hatch choice????

People have put in: screw in hatches, kajaksport hatches, VSK hatches, pry hatches, the lever style (cobra uses) hatches…if you were going to add one to a boat what would you recommend???

i am going to be adding a hatch to the bow of a boat that has none…i adding it to be able to access the bow area so that i can add floatation with a modicum of dry/wet storage…ihave discussed it with the designer and he said that there might not be enough space to add one…but i jsut want to be able to reach in so that i can

a) add in a foam bulkhead to gain some flotation in the bow

b) access that previously made storage area…

my boat is still on the BIG boat so it is not infront of me just yet-so i wanted to see what those who have added a hatch think about the methods/styles of securing/closing the hatches out there…

i like the pry out that Bnystrom has on his Aral…clean…low profile…but how secure is it???



You definitely can add a hatch.
Many, many ways to do it depending on deck shape and how much money and work you are willing to invest. Wood or fiberglass would offer more options as you can just cut a hole in the deck and then build a lip to hold the cut out piece in place. Screw-ins and pry-outs work well and can be installed on deck or in the front bulkhead for basic access…

hatches should get more debate
than they get, why? because 98% of paddling is day paddling and a simple dry bag pushed behind the seat can carry all you need for a couple hours paddle.

a friend was building a house and adding sky-lights, he asked my what I thought- if you want light go outside, a sky-light is a hole in your roof.

a hatch is a hole in your boat. maybe people who day paddle should accept the fact that for them hatches aren’t really needed.

BUT if you must have hatches you would want them waterproof eh? and with that end the only hatch system I know of that is 100% infallible (sp?) is the Valley double seal.

another hatch design which blew me away was/is the FeatherCraft roll closure-so simple, extremely lightweight.

I used Beckson pryout hatches
on my last cedar strip kayak and they worked out great. They have never popped out on me with a 1/32" hole drilled in the bulkheads. They are completely water tight after hours of rolling. It still amazes me how most commercial hatch covers leak so bad.


which is why…
…it may not garner more debate. With the numbers of valley hatches out there, and the elegant effectiveness, what’s to debate? I’ve had three boats with 'em, some of the NDK versions don’t even double-seal, yet I’ve never had one let in as much as a half-cup of water.

Very nice, Don…
That is an amazingly beautiful cedar strip boat you built to match your SOF. I also really like the minimalist approach you took to outfitting the cockpit and masik.


To confuse you further…
check these out - the twist lock ones.


I used vikings with the cam handle in a kayak many years back and I really liked the large cam operated handle. 99.9% water tight.

You didn’t say if your deck is flat or curved, plastic boat or glass etc. For a curved deck you do have to build up a flat surface.

What kind of boat?

Beautiful boat!
Great photo essay as well.

As far as hatches are concerned. My kajaksport hatches don’t leak…period. The large rear hatch is a pain to get on and off, but I can live with that. I use 303 on them regularly, inside and out.


sorry…i did not provide more info
the boat is a Rockhopper RH340…

it is a rotomolded boat with a nice flat area ahead of the foot the foot pressure plate…

i have heard reports that the bouyancy pod onthe foot plate does not provide enough flotation in a rescue situation…the RH has shown a few people what a Cleopatra’s needle looks like…

so i am planning on adding in a foam bulkhead to crate an airspace…but i would like to be able to access it for storage as needed…

the designer just stuffs a couple of “footballs (UK)” ahead of the pressure plate to provide some extra flotation…

Viking makes some neat ones…thanks for that link-i had not seen them before…

Thanks for the help!


Curved deck plates
There are curved deck plates available.

where???have not seen those…

I have both Valley and Kajaksport hatches on three of my boats. All are 100% waterproof but my preference is the Kajaksport just because they’re bigger although you may need to go smaller depending on how much room you have on deck.


– Last Updated: Apr-05-07 4:37 PM EST –

As a newbie to 'yaking, I'm kinda dissapointed at what I see for hatches available from the mfrs. I'm in the rotomolded price range, and I get the impression that Prijon's hatches are much larger than say, the Sirocco from Current Designs. Do smaller hatches mean better seals against water intrusion? Or is there more leverage with a larger hatch, to make a better seal?

By the way, DonG, that is a beautiful boat you have!!!

Catamaran Sailer

– Last Updated: Apr-05-07 4:46 PM EST –