303 cheaper than new hatches

heads up for anyone with Necky or similar rubber hatches. I got a plastic Chatham16 the same time a local shop did. My boat sits in the sun on the same rack in the same upside down position for the last two years.

The rental boat has cracking on the INSIDE of the VCP/Necky hatches with the round hatch needing replacement.

Mine are still fine and get 303 about three times a year. I don’t know if the NEcky hatches are any different than VCP hatches in composition but there’s an obvious difference in longevity between 303 and no 303.

a good thing
I usually do that a few times a year with my NDK too, especially right before a trip when it’s going to be out in the sun for a few days or so.

It’s Mostly Maintenance

– Last Updated: Jun-30-06 2:30 PM EST –

More that than diff's between hatche covers. We had a demo Romany from MIKCO for a few days last season while Jim's Aquanaut was having its plastic seat changed out for a fiberglass one, and one of the hatches was so scarey dry and cracked that we duct taped the things inside before taking it out. Same hatches as my Explorer LV, and probably no older, but mine get maintained and these were hatches from rental and demo boats left lying around.

My Vela was a demo boat, and even with better care of that it still took several rounds of 303 before the hatche covers started looking right to me. And they were in good shape to start with - no cracks or anything - just had been in a lot of sun.

8yr old VCP hatch
it started getting dicey and had to be replaced after ten years. What surprised me was the Necky hatch getting tossed in two years. Actually a Wilderness Systems hatch was also pretty worthless after three years. Sure seems obvious,if you 303 it it’ll last, if you don’t it’ll last a little longer than gaskets on a dry suit but not much.

“the same rack …”
"… the same rack in the same upside down position for the last two years …"

Man!–you gotta get out and PADDLE more often!

out yesterday
four hours,thirty three kids. Boy am I out of shape.

That’s the only part I use 303 on
(on a kayak, that is.)

My hatch covers are rubber. I know from car and trailer tires how 303 helps prevent UV degradation.

Now, here’s a really strange thing. I rubbed the 303 on BOTH sides of the hatches, figuring that sometimes, like when camping, a hatch cover gets left upside-down for a while. Suddenly, the hatch covers became extremely easy to seat, and just as easy to pop off. I worried that the latter was a bad thing. Felt like sliding on velvet. Previously, the hatch covers had been a little tricky to seat securely and “sticky” when removing.

But that’s not the strange part. Previously, the day hatch and stern hatch occasionally got a few drops of water in them after rolling practice. (Very little–I could sop up the drops with a tissue.) After 303’ing the hatch covers, literally no water is getting into any hatch after rolling and wet exit/re-entry practice. Strange.

I have VCP hatches on the OI
Have the same problem with the day hatch and rear hatch…maybe a teaspoon of water. Will go home after work today and 303 the insides.