A hatch onboard ship is a "deck opening" and the most important one would be the hatch to the hold; where the cargo goes. If a storm was coming in the sailors had to make sure that the cargo was safe and secure so they would "batten down the hatches". This would also mean closing all windows ("hatches") and doors and generally prepare for trouble.
By SailingQuiz November 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Batten down the hatches mean?
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Definition of the nautical phrase "Batten down the hatches".