valley canoe hatches

I love my new avocet, but the hatches are very difficult to take off and put back on. At the shop where I purchased my boat, they suggested that I use some 303. They are defintely getting easier to put on and take off. The large storage hatches won’t be opened on the water, and so I have less concern regarding them. However, I cannot imagine a time in the near future when I will be able to get the small day hatch on and off with any ease, especially on the water!

What do other avocet paddlers do? I can’t imagine staying upright while turning around to try and pry that thing loose! I can’t get off in my living room while sitting in the cockpit:) There is a nice amount of storage in it, but I can’t see being able to access it, and I am used to stowing a number of things like a camera and some food in the small hatch on my scupper.

All suggestions welcomed!


Thanks Peter!
I will do this before my next paddle. BTW, how did you tether your hatches?

Thanks again,


Soaking the hatch cover overnight
in 303 is easy enough to picture, but I am having trouble picturing exactly how you are getting into the hatch while sculling with the paddle behind your neck:)I am hoping it gets easy enough to get into after the 303, with a buddy to raft up and help out!

My husband chcucked when I read him
your post. Thank goodness his boat won’t fit in the living room! (He sails)