I’m building a cedar strip kayak and plan to install either Valley or Kajaksports rubber oval hatches. The kajak hatches are a lot cheaper. Anybody have any complaints about them leaking?
Not at all…
The big one I have on my rear deck is a bitch to get back on though.
My Capella RM is an equal opportunity
hatch user. It came with one of each. I have a Valley, a Kajak Sports, and a Nigel Dennis.
All three hatches are water tight. I’ve no complaints with any of them.
I’ve paddled an Ellesmere with Kayaksport hatches for ten years with no leaks.I do apply 303 protectant frequently and it is stored in a dark garage.
One advantage of these hatches over Valley is that they are bigger…both the oval and round although if the boat you are building is narrow maybe the Valley’s may fit better.
They are also more flexible in the colder weather.
Mostly bone dry here
I have an oval KS hatch cover that leaks a little on one boat in wet work, but it is a really really huge oval. It is frankly ridiculously large. It is nearly impossible to establish consistent tension around the edges because of its size. I haven’t had any trouble with leaks from the rounds. They do require diligent work with 303, especially if you keep the boat outdoors. But that’s easy enough.
I’d echo one comment above about the Valley hatches - they can be so tight that I have been unable to get the ovals off of my husband’s boats in cold water. They are stiffer than the KS as well, probably part ofthe issue.
Thank you everyone!
I think I’ll save my money and let someone else buy the Valley hatches. The Valley oval is $74, and the ring it sits on, that you epoxy to the boat is $74 too. $150 total, give me a break! That stinkin ring probably costs them next to nothing to make! If I put two of them on my boat, the hatches would cost more than all the wood to make the boat!
I’d vote Valley, by a small margin. My dad has a Kajak Sport Millenium, and his covers are definitely softer, and a little easier to remove, but they are not “bone” dry. They sometimes weep just a few drops during rolling. Totally acceptable, but not as dry as the hatches on my Valley boat. I have rolled dozens of times in a row during a pool session, and checked to find that all three hatches are completely dusty dry. Not a single drop anywhere. To put the hatch covers on I find it easiest to tap them on with the heel of my hand, because you can’t simply snap them on like a tupperware.
Price is certainly worth considering, and the KS hatches are definitely good equipment.
Both Valley and Kajak-Sport are good hatches (BTW Nigel Dennis hatches are Kajak-Sport).
IMHO the Valley hatches are better, but they are also heavier and more costly.
The Kajak-Sport hatches are perfectly fine.
I didn't know there was much of a price difference between Valley and Kajak. The Kajak oval lids are $70
Who sells the hatch inserts? How much?
I have 4 strippers and have built 6. I have Valleys on all but one which has Kajak sports. I like the Valley hatches better. First they float and 2nd I think they are easier to get on and off. Yes they are pricy but over the life of the boat, but it's a luxury to pop hatches on and off and get prefect water tightness rather than all those crummy hatch lids people make with straps and weather stripping that always leak. In the winter, Valley lids can get stiff and a little tougher to pull off.
For all the time you will put in making a stripper, I think it's nice to have great hatches, especially if you roll or paddle in conditions where water will go over the hatches. The last thing I want is to be rinsing salt out of hatch compartments.
Have a Millenium as well
I have yet to get a drop of water in the hull from any leakage. I put 303 on them twice a year, and their still soft and pliable.
Valley hatch = $74 ea.
Valley insert ring = $74 ea.
Kajak hatch and insert ring = $99 for both parts
Two hatches on a kayak = $300 for Valley parts
Two hatches on a kayak = $200 for Kajak parts
Either way you cut it, that’s a lot for hatches. BUT,
I do agree the homemade, wood hatch covers may look good, but I’d rather have dry gear.