Sealect Hatch Covers

I performed an unplanned materials test. We never really wintered (and springed) boats with Valley hatch covers outside. But two boats lived on racks - sheltered but still not inside or under my back porch - for the last several months. I had started pulling hatch covers off these two boats last week to treat them and went by today to grab the rest.

The KayakSport hatches were fine, same as those on the boat that lived nearer the house under the porch. The Valley hatch covers are not. They looked OK from a peek, but upon taking them off the story was quite different. Disintegrated.

Unfortunately two of them are the $90 ovals. I have now exactly enough day hatch covers for my boats, but they are still cheaper to replace.

So - with some time in for lots of people to try alternative… what is the track record after time for the Sealect hatch covers? And do they float? For that matter, do the Valley-matched ovals made by Necky float? Much as I like the KS hatches, I might be willing to pay a few bucks more for a hatch that will float.

Thanks in advance for any ideas/rating etc.

same here
my Valley hatch covers perished, Kajak Sport still fine.

My friend’s VCP also perished and disintegrated: not happy.

I have replaced mine with SEA-Lect Design classic, but they don’t float. I tether mine so the floating feature is not essential. The inside tab on the cover is very solid and will not rip like the Valley one.

I believe SEA-Lect Designs makes a version (Performance?) that will float…

no more VCP for me
Wife’s KS hatched boat same age as my VCP has original 2006 hatch covers. All dry, pliable and very intact. I went through 2 of the large VCP ovals at $90 each before trying Sealect for these and more recently day hatch cover as well. Appearance, fit and seal are all superb including one now at 3 years old. When I shopped for the VCP, I had to cull through entire store inventory of nine to find the single one with least molded defects. Have never float tested Sealects as all are tethered. VCP’s were too so they did not float away.

When I bought Sealects, I recall having to make choice of model which I am pretty sure are the Performance. Again, they work and look nice.

Ordered a Sea Lect
for my disintegrated VCP day hatch cover & I’ll see how it goes. I love Valley boats, but their hatch covers have been a longstanding problem. How hard is it to switch to the KS rubber compound and fix the problem that everyone complains about?

Do Kajak Sport ovals…
Do these Kajak Sport ovals for Valley kayaks have the same type of lip were you first pop the hatch down then use your finger to push down that lip to get a water tight seal? I roll ALOT and water tight is a MUST for me. Right now my Valley ovals are fine BUT it sounds like that wont last to long. Plus which version is the best for water tight seal?

KS hatches

– Last Updated: Jun-18-15 11:28 AM EST –

Mine are one-push, but I did just look at the web site and it appears they at least list some VCP style ovals. I don't know what that means. Best to check with someone who knows about the fit of KS oval to the Valley rims.

As to water tightness, the leakiest hatch cover I have is the KS oval. It isn't fatal for getting wet - stays on and doesn't let in much - but it ain't dry either. It is on P&H boat so it would be the usual KS hatch.

followup question
Have you found the Sea Lect covers to seal watertight?

And I’m confused (or slow)…does Sea Lect make a VCP sized oval cover?

If yes and yes, I think I might be a convert this season. I pamper my VCP hatches but that gets old, and they still age from use.

You are confused

– Last Updated: Jun-18-15 1:51 PM EST –

I was asking about the Sealect hatch covers. I haven't tried them.

Between what they say on their web site and the experience of others above it seems that Sealect makes a cover that fits the Valley oval hatches. Above people who have actually tried them said they were dry.

what style of KS?
Celia, on the P&H what style of KS do you have?

KS makes 3 different types of hatches (for the same size). I had some hard centre/soft edges (clip on, dual density) that were great in winter but leaked in summer. The summer temps in Queensland are warm enough (about 80-90F) to expand the plastic centre of the hard KS hatch covers to the point that they become loose and let water in. In winter they stay put and no expansion= dry hatches. KS replaced my dual density covers with a set of classic rubber hatches and since then it has been bone dry. I am no the only one that laments some minor leakage with KS dual density covers in warm weather.

Best bet…
I probably have all “classic”. Haven’t experienced other than what I use so I never paid attention to their range.

The ones on the NDK boats are a mix of branded NDK covers made by KS and straight all soft KS covers that seem to be exactly the same. They are willing to seat solidly on the boat when I have launched with one still up quite handily with a whack of the paddle. That is convenient. All of those are bone dry.

