Materials For Making Hatch Covers?

So I finally decided to replace the crude tarp hatch cover on my dagger vesper. As I understand, to make a functional cover I need a 2 part solution. A neoprene under cover and a hard top cover to keep water pressure from pushing in the neoprene cover in. I am currently brain storming the project and have a lot of questions, particularly about the materials.

  • Any particular thickness or rating to look at for the neoprene?
  • Has anyone ever used PVC board to make something for your yak?
  • Has anyone here ever thermoformed plastic (styrene, abs, or HDPE) into a hatch cover?

The PVC board seems like a great material since it is readily available, easy to work with standard wood working tools and can be solvent welded, but I have not heard of anyone using it for a hatch cover. I would really appreciate some guidance.

Aren’t Dagger Vesper replacement hatch covers readily available online?

I have found that the neoprene cover is available online. However I have not been able to find the hard cover.

Dagger is still in business. I would check with the manufacturer if you have not already.

If no luck Google “Making a Fiberglass Hatch Mold”. There are a number of videos and articles.

I went ahead and made the hatch cover out of PVC board. It came out nice. Working with the PVC board was very much like working with wood in that it could easily be cut, and sanded with standard tools. It can also be heated until soft to be bent into shape for non-linear things like the hatch rim. Various pieces of PVC board can be solvent welded together with the help of clamps to hold them tight. On the down side, it is somewhat difficult to get soft (hot) PVC board to take the exact shape you want. Also heating the PVC board releases toxic fumes. All in all PVC board is viable for hatch covers, however fiberglass construction methods seem more straight forward.

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