Hatch ring sealant.

I have a kayak with VCP hatch rings installed. There are no perimeter screws attatching them to the hull, just some sort of adhesive sealant, which I would like to replace. Assuming I am able to remove them without damaging them or the hull, what is the best product for reinstalling them? What do the manufacturers use? Can I remove them without damage? Any ideas here? Thanks, Ken…

is your boat
plastic or fiberglass?

I would assume it’s fiberglass…
…as you can’t easily bond hatch rings to a polyethylene boat and I don’t know of any manufacturers that would install them in a poly’ boat without screws or rivets.

Assuming that the boat is 'glass, there are several sealant options, including Lexel, 3M 5200 or 4200, any of the GOOP products and Sikaflex. There are others that will work, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

As for removing the hatch rings, as long as they’re attached with a flexible sealant, you should be able free them by slipping a fine steel wire though a gap between the sealant and the deck, then using a sawing motion to cut through the sealant. If there are no gaps, there’s no point in removing/resealing the hatch rings.

good luck
and why do you want to replace said sealant.

methyl methacrylate is used by some and any good marine sealant is used by some. 3M 5200 and a couple screws works for me.

good luck removing. I have torn gel-coat off the boat trying to remove kajaksport hatch rims off an explorer.


Oh yeah, fiberglass.
And the front hatch is fine. The rear is bedded in a soft compound, much like plumbers putty, and is a sticky mess. It has never hardened up, and on a hot Florida day, is not desirable. No, it doesn’t leak. Just isn’t right, and I’m a bit of a fuss pot like that. Thanks, Ken…

valley does.
My wife’s plastic Skerray has hatch rings attached after the boat is rotomolded (the boat is blue and the rings are the same black plastic that my fiberglass Pintail has). No bolts or rivets or anything. Don’t ask me how they do it though. :slight_smile:

Nicrome mesh charged with electricity
melts the poly hatch ring to the boat deck. Valley has both ABS and Polyethylene rims, depending on boat.

What brand?
This matters. They do things a bit differently. If me I’d use a urethane such as sikaflex or 5200. Not a huge fan of methacrylates for sealing. Bond it with 5200 and you will NEVER have an issue or get it off!

there must be 3M cartoons
about 5200

Plastic welding makes sense…

– Last Updated: Jun-22-09 8:44 AM EST –

...though I wonder whether they use Nichrome wire or ultrasonic welding. Regardless, it seems like the only way to reliably bond a hatch ring to a poly' boat without fasteners.

My rear hatch ring:
Thanks Guys! If I can safely remove it, I will clean it up,(mineral spirits disolves the sticky stuff,) and re-bed it with 5200. The Old Capn’…

It’s a wire mesh that you can even see if you look at the bulkhead edges. You’ll see two leads coming out near the top with a blob of goop over them.

To my knowledge there’s only one supplier of the wire mesh. It’s super smart, and once they got it dialed in, it’s strong.

I thought you were referring to the “ancient” technique of pulling a single strand of nichrome wire between two plastic surfaces to fuse them together. This sounds like a much more sophisticated approach.

If mineral spirits dissolves it…
…it must have been real crap to begin with (asphalt-based, perhaps?). Good hatch sealants require something a lot stronger than mineral spirits to remove them.

I would use 4200…
…5200 will never ever come off…and then you are totally screwed if you ever have to replace it again.