitely be less expensive to maintain the weathertight integrity of the hatch covers through the attention to detail and periodic checks and works, than to pay the possible claims for the wet-damaged cargo.
Moreover, it is critically important for safety at sea and for the protection of the sea environment to keep the covers weathertight and strong. We all know that leaking hatch covers are considered a principal cause of wetting of the transported cargo. The hatch covers may leak for various reasons, but the root cause is usually their poor maintenance of failure to close the covers properly.
The chapters of this guide provide the description of the hatch covers and their function, leakage problems and leak detection tests, some common false beliefs about hatch covers, tips on monitoring and inspection, procedures for proper maintenance and repair of the hatch covers, and also some necessary information relating to the safety of the operations. The appendices contain the procedures to opening and closing of the covers, and condition assessment forms.