Tethers for hatches

Bought a new/used kayak. NDK Greenlander Pro. None of the hatches have tethers holding hatch to kayak. So if the hatch should come off say during car topping I would lose the hatch cover. I was thinking about just getting some heavy nylon string to attach to the hatches. Unless there is something better than nylon string??

Nothing special is required

– Last Updated: Jul-20-12 7:05 AM EST –

I just use 1/8" utility cord and it works fine. The day hatch is probably a VCP, which doesn't have a tether attachment, but it does have a groove around the perimeter. I install a loop of bungee in the groove and attach the tether to that.

seems to be a considered choice
I know some NDK owners who take their hatch covers off for transport. Keeps them out of the sun. Maybe it makes the boats less attractive to casual thiefs. Still, kind of odd that I’ve never seen owners of other boats with the same strategy.

Greenlander-Pro Hatch tether
I have an NDK Greenlander Pro and often just stuff the hatch covers into the hatch when driving (reduce UV exposure), unless it’s going to rain.

The NDK-branded hatch covers have a rubber tab on the perimeter and on the inside, and these are often used for tethering (drill a hole through the tab and knot the line), or place a bungee loop in the hatch cover grove as Brian recommends. You can use almost any kind of line or small bungee. I avoid very thin line such as fishing line as it can cut wet hands.

Greg Stamer

warning on the tab

– Last Updated: Jul-20-12 10:41 AM EST –

Mine tore after drilling a hole. YMMV.

I like the loop method because it's easier to remove. I just have it tied off to the nearest RDF, it's so short you almost don't even see the tether. I can flop it off to the side and it stays close to the hatch and out of the water.


– Last Updated: Jul-20-12 11:22 AM EST –

I see the tabs on the underside of the hatches and yes the day hatch is a Valley branded hatch but it also has this underside tab.Small bungee cords sounds better than what I was going to use.Right now inside each hatch compartment there is nothing to attach too. Nothing seems to be molded inside the hatche compartments with some kind of attachment point. I was thinking of useing some West systems expoxy which i have left over from coating the tips of my greenland paddle and glue something inside each hatch to tie bungee cord too. Not really sure what to glue inside hatch though??

Tie it tight
I recently lost a tethered hatch cover to my Current Designs Kestral in the surf. It was tethered to the boat with an 1/8 inch bungee. I got the boat used and figured it had worked for that long so it must be OK. Well a wave took it and stretched the bungee overhand knot right though the attachment tab. So I had to go diving for the hatch. It could be that the hatch was just old and loose but the bungee knot was not sufficient. I have a better knot in the new hatch I’ve recently purchased.


Thin cord from hiking shops
It’s prettier.

But seriously, anything thin will work. You can poke around on the internet and find plastic hooks that will clip onto the deck lines.

Don’t use bungee as a tether
Thin bungee has little strength and it degrades rapidly. Your tethers should be cord. What I meant about using bungee is that I install a loop of 3/8" bungee in the groove of the day hatch, then attach the tether cord to that. However, you said yours has a tether attachment, so the bungee loop isn’t necessary. This must be something new, as the older VCP covers don’t have a tether attachment.

Inside the boat, you can make simple loops with fiberglass and epoxy, It’s also possible to epoxy loops of rope or glass in padeyes for tether attachments.