Valley Hatch Covers: A Solution

Yes they are good, until they fall apart. In the two years that they have been available, I haven’t seen one post about the replacement hatch that is specifically designed to fit on Valley’s rims.

So here it is, if you complain about or suffer from a bad Valley hatch, stop replacing them with Valley and check out the selection of hatches from Sea-Lect Designs.

I’ve been using one for a while now and love it. They are easier to take on and off, just as dry, more robust tethering, and are (a little) less expensive.

Most the big name paddle shops carry Sea-Lect.

These look very similar to what
Eddyline and Tiderace use. Are they hard center with rubber edges, or a completely rubber compound of the same hardness? Bill

Direct replacement for Valley covers?
This will be thouroughly investigated. VCP hatch covers have been my only complaint re: Valley kayaks, and the subject of my occasional rant. I will order one asap to see just how suitable and durable they are. Two years, you say. Why have you been so silent? But thanks for the info. Ken…

The site says “direct replacements”…
…for Valley and Kajak Sport hatches. I’m somewhat surprised that they’re making the latter, as I can’t ever remember anyone complaining about them. Regardless, I emailed them to get clarification as to whether their covers will work with OEM Valley hatch rings.

After some digging, I found that Duckworks has the 8" hatch kit complete with ring for $33.12, which is considerably less than the Valley cover alone:

I believe Sea-Lect has been manufacturing them for Eddyline. The Tiderace boats I paddled had lightweight Kajaksport hatches, so not the same. However Sea-Lect does have the 10" round and large oval that are popular on many other touring boats.

Yes they are hard plastic with rubber edges. Just like a rubbermade container. I like them because you set them on the rim, give them a hard slap and they lock on.

I’ve mentioned these hatches a few times, but buried in posts, no one notices. I saw another thread complaining about hatches so I decided to dedicate one to these hatches.

Sea-Lect is a new company . . . sort of. They are the new paddling specific division of Sea-Dog which has been around for a while. You’ll see the Sea-Dog branded components like their foot braces, be absorbed into the Sea-Lect brand in the future.

Well according to their website the SEA-LECT hatches appear to be direct Valley replacements.

They also stock the 8" day hatch lid.

rings and molded
I’ve used them on glass boats with rings, and on roto-molded boats with molded rings. Works great.

Nermal, thanks for this valuable info!
I didn’t realize that there were after-market ‘Valley’ replacement hatches available. I did not see the SEA-LECT hatches in several kayak shops I was in this past summer, but I did find them on-line at Rutabaga.

See the link I posted in my comment below.

Okay, I ordered one today
from Rutabaga. A day hatch cover, about $40 including shipping. In the past I have been really anal about trying to preserve my VCP covers. Washing them, keeping them off the kayak, in the air conditioned portion of the house. Treating them to 303, the whole works. Not so with this Sea-Lect. It will live in the real world, and we will see what it’s made of! We have 4 kayaks that utilize VCP hatch covers, and this could amount to a considerable savings, considering the failure rate of the originals. I’ll post an update when I have something definitive.

thanks nermal and bnystrom
Yes - that was me bitching about the stubbornness of brit boat makers.

It may take them another ten years to incorporate these to their product, kinda like finally adapting a decent footbrace.

Here’s their response to my question
"Yes, our hatch covers are designed to fit the 18” x 10-1/2” oval, and the 8” round, Valley Canoe rings (these are the two most common size for VCP hatches), without buying new rings…

I also wanted to let you know we do not sell direct to retail customer – however, if you’re looking to order a set, please visit our Dealer Locator page, or let me know where you live and I will be happy to direct you to your nearest store."

That sounds pretty definitive.

I wouldn’t so fast group all Brit boat makers so quickly. I’ve still got my original NDK covers on my Greenlander and it’s a '97. They are treated monthly for UV and it gets uses alot. This past year it’s sat outside all year too. Still seal well too. I do have the replacements on hand if and when they ever fail, now it’s a test to see just how long they really can last.

Bill H.

Just got a round for my Valley Avocet , am very happy with the fight. Next step is to replace the ovals— its beenn a blow out summer.

How much $$
Is there a price list somewhere on line?

I was going to point to the

– Last Updated: Sep-30-10 9:05 AM EST –

Rutabaga link I posted above, but it apparently no longer works. Hmmmm.
In fact I did a search at their on-line store for 'Sea-Lect' and received no hits. Yesterday I had 6 hits at their website. Sold out?! I guess you would have to call them. (See CapnKen's post above)

As of yesterday Rutabaga was selling the Sea-Lect 'Valley' oval replacement for $71.95. The 8" day hatch was under $40, but I do not remember the exact cost.

Yes, Rutabaga has them,
or did yesterday. And yes, I had to phone in the order. First I emailed the request, to which they responded, with the following phone number. 800-472-3353. Their web site is being upgraded at this time. They were very helpful and actually fun to talk to. They really do paddle kayaks, too. They gave me the prices, see my above post. VCP covers have been lasting me only 2-3 years, but I really use them a lot here in Florida. I no longer try to keep enough on hand for all of our kayaks, preferring to use up two sets at a time. (My boat, plus my wife’s) If these replacements work out, I will be ordering another two full sets. As for now, I intend to allow this new day hatch cover to live a tough life, and will make another post when I have some real experience to pass on. Valley has had plenty of time to step up to the plate, regarding this, but has chosen not to. It’s time for a better mouse trap!

Jay, see my first post above
The price is significantly lower than Valley at $33.12 for a hatch AND ring from Duckworks.

How much from GRO these days
Direct replcement: Valley has always called them 7.5". Hmm.

I just got out my Explorer to find the day hatch disintgrated. When they go, they go fast.

had a problem with my Valley hatches and much prefer them to others. The only ones I’ve seen with problems started cracking from the inside out. Probably too much heat from no vent hole for the hatch.

It happens on boats with vented bulkheads, too. All of ours are vented and the covers still crack, so I doubt that there’s any relationship between venting and cracking.