hatch seals

My hatch seals on my pygmy boats compress at the front and the back ( the peaks ) and leak water. I talked to pygmy and they thought that I was the only one who had this problem? Ive changed out the weather stripping several times but still end up with a compressed gasket and leaking hatches. Am I the only one who has this problem and can someone make a suggestion on how I can cure this problem. Maybe someone has a good source for Marine weather stripping.

Without seeing a home built it’s difficult to offer any advice. I only have one Pygmy style hatch but it is held down with internal bungies and not straps. It’s not that old and in a much warmer environment. I do release the tension when not in use.

Just wondering if you could round off those peaks on the inner lip a tad before your next stripping replacement. Also do you have the standoff blocks for your straps?

If you haven’t already, ask the question here… You should get a ton of great advice… GH


Radiused or flat?

– Last Updated: Feb-16-04 8:20 AM EST –

I am unfamiliar with Pygmies. I built hatches for my Chessie 17. Getting the radius to match exactly what the deck radius is is a key element to good sealing hatches. Using mini cell foam versus something inferior may remove the problem if you think that might be the case. Removing your hatches when not out is also important. Dries out the compartment, keeps it aired out. Allows the foam to return to full expansion. When I roll my boat repeatedly for 30 minutes to an hour I get a few drops to a few spoonfuls of water. When I am out in a blow I don't get any water. If I am hauling my boat on my truck in heavy rain at highway speeds it also stays dry in the compartments. I was very meticulous with the hatch radius and bought my gasket material from CLC versus some stuff that looked very similar at Home depot.
I have the web straps cinched so that they pull the hatches down uniformly, compressing the 3 MM ply into the foam a good 50% compression. More than that and my hatches tend to flex more passed the braces, causing over compression at the sides and "peaking out" or under-radius like shape at the tops (making the hatches curve more than the deck), not compressing the foam uniformly.
One last thing, does Pygmy include guidance on reinforcing the inner sides of your hatches? Without those braces, I would not have the radius nor the rigidity.
I hope this helps!

Since you said that…
“My hatch seals on my pygmy boats compress at the front and the back ( the peaks ) and leak water” that means that the the spacers or the lips are are not all the same distance from the surface of the deck. I’ve built a Tern 14 and a Coho, both with hatches. I’m thinking that since you can’t change the distance of the spacer/lip from the deck you probably need to look for some other sealer material. Something more supple, I guess. Not sure what to suggest inless it would be a ribbed material less likely to harden over time.

check fit
I have an pygmy and get a little leaking at the front hatch. I usally don’t put the straps on very tight. I would suggest that you check the fit of the hatches without the gaskets in place. If they rock very much, you need to figure out why. You could also test fit with with a thin layer of clay to see where your tight spots are.

thanks for the thoughs

The underside of the hatch at the ridge has glass tape so it’ll have a different shape than the recess it sits upon. There’s different kind of gasket material at Home Depot that you can experiment with.

Look at the type of hatch latch that is used on the CLC Arctic Hawk kit.

This came up last week, where local Hardware store foam gasketing would compress and not rebound, and water would intrude beyond a teaspoon full. CLC was suggested. I got a roll of it, took a small 2" long sample (it comes in a 10’ roll, 3/4" wide, 7/16 thick compression). I tested it on receipt: squeezed it in a vice for several hours, it rebounded. Squeezed it for 36 hours to ~95% compression, it rebounded to half thickness in 1 minute. Not too shabby, and I am going to cut out my old sealant and install this one. Other sealant foam tape would compress and never rebound. At 6 minutes, close to full thickness as I type. $4.00 plus $6 handling unless you have a larger order going. Received in 4 days. Great service.

different brands
the kind CLC sells is the same stuff at the hardware stores,it just depends on what you’re buying. Frost King rubber foam weather seal.

frost king foam
thanks it took a bit of searching but I found it through polstiens.com. I live in a small alaskan town and we don’t have the options for shopping that you guys have down there. gladesmanak

do you know exactly where it’s leaking?
Is the hatch rocking at the center seam so that it’s compressemed more there allowing leaking at the edges? what kind of hatch seal were you using before? How far from the hatch hole have you placed the strap anchors? Have you tried the 1/2 rounds near the hatch edge for the straps to go over?