A Cool Spring

Sometimes I need access to the cooler beneath my leaning post, even in rolling seas. While feeling around blindly in the cooler as the lid rested on my arm, holding on for balance with my other hand, I had an idea: replace the original lid strap with a hatch spring. I simply lift the lid and the hatch spring holds it up — I can reach in, grab a cold drink and bump the hatch spring to close the lid, all with one hand. The hatch spring I installed came with a rotating arm on the lower end. This is particularly useful, because it gives me two height "settings" for the lid. I installed the spring so, with the arm in the "down" position, the lid can stay open beneath the leaning post. When I don't need the cooler stowed beneath the post — for loading and unloading, for example — I rotate the arm to the "up" position, which holds the lid more open. The stainless-steel hatch spring will last a lifetime and can be transferred to future coolers quite easily.

— H. William Persons, Jupiter, Florida