Securing CD hatch covers

GOt a question for owners of a Current Designs kayak with the hatch covers that are held in place by inrelocking metal clasps and non-stretchable belts.

I got this problem - when the straps are wet they seem to lengthen enough to allow the clasps to losen-up and even open completely. If I tighten them even a little in this situation (e.g. enough to hold them securely in place) then when they dry the tension is so huge that I am afraid they will rip-out the deck fasteners holding them in place due to the strong lever action that the clasps create to lock into place. If these were a regular clip-based system I would not be able to clip them together with such force as is created when the straps dry…



Are you talking about the lever style
like on the Caribu-S? I never had issues w/mine, kept 'em snug enough the lever action to lock/tighten them was between moderate to stiff. Mine never came open, ever. You might try wetting the straps first then camming them if you are having issues. My guess is you just don’t have 'em tight enough as you close them if they are opening when wet out. I really don’t think you’d yank the fasteners out if you tighten them enough to keep them from opening when they wet out. I think I actually liked the lever/cam system over regular round/oval rubber hatches, except when ice had formed thick over them. Not that opening Kajak Sport or Valley rubber hatches when iced over was any easier.

Nylon webbing
If it is nylon webbing it will stretch when wet, if I am remembering correctly. I believe polyester or polypropylene webbing has better non-stretch characteristics. Could you switch the webbing?


That might be the solution
I’ll check my local hardware store that sells this stuff if they have non-stretchable when wet material.

As to the other poster, they really go very-very tight. May be they won’t get ripped out, but that is not natural to me… They definitely stretch more than than I’m comfortable with.

Nylon stretches, wet or dry.
Polyester (Dacron) stretches very little. Polypropylene has almost no stretch, it floats but is slippery wet or dry.

I’m not sure what you’re doing
I have the same boat I think. They won’t come apart even if very loose, as there is that little square piece you slide over to keep it in place. Very small adjustments make them tighter or looser. You can’t have one in the front very tight and one in the back very loose, or the hatch would leak for abvious reasons. But they don’t need to be terribly tight to do the job. As with every hatch cover, there’s nothing more to it than smooth rubber against a smooth surface - nothing magic about any of the hatch covers. If you keep everything clean, all you’re really doing is snugging it up a bit to seal out water, and those hatch covers do the job well for me. I have a couple CD boats, and I might make a small adjustment a few times a year, which takes a minute or so. Other than that, they’re trouble free for me. You may be overdoing it. It shouldn’t need so much pressure as to stretch those straps. It sounds like you’re tightening them enough to make them water tight with gravel in the groove that the rubber gasket seats into.

You sure they are factory straps?
I have never had or heard of this problem on CD boats …

What boat are we talking about.

I have no problem with my Solstice
I do not keep them real tight so when I am out playing and rolling I will get a little water in the compartments. I do not adjust except maybe once a season. In storage I also keep my hatches slightly open to make sure there is no moisture in the boat and to give the hatch gasket some relief.


I’ve seen this before - easy fix
I worked in a shop where we sold CD boats and have seen this problem before. Some boats mistakenly shipped from the factory with nylon straps instead of polyester. Contact CD, explain the problem, and they will replace or send you the proper polyester straps that don’t shrink or stretch.


really? oh man
that’s as good of a screwup as when they sent out some boats with rustable rudder cable,that rusted out in the narrow tubes in a years time.

I’ll contact CD about replacements.

To some of the other posters, on how I close the hatches. This is on a CD Extreme in Kevlar with flush-fitting Kevlar hatches (may be fiberglass on the hatches, have not looked carefully):

(1) I put the hatch on while still in my garage before I leave, press them down as much as they would go in by hand - no play at all.

(2) Tighten pretty tight - would be enough if nothing would give way.

(3) By the time I get to the water they have usually loosened-up some, so I tighten them more if needed.

(4) Once they get wet, they loosen-up a lot, so much that waves going over the stern/bow do unlatch the retaining piece and at least a few of them and one or two would come apart completely.

