I recently purchased an older Impex Seabreeze and absolutely love it!
However, there is only one dry hatch for the rear, making packing the front through the cockpit inefficient and difficult.
How difficult would it be to add a hatch and possibly make it dry (or even semi-dry), just blocking a clear path from the cockpit to the compartment?
I see a random assortment of “hatch kits” on online.
Thanks in advance!
How flat is the deck?
Hatch installation is done all the time it just depends on how flat your front deck is to accommodate a hatch cover. A smaller Beckson type would be easiest if there is a slight slope. Wood boat builders install hatches on curved decks all the time with a whole collection of methods which often includes making a curved plate type of hatch cover. You can glue in some 3" closed cell foam to make the bulkhead.
I have an article for wood boat people here:
It’s more than you want to deal with but you can see the method for putting a hatch cover on a curved surface. That’s why I suggest a small Beckson type.
There may be some confusion on terms here. By hatch, I assume you are talking about a dry storage compartment with seal-able access.
The prior response was (I think) just talking about installing that seal-able access compartment. These are not that hard to install, and kits are available. Flat surface makes it much easier.
The other piece needed to create a dry storage compartment would be a bulkhead, and that is a bit more challenging to do. I suspect it is doable, but I have never heard of anyone doing it myself.
Even if you id not install a bulkhead, installing an access hatch at the front would make loading the front of the boat much easier. Doesn't need to be large - just one that you can reach you hand and arm in to. You would still put mist gear in through the cockpit, but use this hatch to allow you to move stuff into place.
Does it matter that my kayak is made of fiberglass? Will an ordinary jigsaw and some painters tape do the trick?
I would love to make it a bulkhead so I can worry less about water and in the case of tipping, worry less about my gear coming out of the cockpit.
If the deck isn’t that flat, it maybe quite difficult to install then?
Fiberglass would be easier
I think a fiberglass boat would be easier to do than plastic. Easier to cut and work with, I think.
Check out the products that SeaLect Designs have: http://sealectdesigns.com/products/deck_plates_hatches. They have kits for this.
Flatter surfaces are easier to work with, but not necessarily a requirement. But it will making sealing around the hatch easier.