I’ve read numerous accounts of people losing their hatches at the worst possible moments, often when they are already in rescue situations. And if they arent in a rescue situation before hand, they are when they lose one. They aren’t always “blown” so lets not focus on my choice of words, but they do “come off when they arent supposed to”.
I’m interested in
- what kinds has this happened to, and exactly how. This is rarely given in the accounts.
- how to prevent it
There is an article in the latest SeaKayaker mag where a double lost a hatch after things went south-it presumably came off in trying to hang on or get back into the boat. It was a strap down plastic over neoprene variety, I believe (judging from the pictures). Not sure what more you can do if they are strapped down.
I’ve heard of larger rubber VCP types coming off in heavy waves. I’m particularly interested in this kind of incident because its the kind of hatch cover I have, and I can definitely see this happening. Hatch openings have lips that should work nicely with some sort of cinch down strap/cord system to enure they stay on, but I’ve never seen such a system in action. I’ve seen some boats with rubber hatches come from the factory with shock cords around them. The shock cord has more give than the hatch, making it useless as far as I can see.
This type could also potentially be dislodged during a capsize, with loose gear hitting it from the inside. Not putting them on all the way (easy to do if you’re not very careful) would also leave them vulnerable.
I like double protection on important parts like these. Does anyone know of a tried and true way to secure the VCP or Kajaqsport type hatch cover?