(5) So, I usually take the time to wet them and then tighten them-up again. Then they stay put throughout the paddle.

(6) As they dry their tension increases dramatically, as I had explained previously, to what I feel is way too tight - much thighter than what was required to tighten them when they were wet to to their job.

sounds just like nylon
same thing happened when I used nylon for perimeter lines. It goes from being very snug when dry to very loose when wet.

CD makes good boats but someone in the purchase dept doesn’t paddle for these booboos in materials choice to show up. The rustable rudder cables from cheap ss wire and nylon hatch straps is the kind of choice that a bean counter makes with no sense of the seriousness for the customer as the rudder wire breaks ON THE WATER leaving a dificult to remove rusted wire or hatch with inadequate closure allows excess water to get in the hatch.

Necky and WS have done similar booboos in their production where one item on an otherwise stellar boat is a total fubar item that a NON-PADDLER would pick in order to lower costs.

Seen that too…
Yup, we had a boat come in with rusted cables too. Not an easy fix (can’t clean out the tube and had to run a new cable guide).

CD did pay for the repair without any problems.



– Last Updated: Nov-14-08 1:48 PM EST –

The boat that I saw this problem on was also an Extreme – could be that you got a boat built from the same batch with the same nylon straps. CD sent us new polyester hatch straps and we installed them on the boat. I couldn’t find any other problems with this particular boat.

CD had some problems with their production of certain boats but it was brought to their attention and they did correct the problem on our stock boats and on future boats.

At any rate, CD does know about the nylon strap problem and I suspect that you won’t have any problem asking them to send you new replacement straps.


Yup - very nice boat otherwise
I’m relatively new owner of this boat and until recently it had not really seen much water over its decks so I had not really noticed the issue as a real problem - the strpas stayed mostly dry anyway, paddling in flat water and not rolling it.

Lately however I started taking it to some rough waters and rolling it and that’s when it became apparent that this is a real issue.

Thanks agian for sharing the info - I e-mailed CD and will see what they say. I’ve had quick (though not very informative) response to another unrelated question before, so I hope they will come thru this time.

same thing
we could get one cable out but the broken one was a mess, had to replace the housing. It must be have been awful for the purchaser to realize “oh crap, there’s x kayaks out there with that wire in them”

Caribou hatch fasteners
That’s exactly what has happened to me. I have had a Caribou S for four years and never had problems with the hatch covers, except during rescues when I’m sliding over the rear deck—but then it’s obvious that the straps are coming loose.

We were out playing in breaking surf a few weeks ago, and a fellow paddler noticed that the rear hatch cover was loose. Twice. I will replace the fasteners with buckles before I use the kayak in surf again.


Replace fasteners?
I’m assuming that you mean that you’ll replace the cam buckle with fastex type fasteners? If so, you might not get enough pressure on the hatch to get a good seal (especially for surf conditions). I’d suggest cutting a piece of bicycle tubing about 4 or five inches long and sliding that over the closed cam buckle. It’s really hard to accidentally release the buckle with the piece of tubing holding the buckle release in place. If you’re not going out into rough conditions where the chances of accidental release are low, don’t use the tubing.


CD / Wenonah were very responsive & sent me a set of hatch cover straps. They said straps have always been nylon but sent them nevertheless.

Today I had a chance to test them on the water. Indeed, they work as they shoul - no stretch when wet at all.

To compare, I onle replaced one of the three straps on each cover and left the remaining original two straps as they were. Tightened all straps the same when dry. Then poured water on all of them. Within minutes, the original straps losened and I could slide my hand under them. The new straps remained tight. I retightened the old straps and went for a 3-4 hour wet paddle in waves. The new straps remained tight. The originals loosened just a bit more.

So, THANKS! for the advice - indeed bad strap material.

Visually they are simila . The new ones are just a bit bigger weave & the buckles re also a smidgen bigger (though the old metal pieces look to be of better quality). Almost identical unles inspected very closely though…

nothing like a solution