Hatches open or closed while storing?

Should kayaks that are being stored in a garage be stored with the hatches open or closed??

I’ve always been told to leave them open. Especially the tupperware kind. But it is a good idea to take the pressure off all the hatch seals.

I have always kept mine closed
it prevents the spiders from building their nests and raising their off spring in there

The Eclipse an the Shadow are about twelve years old now and their neoprene hatches and rubber grommets are as good as new.

I do the same with our QCC’s



I’m in the open camp …
for the resons Grayhawk stated. I prefer not to have the spiders though …


but my boat is stored indoors in a spider-free zone.

Something you may consider is treating your compartments and the boat storage area with is a bit of Ortho Home Defense. I used this on my house this spring and it knocked my cobweb problem right down. Once dried, it’s non-toxic and I believe it’s weather-proof. I’d check to make sure it won’t damage the material of your boat (plastic, fiberglass. etc.).

Just a thought.


Heat expansion …anyone notice this?
First, to the posters question, I have always stored with hatches on… if nothing else than to keep bugs and critters out. One thing I read somewhere is to make sure a glass boat is completely dry inside before storing … something to do with the interior surface of the glass being able to absorbe water over time I think…

Regarding expansion, has anyone noticed a hatch cover bulging up after being in the sun for a while? When its hot and sunny I’ve noticed my day hatch doing this … other hatches do no bulge. I can lift the edge and the air will hiss out, like a tupperware container.

Open but

– Last Updated: Sep-03-07 8:41 AM EST –

We hang the expedition boats in the basement as well as the plastic sea kayak, hang the 16 footers upside down under the porch. So critter risk is quite low.
As to the hatch covers bulging, bulkheads wil build up air on a hot day and until we put a small pinhole in the bulkheads of the Explorer I'd have to go out to release the hatch covers a couple of times on a really hot day. Some boats come with that pinhole pre-drilled - I think it's either P&H or Valley that does. And no, no water gets in during rolling or rescues due to it.

open, for a day
to allow for evaporation of any moisture left over after an initial sponge-out, then closed until used again. Allows the compartments to stay clean and non-mildewed AND spider-free.

if I leave them closed and the temperature changes too much the lids will become convex or concave. If it changes a lot then the deck will start to bulge out or suck in. It is a small price to pay for air tight hatches.

Open and drill the bulkheads
We leave the hatch covers off our boats when stored.

I’ve also drilled the bulkheads in all four of our composite boats. As they all have Valley or Kajak-Sport covers (VCP, NDK, & P&H boats)the seal is very good.

I leave mine open, but they’re
never stored for more than two or three days between uses.

It may help to leave them open on
composite boats, or to substitute breathing covers. This is because of the possibility of long-term laminate degradation from soaking. It has been hard to prove that such degradation occurs under actual use conditions, but lab work suggests it could.

Also, some polyester resins are susceptible to hydrolysis, causing blisters. I had an old MR polyester/glass canoe that blistered all over the gelcoat because, for about a year, I was storing the boat under a tarp in a damp outdoor environment.

I preferred closed
until mildew began to grow

now I leave them open (although I wish they were closed)

heated air expands

open, reduces the mildew and smell.

Wipe, then leave open
I wipe down the insides after each paddle, wipe the hatch cover rims and deck rims where they mate (to get rid of any sand that may have gotten there), and then leave the covers loosely over the openings.

Sometimes there is condensation inside, esp. on my wood boat.