Repairing Torn Hatch Cover Tether Tab

I need some suggestions on how to repair a hatch cover tether point. The rubber tab on the inside/underside of the hatch cover has torn where the tether line attaches.

I tried to sandwich the tab between two pieces of hard plastic to strengthen it, but the adhesive I used made a rather weak bond with the rubber and was rather easy to pull apart. Is there an epoxy that adheres well to rubber hatch covers?

I would think this would be a common problem but have not had much luck searching the message archives or other sites. All I’ve seen are discussions about internal versus external tethers…nothing about repairs.

Thanks for your suggestions.


Contact cement
Epoxy is not much use on rubber. Contact cement, or Marine Goop would work.

I’d take a piece of vinyl about 3 inches long and and inch wide and glue it to the underside of the hatch “inch worm” style to make a new anchor point.

Are we talking about
a rubber hatch cover, round or oval? On my round covers on NDK boats, I drilled a 1/8" hole in the upper outer rim and pushed a nylon cord through for a tether.


– Last Updated: Apr-14-09 1:55 PM EST –

It's an oval hatch cover, soft rubber with a hard plastic cap over the center. While there is a small lifting tab on the outside edge, I think it's soft enough that it would have the same risk of tearing that the internal tab experienced.

And FYI, the adhesive I tried that didn't work too well was standard GOOP. Marine GOOP may be better, but I'll look into the contact cement.

Edit: Photo of the top of the hatch cover for reference.

Hatch cover tether:
If these are VCP covers, just run a length of line around the perimeter of the cover and secure it to a safety line or other convenient point. I never use the internal attatchment system on my kayaks. They always fail and are often in the way. This way they are easy to remove, too, as I never store my kayaks with the hatch covers on. Ken

valley covers
I’ve wondered about drilling a hole in the upper rim of VCP covers. Have people had good luck with that? Does the hole last, or is it prone to tearing out?

I have tethers around the grooved perimeter of my covers, but those sometimes make it harder to remove the cover.

Through and through
punch a small hole through the top of the hatch 1/2 inch in from the edge…feed the cord through the hole; thread a Stainess washer onto the cord, tie a knot in the line, then use black silicone sealant on both the inside and the outside…make sure you work the sealant into the fabric of the cord.

Looks best if you tether to the outside with the washer/knot on the inside of the hatch cover.

VCP agree
If VCP, Run a line around the indented rim, tie a secure knot and the other end on deck rigging. Used a beefier line than Valley used as well.

Hole will last IF…
you don’t use the tether cord to remove the hatch…

AND…you promply secure the hatch cover if it blows loose in the wind on the interstate…

common sense…treat them well, they respond…

Try sandwiching bicycle tube patches.
used properly, they are tenacious and should hold onto rubber if your hatch tab IS rubber.

Epoxies, even West G-flex, are too stiff.