I got a CD boat last year and it came outfitted with compression hatch covers. There is a gasket around the hatch, the cover is fitted into place and then I fasten it down with three straps equipped with a lever/toggles that compress the gasket. These hatch covers work well, I haven’t taken on a drop of water. However, fastening and unfastening the straps is more tedious and time consuming than just fitting a rubber cover onto the hatch.
I’m currently paddling a composite Solstice. CD also makes this boat in poly, and fits that boat with a rubber hatch cover and a strap-in-place, poly hatch cover. That would seem even more inconvenient.
Many boats on the market today have the rubber hatch covers. My Azul used Valley-like, rubber hatch covers that stayed water tight over many years of use (although they decomposed and had to be replaced after 8 or 10 years. These hatches fit on a raised lip around the hatch and had a flat “foot” I had to take care to press into the recess around the hatch. If I didn’t press them down properly, they’d leak. They are a bit of a PIA, but were a lot quicker to open and fasten than the CD system.
I know there is a hatch system called Orbix, that has some sort of toggle fastener, and there used to be the neoprene covers under a hard hatch cover. I know little about these. And I installed a screw-in cover on one kayak I had.
What other hatch systems are out there? What are you using and what about the hatches do you like or dislike?