Small Hatches - Suggestions

-- Last Updated: Oct-07-08 4:59 PM EST --

I purchased a Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12. I'm loving this kayak, but the smaller hatch in the back leaves a lot of valuable space. Anyone have a similar setup and how have you used it?

We are thinking of builing a bigger bag and attaching it to the lip of the hatch to slip our pre-packaged daily prepared foods into. Then we can pull them out as we need them -- along with pre-measured water for that meal in a Nalgene bottle.

How do you use this smaller hatch if it opens to a larger space ...

Small hatches
I have a kayak with a small hatch for a big compartment, plus another small day hatch. When we went camping last month, I loaded this compartment with 1 liter water bottles, shore shoes, and our smallest dry bags. I am going to buy some more 10 liter bags, not only for this hatch but for remaining space in my other hatches.

small hatches
My Mystic also has small hatches and not a lot of room even when you manage to get past the hatch. For camping trips, I packed a 2man Marmot tent, food for 3 days, stove, fuel, pots/pans, sleeping pad, camping quilt, clothes, camp shoes, water, more water, a sling chair, first aid kit, personal kit, safty gear. The tent had to be divided up into tent, poles, stakes. Poles went by my seat. Tent was rolled up long and skinny. Everything was put into dry waterproof bags. Use smaller, longer type bags. Things going to the extream ends of your boat can be hard to retrieve, so put a string on them to pull them back out with. Try packing your boat at your home before you go on a trip to check out how things fit. I also found that I liked having some sort of bag to off load stuff into to carry to the campsite. Oh and once I got everything and me into my Mystic it was LOW in the water, don’t forget to use a skirt!!

Skinny Bags …
This is a sit on top and can handle weight - I mostly kayak in Florida, but good tip on the long skinny bags. I will search for more of these or make some.

NDK and Orion
Tiny hatches but water tight.

My tent fits in there but the poles must go in seperately.

These boats will carry a ton but only in little bags.

I have been known to stuff the bag in the hatch and load it when it is inside the boat.


Water Tight & Dry
Yes - that is why i got it the Manta Ray.

I was tired of a wet kayak inside. And there were no flaws in the scupper holes. I filled the kayak up with water several times and no leaks.

The hacthes look great, but not practical when water comes across the front of the boat, plus it was a chore to open up the front with 7 latches.

Don’t get this wrong – I had my Cobra for two years and loved it design, tracking and comfort. But I wanted to be dry in my seat (butt) and dry inside. Plus, I needed some more capacity. Plus, Plus - I LOVE TO FISH! After researching hard - I came to the Manta Ray.

If Cobra had different hatches similar to the Manta Ray - I would have purchased a new one in a heart beat. They have a great design that tracks on the water well - without a rudder. They just need to re-look at the back storage area to fit a cooler and the hatch design.

how about a soft cooler?
I have a soft personal-size one, and the same hatch size that alex has. I stuff the soft cooler in first and then load it through the hatch opening.