Making Replacement Neoprene Hatch

covers hard to do? Trying to revive 14 Old Town Egrets for local Scout Camp and need replacement rear hatch covers. At $35+ retail each tough on their budget. Hard to make them? Any plans sources around? Better to use 1/4" or 1/8" plywood, seal with neo tape, and secure with web/bungee straps? Thanks, R

Replacement hatch cover
I couldn’t find a replacement hatch cover for my Necky Looksha Sport LV, so I tried making a couple of my own. The details are on my blog at

I’m going to try another eventually (when I can either salvage some marine plywood or get some cheap) using a thick, stretchy, rubbery material from a big inflatable medicine ball, or using a worn-out wetsuit and lots of glue. You might as well try making your own–why not?

You could also cut out some marine ply to fit the hatch, install a large deck-access plate in it, and then glue it down on the hatch.

Or find a flotation bag that fills the hatchway tightly when it’s inflated, or get an electric bilge pump, or carry a small child to bail out the water.

Or something.

I guess
I should read the original post a little more carefully before posting an answer.

If you have 14 boats to outfit you should definitely make your own hatch covers. I’d go with 1/4" plywood if energetic young people are going to be using the boats.

Are these the hatches that have a flexible neoprene cover that is supposed to be watertight, then covered by a plastic cap for punch-out resistance?

What parts do you need to make?

Thermoformable ABS sheet is cheap, and it’s relatively easy to make a vacuum former with plywood, peg board and a shop vac.

You are probably correct as a
both a neo cover and a shaped plastic “cover” were found loose in the storage area. The thermoforming sounds good and appreciate the links, but was hoping for something simpler I guess just to keep the water out of the rear section in case of a capsize. Boats will just be used for basic paddle training near shore, quiet water, under close supervision, with no storage needed except water and snack bar in the cockpit. Another thought would be to stuff the compartments with beach/play balls and dog down ply covers. Be neat to try the thermoforming though. Thanks, R

still confused
Did you say that you found the neoprene hatch seal and hard plastic hatch cover inside the compartment of the boat?

I’ve used a garbage bag held in place with bungy cord to replace lost neoprene seals. The boat still had the hard covers to protect the makeshift seals. It was supposed to be temporary but lasted a couple years.

Contact Old Town
Perhaps they’ll cut you a deal on the parts to refurbish the boats since it’s for a Scout program.

Already tried and they just sent me to for parts. Was hopeful though. Austin Kayak seems to have the best retail prices. Maybe I can beg on them for a bulk discount? Tks, R