Leaking hatches

Someone e-mailed me about having leaking hatches on there Tarpon 140. After paddling today I had a few cups of water in my Tarpon 120. Is this normal or is there something that can be done to reduce the amount of water that leaks in.

Leaking Hatches & Bulkheads
I am just thinking about getting into Kayaking but after reading many reviews it appears that leaking hatches & bulkheads are common. It is almost like people’s expectations are too low (perhaps mine are too high :~) ).

I have been around a lot of boats and I expect watertight compartments to be dry. I read somewhere that the standard hatches are expected to leak. It seems like Kayak design, manufacturing, and standards still have quite a way to go.


That is the reason I bought a boat
without hatches and bulkheads. They all seem to leak and people have stories of all brands of boats having leaky hatches and failing bulkheads. No design is perfect but simple seems to be pretty gosh darned good.

find the source of the leak
then you’ll be half way to solving it.

nothing will stay dry in a kayak,it’s a watersport, with flotation the goal a few ozs or cups in rough use isn’t a big deal. Its the few cups in flat water that piss me off.

Most plastic boats can be dry enough, the problem is that the flexibility of the hull can allow a pumping action to move water in when it surrounds the hatch. I think manufacturers could try putting in little 1/8" holes in the bulkheads and see if that works to allow some reduction in pressure or hard covers over the neoprene hatch cover that actually press down on the neoprene.

Poor Design or Quality Control
I have been in, on, and around the water and the watertight compartments should be watertight.

This is a manufacturing problem that they have not addressed properly.

what is your experience with sea kayaks

– Last Updated: May-31-04 12:46 PM EST –

to make that statement?
The compartments are for flotation. The theoretical loss of a few ozs of flotation is meaningless in use. If you're putting anything into a compartment that you don't want to get wet it should be in a dry bag/box. It's not practical to expect bone dry compartments when they're going to be opened up inches from the water and the paddler is dripping wet with water making its way into the cockpit with regular use. A kayak is not a yacht with 3' of freeboard and cabin closets seperating you from water.

The marginal sealing of the flange is a QC issue,,whether more sealant or another type of gasket material is needed can easily be determined. Not a design failing.
Kayaks are like bicycles than $200,000 yachts that can have pounds of hardware to secure a hatch against a rigid bulkhead. With a rm hull things can flex a lot and not many things seal well against plastic.