Lubricate hatch covers?

-- Last Updated: Oct-29-11 12:38 PM EST --

I have a WS Zephyr 2012 model. Is it possible/advisable to lubricate the hatch covers or rims to make it easier to put these things on and take them off without compromising the water tight fit? Do they loosen a bit with age?

I use 303 on hatch covers
and on the rims, a few times each year. It seems to make it easier to get them on and off correctly.

I have a 2011 build Zephyr, same hatches.

303 helps a lot. When new, the WS hatches can be difficult to put on.

For years we never lubricated
the hatch covers and stored the boat outside. Lo…the covers cracked and leaked!

Fast forward one hundred thirty six dollars later. $125 for the covers and $11 for lots of 303.

We lubricate several times a year.

Ok - I’ll give 303 a try.
Thanks for the replies.

Where is 303 available locally?
Auto parts stores?



I have no idea what is local to you
but you might try a paddlesport dealer. Cant recall if I have seen it in Walmart.

303 @ West Marine

Also at Defender

– Last Updated: Oct-29-11 2:31 PM EST –

Not too much
Put the 303 on a paper towel or clean rag, then rub that on the hatch covers. Just enough to give it a slight sheen, no more.

If you spray on directly, there will be too much on the rubber.

303 to protect them
Or they rot out. Use it liberally. The seal will not be harmed by using the stuff - if you have a leak, it’s because the basic rim and hatch seal is imperfect to start. Imperfect happens quite a bit with plastic boats - it’s the nature of the beast.

sometimes at hiking/outdoors stores.

Found it at EMS
All set.

303 solved problem
I finally tried this 303 on my hatch covers today. A little 303 and they go on and off quite easily and they stayed waterproof - today anyway. Dry as a bone after a short paddle.

Spray Away
I spray it right on the covers and wipe it around with a small rag - let it dry for a day or two - no problems.


another tip
If you store your boats outside for “off-season”, bring the covers inside.

Not too much 303
Someone here warned me not to use too much 303 or the covers can come off too easily. I found out that was true. My covers were practically impossible to get on—they were visibly smaller than the hatch opening. After using 303 they came off too easily. It took a few months for them to get tight again.

Happened to me
Funny thing, generously 303’ing the covers of my plastic Tempest 165 didn’t make them easier to remove. They were already easy to remove, and slobbering 303 on them didn’t affect that part. In fact, they sealed BETTER after the treatment.

So then I did the same generous application on the hatch overs of my glass Explorer LV. The covers, which had been a tighter fit than the T165’s, ironically became noticeably (and undesirably) looser-fitting (actually, more slippery rather than physically looser) after the 303 treatment. So much that I washed the covers and decided to not 303 them again except on the outside. Never again on the rims or the undersides of the covers. I just do the outsides of the hatch covers now.