Tether the hatch cover to what?

The hatch covers on my NDK/SKUK kayak are not tethered. The underside has tabs that appear to be made for attaching a tether line to. I guess I just punch an awl through them to make the hole.

But but but but but what do I fasten the line to inside the hatch compartment? The underside of the deck? Do I glass in an eyelet or something?

Is there a tab around the edge?
In my NDK, I punched a hole thru the tab around the edge of the 2 10" rounds and tied it with some thin cord to the perimeter line. I think I used a shish-kabob skewer, a thing one. For the day hatch, I have a bungie around it and a cord to the perimeter line around that.

Same with the Vela until you get to the huge rear oval, which line sometimes runs from a hole punched in the tab underneath to a portion of the skeg cable arrangement. The rest of the time, that rear hatch tether is hanging loose because I had to get to something and didn’t feel like reaching around to tie it off again.

You tie it to the outside?
I don’t think I want something tied to my perimeter line.

The hatch covers look like they are made to be tethered to something inside the compartments. The rubber tab is on the underside of the covers.

I used to…
epoxy a plastic pad eye to the underneath of the hatch cover and another one to somewhere in the hull. A couple drops of thickened epoxy in each hole works fine…

Tethering hatches: Some options
Some assert that any tether to the inside will at some point end up caught on the rim and compromise the seal. I understand the thought, but the day hatches on my Romany and Nordkapp LV are tethered internally. The Romany I did myself by mirroring the hardware on the bulkhead to which the backband is attached. The Nordlow came tethered.

The large hatches of my Aquanaut, Nordlow, and Romany are tethered externally. The Valley boats came with hatches tethered to the perimeter rigging. I added the tethers to my Romany.

The day hatches of my Aquanaut and Elaho are also externally tethered. The Elaho’s came tethered. I added the tether to the Aquanaut.

All of the day hatches on my boats are Valley. The main hatches on my Romany are Kajak-Sport (as are all as far as I’ve seen, as well as the day hatches on the most recent NDK/SKUK). The main hatches on my Valley boats are, of course, Valley hatches.

Still stuff your hatches inside the boat when you’re transporting.

Haven’t had any problem with that
I misspoke on one thing - the tether lines are actually clipped to the perimeter lines using little black plastic clips that catch the end of the thin rope, the knot is only thru the hole in the tab. It’s pretty thin rope, from a climbing place.

The NDK 10" rounds have been tethered to the perimeter line of the Explorer LV for a few years now thru trainings and surf etc. I’d hesitate to put them inside unless I really had to based on my experience with the large oval on the Vela. That internal tether tends to get in my way moving gear around, or gets pulled loose. I hate having to think about retying it and often forego that diligence.

But it appears that you have internal rather than external tabs, so in that case I suppose I’d have to figure out artful placements for an epoxied-in D ring.

over thinking it
just make a big loop, go right around the hatch cover itself and tie it off tight. then tie the other end to either your perimeter line, or if the very thought terrifies you, that you may be negating the seaworthiness of your kayak, tie it directly to an existing deck fitting. get some nice fine cord, 2mm or something, in whatever colour you fancy, that takes knots well, it’s about 5 minutes per cover. no drilling, no gluing, i’ve never had mine come loose.

Internal tethers
My Tempest has internal tethers and I’ve never found them to be a problem when loading/unloading or moving gear around. Maybe it’s a matter of how long the line is (how far away you can move the cover).

Have to admit I’m not too impressed that NDK doesn’t tether them right from the factory. OTOH, I’m not exactly surprised. The devil is in the details.

Inch worms
Take a few inches of cord, or webbing and epoxy the ends to something on the inside. Do this so that it looks like and inch worm, forming a loop that you can tie your tether to.

Or do the same thing with a strip of vinyl and contact cement.

Or, with vinyl and contact cement, cement a strip back on itself to form a “P”. Then cement the P into the boat.

Got any through bolted hardware in the
vicinity ? You could just drill below in if you wanted too.

Use a # 10 SS fender washer.

Drill hole right near edge of washer, clean up sharp edges, put washer in vice and with a hammer, bend over a little flap a few degrees so your drilled hole can accept a knot but washer will still go ‘flat’ on whatever through bolt hardware piece you select to use underdeck.

This is stronger and more ? fail safe than bonded on fitting + will not impede perimeter line use.

Common sense would say…
Attach them the same as your other boat then. That way there is no question…

I call this “the theory of, DUH”.

Paddle easy,


onno, you are one smart cookie

Deckline/Bungee Rigging Clip
These nylon loops, with tabs for fasteners, can be found at http://kayakfishingstuff.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=RiggingClip&Category_Code=kr

or at Lowe’s (in white). If you remove the nut from under the pad eye nearest the hatch and attach one of these under the deck, before replacing the nut, you will have a loop to which you can attach a cord or bungee to the underside of the hatch. I like to run the bungee through the rigging clip and tie it at the other end - so it cannot be pulled back out through the clip. It’s an easy install, though the present pad eye screw may have to be replaced with one slightly longer to accomodate both the washer-like tabs of the clip and the nut.

Having a tie-down inside the hatch/under the deck means you will have to be careful not to compress the bungee/cord between the hatch and the gasket when closing the hatch.

Double ditto

The devil is in the details

– Last Updated: Aug-08-08 1:27 PM EST –

I always found it informing that Valley thought to start tethering the main hatches on their boats in 2004 even though Valley hatches float, where as NDK didn't bother and the Kajak-Sport hatches on NDK boats sink ;-)

I've wondered, as Valley were the first kayak specific 'rubber' hatches and the covers float, why did Kajak-Sport develop theirs non-floating?

Easy answer…
When your hatch cover sinks, what more can you do than “BUY” a replacement…

Paddle easy,


yes he is
I like that solution!

Compounding a rubber/plastic thing involves many compromises.

A compound that floats may have lower UV resistance, or less flexibility at lower temperatures, or get softer at high temperatures.

Probably Valley and Kajak-sport felt that different things had different levels of importance, and made different decisions.

this is pretty simple stuff…
what i’ve done…

drill a small hole in tab on the outside of the hatch. tie a small piece of line off w/bowline…now with the tab closest to the perimeter line, tie it off to that with a bowline. cut off excess.

has never failed. has never interfered with perimeter line…how exactly do you feel this interferes with perimeter line?


i suppose you could use the tab on the underside of the hatch but then you’re doing more work and then that line might be in the way when i’m moving gear around in my hatches.