leaky hatch covers for tempest 170 poly

Anyone have any good tips on keeping water out of my bow and day hatches, stern hatch seems to be ok. I am getting about two cups of water in my day hatch and a lot!!! more in my bow hatch with just a few (10) rolls?!

just answered this
on another thread. Look for "checking for leaking bulkheads. Let us know if that handles it.

It could be your bulkheads…but on a poly Tempest, it is quite likely your hatches. The hatches they use, well…they are not the best. Sometimes they work well but alot of them do not seal well at all. I’ve seen hatches on them that you can easily pop off with your little finger. All but useless. If you are lucky when buying the kayak, you get a good one. Otherwise…well…you have leaky hatches. They are changing to decent hatches this year on the composite Tempests but are not fixing the problem on the poly ones…

Good design…but not the best in terms of outfitting…unless you are lucky enough to get one of the good ones.


how about a hard shell lid
over the rubber hatch with tiedown straps over it?

Seems to me some glassed 4mm ply or Luan could work with center straps putting pressure on the loose edges.

Ask for new covers.
I’ve heard the same from a dealer regarding sometimes very loose covers. It’s the covers that vary more than the hatch rims. I would ask for new covers in that case.

Paul S.


– Last Updated: Jan-05-07 12:33 AM EST –

It is the kayak itself...and the hatch rims which are part of the molded kayak. When the kayak comes out of the mold and cools down, the plastic does not always settle the same way.....so...sometimes the hatches fit, sometimes they don't. They make the covers in a couple sizes and take a guess at what might "Fit best"....Nice huh? Sad but true.
They are fixing the problem on the new composites....but not on the poly ones. Even Flatpick confimred this recently in his own posts.

Did some circular bungies that fit around the cover come with the boat? They came with mine. Have you tried them?

Be sure to seal them properly
The hatch covers are kinda like tupperware lids or a car door. If you push them on lightly, they seem to have latched, but they are still not sealed all the way. Make sure you push the covers ALL THE WAY down to the deck (it takes some effort). Mine are completely waterproof when properly seated.

I have a bunch of WS hatches in my fleet and the key really is getting 'em on RIGHT. If you just sling 'em on they will sometimes leak. If you take your time and massage 'em on, making sure they seal…they usually won’t.

Kajaksport can do the same thing and are even harder to get fully ‘on’.


worked for me…
I re-sealed each of the bulkheads in my new Tempest 165 (RM), added bungies to the two small hatches and carefully checked that the rear hatch was sealed. Just came back from 3 hours in 3’ waves in the gulf with water going over each hatch, and not a single drop made it into the hatches!

Still learning to not be “rudder dependent” but am now improving as a paddler and love this kayak. Am going out at 6:30 AM 4-5 days a week for a 5 mile paddle to start the day and find myself looking for excuses to leave my studio and get back on the water again. Didn’t think I get so addicted to using this boat!

always good to hear the good’uns…as I ALWAYS hear the bad ones!

congrads on your paddlin’ frequency! sounds like you’re well on your way!!!


Pretty common
It is a common problem in the Wilderness Systems kayaks. Their hatches are not the best. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. The composite boats are being improved with proper hatches…but the poly ones…guess not…

The only hatches I’d trust are the Valley or Kajaksport ones…the rest are just cheap immitations…particularly the confluence stuff.

The ones on my plastic Tempest seal well
I’ve had two other manufacturers’ kayaks that leaked badly in at least one hatch compartment.

You’re right.
Thanks for correcting me on that. I was thinking of the fiberglass boats. I gotta watch out for that. Apologies to the OP.

Paul S.

Having owned two tempests
First one was the 170 poly and the current one is the 165. Both used rental models, both more than a few years old. The 170 came with the bungees and the 165 did not.

None have leaked. Had a slight bulkhead leak from the forward compartment in the 170 but that was easily fixed with silicone.

Doing lots and lots of rolls…no water. I suspect as Flatpick says, you can’t just pop them on like tuperware but run your hand around the edges making sure you have a good seal.

Also had a slight (two tablespoons) leak in the aft compartment after deploying the skeg and rolling but that was on the 170 which had had the skeg cable replaced. The 165, which is original is dry.

Not sure you can blame the hatches for 95% of the time…more in placement.


I have a 2007 tempest 165 in fiberglass, with the new hatch covers.

I had a leak at the skeg fitining, which I replaced, a leaky bulkhead between the day hatch and stern hatch, reasealed all bulk heads with 5200, sealed where the skeg tubing goes throught the bulkheads, and after a pool sesion the front hatch is dry the day hatch a couple spoon fulls of water the stern hatch about three to four cups of water, I am very carful about putting the hatches on and making sure they are sealed all the way around, I love the boat but this is very disgusting as I traded in an eddyline that never leaked a drop. I have been told by a party here that I should call the dealer where I bought the kayak and ask them to order me new hatch covers.


reply is on new ‘leaky compartments?’ thread


Tempest lids
If you don’t have the bungees that circle the hatch lids, get or make sme. They keep them secure and help with th leaks.

My old Tempest had Kayaksport lids, with a double seal. I bought another British make lid that had a triple seal. That helped.

It’s all in how you put them on.
I have a new Tempest 170 and a 2003 Perception Captiva. The hatch covers are nearly identicle in shape and size on both boats. I have heard consistant complaints about this type of cover, but have yet to see one that I cannot seal. They’r like a car door, that is, they seem to have two latch positions. If you just plop it on in the first position it will leak. You have to stretch and roll the edges of the covers to get them in the full seal position. The covers will be flat when properly installed. If the centers look depressed or sunken, they are not sealed. Once you figure it out, they are no problem to install properly. These hatch covers have taken a bad rap. It really is an effective design.

303 on the covers helps sealing
I agree on making sure you really have closed the hatches. Applying 303 to the rims and hatch covers made mine very easy to seal well.