resealing hatch rims

Anyone have any suggestions on regluing the hatch rims on a kevlar/carbon sea kayak. I have a Nemo and the hatch rims are coming off. any suggestions would be appreciated.

If you can’t get advice from the maker,
then order an adhesive compatible with the possible need for glassing, such as West G-flex.

Examine the hatch rims carefully. The repair may depend a lot on the contour of the installation. Also, the degree to which the rims are inset into a well may affect what you are able to do. And finally, you need to be sure that a repair will not interfere with whatever seal system the hatch covers are using.

If the rims are not completely loose already, you will have to judge whether it is better to break or saw them loose in order to prepare for a really good re-installation. I’m lazy, and inclined to work with what I have, but Eric Nyre (who I hope will notice this post and give his thoughts) might advise removing the rims first.

There are two ways you could apply epoxy to fix the rims back in place. The less conventional way would be to use a thin bead of epoxy on the outside of the rim, where it meets the hull. You would have to clean and sand first. Using the pre-thickened version of G-flex might be necessary. I don’t like the outside application because it may interfere with hatch covers in some cases.

The other approach is to epoxy from inside, trying to get some between the rim and the deck contact point, and then (as is my practice) laying one or two layers of bias-cut glass slips over the joint. If the rims do not project into the boat past the deck surface, then the glass slips can actually turn the 90 degree corner.

Let me know how this sounds to you, and I’ll watch for Eric on the board. Others like Pat of Onno may help also.

Hatch rims
When I built my Night Heron, I wanted Kajak Sport hatches and asked the company specificly how to attatch them. Since the rims are ABS plastic, the ONLY reliable material for bonding them is one of the urethane products like Sikaflex or 3M 5200 or 4200 (better if you ever need to remove it). The plastic should be primed just before the adhesive is applied. The best primer that is available in the states is the primer that plumbers use before solvent welding ABS plastic pipe. Genova makes this and it is found in hardware stores. It was also recomended that the rings be mechanicly fastened for ultimate reliability and to prevent catastrofic failure (total loss of the ring and cover). If you use epoxy and it doesn’t bond you’ll have more trouble fixing the mess.

Great advice and ideas!

That’s the way I’d do it
I tend to use the “fast cure” version of 3M 5200 for hatch ring repairs or installation, though the other products mentioned work fine, too.

I don’t use mechanical fasteners for one simple reason, they tend to split the hatch rims. I don’t think they really improve the attachment at all and I suspect that the only reason that a few manufactures use them is that it speeds the manufacturing process. They can apply the sealant, install the rings and fasteners and move on to the next step without waiting for the sealant to dry.

Mr. Phelps, we repair ABS with epoxy
all the time, and it sticks fine. The only challenge for epoxy, and other adhesives, is polyethelene, and several adhesives can work there also.