The Vela has a 10 inch round like that up front and an absolutely huge oval in back. At least it looks huge compared to the butt of the Vela. I think it is a larger version of the 10 inch rounds, also a KS day hatch cover that is 8 or 9 inches round that looks the same as the others. The day hatch is bone dry, if anything a little too tight at times. It can be a bear to get off once the compartment has sucked down from going onto cooler water. The 10 inch round up front is also fully dry.

I am not sure about the big oval in back. I’ll get a couple of cups of water in there from wet work or being out when I have waves sloshing over it all the tine. I haven’t seen any place water could be coming in via the skeg assembly, so I tend to think it is the hatch cover leaking. If I go out and have just coated everything with 303, I seem to get less water. Or maybe it was a drier ride and I didn’t notice.

Hatch lids
sealect make replacement lids for both the valley and KS rims, use the performance ones as they are lighter and float as a bonus and last a lifetime

test the hatch
often I blame the hatch cover and occasionally I find that a replacement does not cure the leak.

Somebody taught me to do a test where the hatch is inflated (pressurized) with a bicycle pump.

My bulkheads have a small hole that helps equalize the cold water/hot day scenario (you describe that by saying sucked down hatch cover).

It is in this little hole that I insert a needle used to inflate footballs and create pressure inside the hatch. A bit of soapy water on the surface of the kayak will reveal where the leak is; bubbles will appear. Rarely is around the hatch cover, often around the rim (badly bonded/separating) and occasionally in the actual surface of the laminate, especially around the recess for the hatch cover rim. In that case epoxy glue fixes a badly seated rim (remove all the old stuff first) or fixes smaller voids in the lay-up.


Posted by: ScupperFrank on Nov-22-14 11:30 PM (EST)

The original Valley hatch covers on my Valley Aquanaut just about disintegrated, even with 303 applications, after storing my boat on its side under the palms in our Coconut Grove back yard for some four years.

Check out

and scroll down a bit -you’ll see what they looked like.

I replaced them with Sealects, and have been supremely pleased with them. They been absolutely watertight, and while they’re a bit more difficult to get back on, they come off about as easily as the originals. Best part about them is their hardshell plastic main sections that appear to be able to weather weather better than the all-rubber compound of the originals.

A pleasant bonus is that they’re less expensive than the originals as replacements as well. They come in a variety of sizes and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find matches for your needs.

And after you install them, you’ll be able to, for many years, securely -and ‘water tight-ly’


-Frank in Miami

Just bought some Sea-lect covers to replace some rotten Valley covers. Not yet installed them.

What are you using for the tether? The holes in the Sea-lect cover tabs are pretty small, too small for the thick nylon line on my Impex.


– Last Updated: Jun-22-15 4:01 PM EST –

For your valley are you using what version Classic or performance? Do they seal like OEM valley hatch were you pop the OEM valley hatch down then use your finger to push down the lip on the OEM hatch cover for water tight seal or do they just snap down like say a NDK or P&H rubber hatches do?

here is a comparison video
this video shows side-by-side comparison of VCP vs SEA-Lect Designs hatch covers on a Valley sea kayak

I use thin line
the line used by Impex is indeed very thick and not necessary. I use a thin nylon line (parachute cord?) internally and attach it to tabs inside the hatch.

If you don’t have tabs inside to secure to you can use the external pull tab (there are small holes there) to secure your tether line


– Last Updated: Jun-22-15 9:54 PM EST –

They install with something akin to a pop, then you seal them with your hand pushing on the periphery of the rim. Your fingers are more useful in prying them off...

I like them a lot, they're wipe clean pretty easily, they won't puncture if you drop a sharp knife (or sharp camping hatchet?) on the hard plastic main section of the hatch, they keep my compartments dry, and quite personally, I think they're handsome.

The only real drawback in my book is that they don't float. But they do have tethers, and they work. If you, unlike me, need a lot of on-water access to your main compartments, or are frequently in and out of your day hatch, you will probably prefer the floating 'performance' variety as an anti-loss security feature. Like gnarlydog, I use a thin, black cord to tether mine.

Gnarlydog provides a lot of good information and advice, and I leaned on him when deciding to go with SeaLects as opposed to trying for the equivalent Kajaksports (which have weathered well on Sally's Hurricane Tracer) or go the replacement VCP hatch route.

I think you'll like them if/when you get them now, and for a lot longer thsn original Valley hatches as you, hopefully for many years to come,


-Frank in Miami