hatch covers on hot days

Just got a NDK Romany and was told to remove the hatch covers while storing the boat outside during sunny days in Fla. This is to prevent heat from building and damaging the hull. Anyone have data on this?Would a pinhole in the hatch cover handle this? Terry

Don’t do it
I can’t say definitively since I don’t have an NDK, but I imaging they do the same as Valley. Valley puts a pinhole in their bulkheads so they will vent to the cockpit, equalizing pressure. The pinhole is in the center of the bulkhead so you don’t get back leakage from residual cockpit water or while rolling. On one ocassion I got some dampness in a hatch, but that was from having the cockpit totally full of water for a period of time during a practice session.

No to pinhole in a hatch cover

– Last Updated: Mar-01-10 7:46 PM EST –

I own a RomanyLV and an ExplorerLV, and NDK, at least in these older models, doesn't put a pinhole to equalize pressure build-up in the bulkheads.

It's easy enough, though, to put that little -- I don't know what size drill bit to use, being tool-challenged, but it'd be very small -- hole in the middle of the bulkhead. Both Valley and P&H do this routinely. When I looked at the bulkheads on my new AvocetLV, said holes were scotch-taped over but I removed them to find the expected tiny holes -- a nice example of Valley's attention to detail.

It's definitely NOT a good idea to put any holes in your hatch covers.

Also store out of the sun
Pin holing the bulkheads will take care of expanding hot air. P&H has done this for years and Valley since Peter Orton took over.

Direct sunlight will harm your hatch covers faster than anything. Try to store your boat out of the sun. If that is not possible, you might store it without the hatch covers.

don’t know about pinholes in
my P+H hatch covers…but i was told to store with them off whenever possible. I hang mine on the back side of our small barn and hung tarps from under the eaves and just weight the bottom of the tarp.air circulates in thru’ the ends ,but the kayak is blocked from the other elements. also works great when you are hanging it back up in the pouring rain, i’m under the tarp drying my boat and keeping comfy.

Here’s hoping…
…you don’t have pinholes in your hatch covers as it compromises them.

The pinholes we’re yakking about are in the bulkheads (one hole down in the front bulkhead and one hole in the day hatch/rear bulkhead wall.) As an ex-P&H owner and whose husband now owns a CetusLV, the ever present pinholes in the bulkheads of this manufacturer’s, as in Valley’s, boats are visible, albeit barely.

Just for giggles, the first time I realized there was a “hole” in the bulkhead of my Vela’s rear hatch I got that sinking feeling. I immediately brought the boat over to my local P&H dealer and showed him the “hole”. To his eternal credit, he didn’t start rolling on the floor with hysterical laughter (I’m sure that came later…)but explained to me in his gentlest manner that the hole was there to equalize the pressure in the hatches; it would NOT be a good idea for me to undertake any sort of, er, repair.

Ah, the innocence of that first year of paddling…

Take 'em off in bright sunlight regardless of the air pressure issue–protect them from UV rays in general as theya re about $75 each to replace.

I store mine
Upside down with the hatch covers off and in the shade if possible, when I have to store them outside.

He asked about heat
The poor guy asks about heat and gets a bunch of replies about pressure.

If you store the boat deck up then covers off will be slightly cooler inside than covers on.

If you store the boat deck down then it will make no difference at all.

You want to store a boat with covers off because it allows the compartments to dry, and prevents them from smelling nasty.

Heat degrades plastics. The resin in a composite boat is a plastic. More heat degrades plastics faster than less heat.

Store your boat in the coolest place you can. Store your boat out of the sun if you can.

Pinholes in covers
When defining “pinhole”, use the smallest possible drillbit. It doesn’t take anything more than a pinhole to properly vent the hatch. With no vent hole, hatch covers can bulge out or in with temperature or altitude changes.

Vent the bulkheads, not the hatch covers
Putting a hole in a hatch cover is a bad idea that will lead to leakage. Venting bulkheads solves pressure problems without causing any others.

thanks for all the advice
Am just back from a tour and drilled the bulkheads with a 3/64 bit. Seems to work fine. The boat is used daily on tours and is stored upside down on padded roof racks.Haven’t had any water in the hatches other than when I clean the boat but I remove the covers then to let everything dry. The Romany and my Tempest 165 are my customers’ favorite boats. By the way, I asked for advice about opening a kayak tours business a couple years ago. I started it, have been growing from the start, and having a ball doing tours 5 to 6 days a week! Thanks again! Terry

Reason for this
Is mostly about keeping the hatch covers themselves out of the sun, so reduces UV degradation. Even with that plan of using 303 on them frequently down there.

As to venting, as above a small hole in the bulkhead, centered and maybe 2/3 up, won’t let in water but will let the air pressure equalize. You’ll find that traveling with the hatch covers off is noisy, so you may want to travel with them on. A pinhole in each bulkhead will prevent their being blown off too easily because they have ballooned out from heat.

Most important though - get some thin static line and tether them - asap. The hatch covers NDK uses, from KayakSport, sink if you drop them in the watre.