Necky Looksa 17 Composite Dry Hatch

Hey Kids,

I have a question for all you long boaters that have the system of dry hatch coverings consisting of a Neoprene tight fitting cover and a Hard cap on top secured by clips.

My Necky Looksha 17 has this system and in 2 feet of chop or more my hatches are loaded with water. Does any one have a solution for keeping the majority of water out?

It looks like water is slipping underneath the hard cover and saturating the thin tightly fitted neoprene. Every search on the net tells me this is waterproof. I suppose my definition is a little different.

Any theories or opinions would be much appreciated.


How old are the neoprene gaskets?

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I bought a well-used plastic model several years ago. I washed the neo covers in wetsuit shampoo, then treated them with spray-on DWR treatment (like you would use to renew the water-repellancy of a Goretex garment). So far, so good. Initially I thought I would be shopping for new neo covers, but they look and work well.

the hard shell

– Last Updated: Nov-09-11 3:20 PM EST –

The hard shell is meant to provide mechanical protection, so water can get around. The hard shell would keep the neoprene from imploding if hit by a wave.

The neoprene should be waterproof. Try taking them out and making them into a cup shape and pour water on them. If they let water through, replace.

If they don't, look elsewhere to see if there is another area letting water in.

The fact that both hatches are taking on water is interesting, and may be a clue to something. You double check you are putting the neoprene on right?

how much exactly
is “loaded with water”?


Thanks all for the replies.

The boat is one year old with the first full season complete. The covers fit great around the rim.

Let’s say I paddle with 4ft of chop. The design of this boat makes it a wet ride so water is constantly coming over the deck. In the course of 2 or so hours in these conditions I will have 1 or 2 inches of water in the forward hold. The whole neoprene cover will be soaked.

I have read articles that people practice rolling with little or no water getting in with this system. When I practice I will have 4 or 5 inches coming in.

I like the DWR treatment idea. My next step might be to rubberize 3 or 4 inches from the band like white water spray skirts have.

Thanks again.

That’s not right
I had one of the original Lookshas and still have an Arluk 2 with the same type hatch cover system. Neither of them leaked more than an ounce or so of water in rough water or rolling practice. You might check with Reed and see if they’ll make you a hatch cover. Probably will. You can try Necky, but I’ve found their customer service to be singularly non-helpful since Johnson Outdoors took over.

I don’t know if this will explain all or
most of the water you’re reporting. However, if the neoprene caps don’t fit pretty damn tight, then pressure changes inside the bulkhead may be drawing water up under the rim of the cap. One way to create a relative vacuum is to chill the bow, so that air in the bulkhead cools. It is remotely possible that the boat’s slamming on the chop is compressing and releasing the bulkhead compartment.

The one part of this I find unlikely is the water rising past the edge of the neoprene cap, and then being pulled upward over the compartment tube. I have a Necky Looksha Sport with the same system, but have not used the boat enough to measure water infiltration.

ditto, not right

– Last Updated: Nov-11-11 11:28 AM EST –

I wonder if you simply have the wrong neoprene covers. Sure the neoprene will be wet but water shouldn't be able to go through it, it's closed cell rubber. How about the back hatch? You might also try putting water in the compartment and tilting the boat around to see if there's a spot in the deck or hull that is leaking.

Bad gaskets I bet
The boat should be superbly built as it is a Cobra Int. epoxy glass lay-up of great quality. My guess is someone out-sourced the gasket covers to a cheaper China vendor or similar. Call them and ask for a new set under wanrranty. I only know of two paddlers in JOI anymore and they are R&D guys. Good luck.