How do replacement hatch covers compare?

I need to replace Valley hatch covers on an Impex kayak. Are less expensive hatch covers from companies like Sea-lect Designs and Feel Free just as good, better or worse than the original Valley hatches?

After spending hundreds of dollars replacing the Valley hatches on 2 kayaks, I happened upon the hatches by Sea-lect. They are half the price, and frankly, I can’t imagine that they would be WORSE than the Valley hatches which, as you know, decompose pretty rapidly and are expensive to replace. I’d try 'em if I were you.

Obviously, others may have used the less expensive covers and might have another view - which is probably more important than mine!

My last Valley day hatch cover died so I spent this last round in Maine using a SeaLect day hatch cover, the one that floats. The seal is a bit less gooey feeling than the Valley hatch cover to get it locked but it behaved just fine. I am happy with this change.

Haven’t gotten the ovals installed on the Valley boat yet, for that I got the non-floaters and will tether them, but I like the looks of them.

There’s no comparison, the Valley covers are absolute garbage and the Sea-lect covers are outstanding. Replace them once and be done with it.

Tom, the owner of TopKayaker swears by the Sea-Lect as being far superior to the original Valley hatch covers.

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Yes, I bought a used Impex kayak, happened to be in New Hampshire, and took it to Tom at TopKayaker. He recommended me the Sealect ones, and so far, so good. Plus he is a super-nice guy.

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Another really happy Sea-Lect customer here. We replaced all of the Valley covers on 2 of our boats, and they are bulletproof in comparison, and they float. Haven’t seen a leak in 3 years of use, or any obvious wear. Seen way too many Valley covers fail (One is too many, IMO) on paddling trips.

I bought ~18 Sea-Lect covers from him to outfit multiple boats. He was great to work with, his pricing is excellent and so was his service.

Another happy Sea-Lect owner here.

Or rather: Another happy day hatch Sea-Lect owner. Because I have some trouble finding the ovals.

At least here in Europe, the ovals seem to come as a complete set with a new rim. Is that the same in the US? And do you have to replace the rim, or can you just throw it away and use the new oval hatch on the existing Valley rim?

We put our covers directly onto the Valley rims - never had a problem. We were able to buy just the cover, and any size we wanted.

I haven’t gotten the Valley boat wet because it needs everything, deck rigging etc. And it has frankly been too hot since I got back from Maine to feel like hauling it out. Plus it IS a Nordlow, it comes out for one season for me before I move it along but I can’t do that until I have time to properly restore my roll. My state is now in pretty good shape, right now one of the few safest places to be in the US. But the virus still managed to be quite disruptive.

But yes, I got just the ovals and they do fit. From Marshall at the River Connection, if you need to reach out. Others here have managed the same from Top Kayaker.

If you go to their website, you’ll see the part numbers listed in the “Display” column. Both the Performance and Recreational VCP covers are available separately and you can use the part numbers to search for them online.

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I don’t know about yours but I have had to replace the round and oval hatch cover on my perception carolina. The replacement covers are just a tiny bit tight! And they do not loosen over time. But they are better than leaving the hatch open.

KajakSport also makes Valley replacement covers. That’s what I have now on my Impex Hatteras. I have some Sea-lect covers too, some on my P&H Sirius on my car right now. They work well. I haven’t had the Valley hatch cover experience with either, and I’ve bought a lot of sets of Valley replacement covers over the years. I think an old kayak still sporting Valley hatch covers has become a symbol of affluence. The others work just as well, but you can afford to keep replacing Valley’s as needed.

Sea-lect products are top notch.