valley hatch cover wear question

Does anyone know if the rubber Valley hatch covers wear out? I just did a long trip with lots of waves and spray and all three hatches had water in them for the first time in 5 years. All covers were on tightly. I noticed that one cover has a small crack like it is dried out from UV exposure but it didn’t go all the way thru the rubber. Any advice? thanks, ws

yes they wear out…
Once you see spider cracking, they’ll start to leak. I had to recently replace my dayhatch cover for that same reason and it’s much drier now. If it’s just one small spot, you may be able aquaseal that crack and hope it fixes the problem but as it’s all three hatches, that’s probably not the case. Too bad those Valley hatches cost an arm and a leg.

To protect those covers
which are very expensive, use 303 or a similar substance.

Kinda like tires. Yes they wear out. Maintaining them with 303 but if you got 5 years of hard use out of them, very good. I usually keep rounds & ovals on hand as someone once in awhile decides it’s just time to go new.

See you on the water,


Hyde Park, NY

If you store the boat outdoors…
…consider bringing the covers inside.

hatch covers
Clean the rim on the boat that the cover fits over, then clean the inside of the hatch cover rim and put some 303 protector on them. Mine have leaked before. Water is sneaky. Tip. Put everything in a dry bag. Vaughn Fulton

Sorry disagree they are like tires
With proper care they will last way beyond 5 years. I have one boat (that gets lots of use in salt water conditions) and the hatches are over 15 years old.

Valley covers
I have some pretty old ones that still don’t leak.

The Valley covers are not rubber but a black plastic compound and they float.

The Kayak sport hatch covers are rubber and sink.

I just use Armorall or any of the cheap auto silicones on them and on the rim.

Don’t forget on the large rear oval, you should push the edge of the cover into the groove on the boat for a good seal.

Use 303 and store no sealed to the hatch