I need to replace yet another cracked and leaking Valley oval hatch cover. Any advice on the choice between the SeaLect Classic vs Perfomance materials as to fit to existing Valley rim, water-tight integrity and ease of on and off? Recommended on-line vendor?
I have both
I have been offered by SEA-LECT Design the opportunity to test both and have been doing so for a while.
In my paddling environment (warm waters, think Florida) the waterproofness is equal in both Performance and Classic.
The difference between the two is installation pressure needed to pop them on: less on the Performance ones.
I don’t have a preference for either in the big oval size (that fits perfectly on Valley rims) but I do like the Classic better for the day hatch as it pops on with a more decisive spring action and does not need to be checked if popped on correctly.
For a full report on SEA-LECT Design Classic lids check: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/gear-sea-lect-designs-hatch-covers.html
JUST SWAPPED MINE
I switched my old, crumbling Valleys for the Sea-Lect classics with the hardshell center sections -in part due to Gnarlydog's advice and suggestions. He's even got a before & after pic or two of mine on my Aquanaut on his website to show the differences.
I bought them online at Duckworks, where the folks were, happily, quite helpful.
So far, after a few months, they are excellent -exactly as advertised, and as noted, pop on and off with a satisfying sort of thunk. They look pretty handsome, too.
They're less expensive than the originals, and you probably can't go wrong with either as, after replacing them, you happily -and securely and dryly
-Frank in Miami
tether points on both?
I did check your smart website first before posting. I see the round ones have 3 underside tether tabs. How about the ovals? I know the Performance are reported to float but I always have a line on the VCP’s. Minor rant - last time I bought a Valley oval, I had to cull through all 8 the shop had to find the one with the least of similar defects from what appeared to be a worn mould.
all hatch covers have tether
all of my SEA-LECT Design hatch covers have multiple tether points, the round and the oval one, Classic or Performance. I do tether all of my covers and admittedly some of the Valley ones had the tab rip out quite easily.
Curious if you are using on composite/RM
I have tried the classic ovals on older Valley RM boats that have the black (non-RM rim) and found they leak. Curious if you are recommending on composite/RM or both. The round hatch works great. I know some of the new Valley boats have RM rims. Are the black rims Valley uses on the RM boats the same as the ones used on composite boats?
2006 vintage Q boat
I look forward to see how the Sealect holds up. This is my third oval replacement for failed VCP hatches. In spite of covered storage, regular 303 treatment and fairly gentle install and removal, they just rot, tear and crumble. Even brand new the VCP are full of gouges and divots from worn out moulds. Not worth $85 and having to cull through dealer’s stock to find the least defective one.
valley hatch rims
I have an avocet with the black plastic rims and the big bow & stern leak. I asked sea-lect about this and they said that there could be batches of rims out there that didnt quite meet tolerances but are still fine with the vcp covers. I measured my rims and and they were slightly off of the dimensions that they should have been. but enough to leak. I also wonder if the performance would take care of that. BTW I wrapped some weather stripping around the colars and that makes a good seal with the cover. just don’t know how long it will last
exactly with two RM Avocets, and I also have an old Wilderness Systems glass boat with a Valley oval and that is even worse. You don’t happen to remember the specs for circumference? I’d be interested in measuring mine. Might also try the weather seal.
Sea-lect sent me the dims in an e-mail long ago of what the rims should be and I dont have that anymore. you may be able to get good numbers off kayakproshop.com or.net. They usually show rim size for lids and they have the vcp and sea-lects listed with needed rim size dimensions. It may help. I have a friend with a pre 2006 avocet rm when it was still single ply plastic, but still with the black plastic rims and he is getting almost no water at all.
Where to find the classic?
Ok, I fond the classic at duckworks.
You mentioned that the "performance" is easier to pop on, but is it also easier to pop off? I'm interested in the most secure hatch cover.
also easier to pop off
I find that the Performance SEA-LECT Design oval hatch covers are easier to pop on and also to pop off.
My water temps are warm and maybe a slightly different tension/retention could be had in colder waters. In any conditions the hatch covers DO NOT come off accidentally (including dumping surf and extensive broaching and getting tossed and rolled in surf)