From a post to ALT.BOOKS.DAVID-WEBER dated April 5, 2002:

Wayfarer and camouflaging itself as a merchantman

    (1) Missile tubes have hatches.

    (2) Grasers require more internal hull volume than lasers, but the weapons bay hatches are approximately the same size for both.

    (3) Hatches slide; they are not hinged.

    (4) Most navies use oval hatches. This is simply a matter of taste.

    (5) Missile and energy weapon bays are normally sealed with hatches so that they can be pressurized for maintenance purposes. When the ships clear for action, they evacuate atmosphere from all the outer sections of the hull, including the weapons bays.

    (6) Wayfarer's "hatch" problems included her need to mount (and conceal):

(a) energy weapons,
(b) counter-missile launcher stations;
(c) laser clusters;
(d) sensor emitters a merchant ship had any business mounting; and
(d) LAC bays.

    (7) You can use radar to map a starship hull in the HH universe, but not at extreme ranges.

    (8) The need to conceal the presence of Wayfarer's weapons and sensor suite occurred both whenever the ship was in orbit and pretending to be a merchie and, secondly, whenever a pirate actually got close enough to board her. If you want to suck Mr. Pirate in nice and close, you need to look very inoffensive when he gets close enough to actually see you visually.