I spent about three hours (glorious) in my new (to me) Romany Surf on Orcas Island today. I tried practicing “cowboy” recovery techniques in shallow water and experienced repeated instances of the day hatch cover popping off. Not good! My body and spray skirt just kept knocking the cover off into the water. I am a new paddler getting used to all this.
I noticed that the day cover sits up higher than the two main covers. Looking to replace this cover, but with what?
Thanks for any guidance here…
Is the day hatch cover the standard NDK one, or a different brand replacement?
Are you sure the hatch cover was all the way on?
It is the standard NDK one. The profile of it when you look at the boat from the side looks higher than the larger fore and aft covers. It just pops off too easily? I had to spend time recovering the sinking cover on repeated wet rescue practice. In calm lake water as well. I am glad I found this out before attempting any similar such moves in active open water in the Salish Sea! I am out on Orcas Island here.
But it was super fun and rewarding to play in the Romany Surf! I now own two boats, the Romany and a Dagger Stratos 14.5L. Both purchased used in great condition. The Romany is way more tippy for this newby but it does track better than the Dagger. I think I will love owning both…
But yes I made sure to jam that cover down…
Assuming the rubber is not cracked you should not, or have to, “jam that cover down.” Take a.close look at the cover by bending it in several directions visually inspecting for cracks in the rubber. Sounds kind of goofy but some times cracks aren’t obvious and can cause the hatch failure you have described.
If no crack(s) it may be the lip on the hatch and cover is not catching. Even among hatches of the same brand, but different shapes, the technique for lid installation may differ. Have you tried engaging the lip in one short section, lightly pushing down in the center with one hand, and then with the other hand work around the circumference pressing the edge into place. If this is working you should feel a slight thump as the lid pops into place.
The day hatch has to sit high enough to make it easy to get it open and closed again while on the water. That said, between I and my husband we have had both a Romany and its bigger version the Explorer is surf plenty of times, and that has never been an issue. I do have a loop around it tied to the deck lines, but that is just to make sure it doesn’t sink.
I wonder if the looseness is coming from either of these - the cover itself is developing cracks around its perimeter (NDK used Valley day hatches which are notorious for sneaky failures) or someone replaced the hatch rim with a different product than standard. But glad you are finding out how fun the boat can be. Not sure I would call it a tracker, but the boat lets you take enough chances safely to really grow in your paddling. It was first designed as a boat for teaching people to a kayak in difficult conditions.
The only time I had a hatch cover come off of my kayak was when I had applied 303 to the rubber on the rim contact areas. Applying 303 to the outside surface of the hatches won’t cause it, but putting it on the inside of the covers makes it too easy to pop off.
Also: Did you maybe catch yourself on the cover’s tab? That can cause the cover to lift up.
All good points to examine more closely, which I need to do. I have not touched it since I was in the water…
My NDK had a Valley day hatch cover. worked well. I tried replacing it with a kajak sport one and it did exactly what your describing during cowboy scramble. Put a Valley cover on it it wont come off.
Or a Sealect hatch cover as the Valley’s don’t last as long.
I checked the NDK Romany Surf composite we have where I work, and it has a hatch cover that says NDK on it. Does yours?
I was disappointed to see they don’t provide an easy way to lash it on. I think you’d have to use bungee around it inside the groove. But f yours is loose, I would definitely add a leash of some sort.
A fellow Romany paddler on the island uses the Valley day hatch cover but retains the NDK covers for the two main hatches. I will do some figuring and buy a replacement or two.
Thanks to all of you. The education process continues…
Just to add a point about Valley hatches. If your hatches are all Valley and of the same age, when one fails the others are not far away from also failing. Unfortunately, I have too much experience with failing Valley hatches. As some others have said, I also recommend Sea-Lect Designs. Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Gamble, Wa usually has them in stock and ship quick.