SOT Hatch - Watertight or not?

Hi guys,

Looking to buy a kayak for fishing and narrowed my selection to 3 models (please don’t suggest anything else as I’ve been through the exercise for too long already :wink: ).

WS Ride 135

WS Tarpon 120

OK Trident 13

I’m really leaning toward the trident, mostly because the kayak main use will be to be a fishing platform and I really like the rod pod and sonar shield.

My main concern though is about the hatches on the 3 above kayaks. I’d really like to get something with water-tight hatches if it exists at all.

I’ve see a couple ads for the trident claiming it has watertight hatches, but I also saw on TV (WFN Kayak fishing show) the other night that the hatches were pretty damp with water.

So if any of you paddlers are using a ride, a tarpon or a trident, can youplease confirm if the hatches (including the rod pod for the trident) are watertight?

Thanks guys!


Another Option
You can special order your SOT without the hatches cut out. I have done this before, including from OK.

It does mean you can not just stop by the store and pick one up. You will have to arrange for shipping, and you might have to wait on the next shipment, or pay extra shipping charges.

Its a common thing for SOTs that will be used in extreme conditions, like heavy surf.

A lot of beach rental fleets order that way, to avoid the danger of an inexperienced boater having a hatch open at the wrong time.

If you go that way, have them send the hatch cover anyway. Its included in the cost, and you might want to change your mind, or sell it to someone who wants a hatch. Its easy to cut out later.

Many “watertight” hatches in all types of kayaks are not 100% watertight. That being the case, best practice is to insure than anything that must remain dry have its own protection down there, within the hatch.

Check out the hatches on the Tarpon.
I haven’t been in any slop with them but I really like the fact that they are hinged and easy to lock shut.My old Tarpons never leaked with the stretch-fit hatch covers.

I’ve had both old style rubber and the newer hard plastic hatch covers and they both have leaked when the boat was flipped in current. Not much of a problem, everything that needs to be protected belongs in a dry bag.

The new Tarpons have loops attached inside each hatch to hook dry bags on to so they stay with in reach.

yes, they look good
Very handy, especially for SOT people used to accessing hatches on the water. Not easy to lose. Do they come off somehow, if desired? I could see some people wanting them more out of the way for loading.

I have a Manta Ray that
happens to have pretty water tight hatches and they are bungied down by the outfitting, so I’ve never lost one even in Class II water.

Having said that, I would never depend on the hatches (3 of them on the Manta Ray) to stay watertight over time. Assume they won’t be on whatever you buy and you’re expectations will be closer to reality.


Thanks to all for the replies !

I’ll make sure I use dry-bags then!

That site has an article that may be just what you are looking for. I will say I’ve been very impressed with the Wilderness systems quality and outfitting. And when I had a warrantee issue they made it right.

hatch leaks
All hatches can leak. Maybe you are in a hurry and leave a rope or something in the hatch and it will not seal completely. Anything you do not want wet, double bag it. I use a cheap wally world coozy to cushion my phone for protection. I have the tarpon, the hatch on the last tarpon did not leak but it developed a crack by the scupper hole. It leaked where it should have been solid poly. They did replace and the new one with the hinged hatches seems fine so far. SO pick the kayak that works best for you, be willing to pack items needing waterproof protection in waterproof safety and take some duct tape. If a hatch leaks, you could use some window sealant from lowe’s or home depot, if it is a gasket style seal, try an auto parts store for a useful replacement. But kayaking is a water sport. You do sit close to the water. It may get on you. John

Right On…
I have yet to run into 100% watertight hatches – SOTs or SINKs. As long as they stay tight enough to effect a self or assisted rescue, then the hatches have succeeded (in terms of providing compartmentalized buoyancy).

If the stuff can’t take a wetting, put it in a drybag. Could be double ziplock bags it the item is small enough.