Valley hatch rim sealant

After a few years of use i am starting to get a bit of a leak into my back hatch. I plan on filling it with water on my days off to see where it is leaking from, but just looking at it after our last paddle it looks like some of the black sealant between the rim and the boat is starting to dry out and peel up.

I assume this is the main problem and if it is leaking around the rim i plan on taking out the screws and putting on some new stuff.

I’m willing to bet there’s been a few valley hatches re done over the years by people here on pnet, so i was wondering, from your guys experiences, what is the easiest way to remove the old material? and what should i be replacing it with? just regular silicone sealant?

don’t use silicone!

if you can get the hatch off the boat clean it up best you can. remove as much of the old sealant as possible. I’d use 3M 5200 sealant or Sika-flex with the bolts/nuts and let her dry for a week.


Will stay away from silicone

– Last Updated: Apr-04-10 12:08 PM EST –

And check out the 3M, should be able to get some at the hardware store.
Letting it sit for a week might be a little hard now that the weather's finally gotten a little nicer.
Oh well, going to need a replacement boat while that one's in the shop, lol. Lets see how well that goes over.

Just as an edit, this is a poly chatham, i assume the 5200 sealant will work for both glass and poly?

Any other sage advice
before i start pulling off the hatch rim?

Butyl tape
When I had issues with the hatches on my Chatham 16 leaking a few years back, Necky was kind enough to send me a roll of butyl tape, which is apparently what the rims are sealed with at the factory. Popped off the rims, cleaned the deck with rubbing alcohol, laid the tape around the hatch opening and replaced the rim. Presto, 2 years and 1700 miles later, still no leaks. Rolling, surf, whatever, hatches stay bone dry. Highly recommend the butyl tape.

Are you sure it’s the hatches and not the bulkheads? Poly anything tends to leak eventually through the bulkheads.

No water in cockpit
I was wearing a spray skirt, and i had no water in the cockpit to have leaked through the bulkhead into the back hatch, and no water made it from the back hatch to the cockpit, so i assume the bulkheads fine. This weekend, i am going to find out for sure, fill it with water and see where it leaks. Only other possibility is the skeg, but i am more suspicious of the rim itself

There is a “fast cure” version of 5200
I agree with Flatpick’s recommendation, but I’d use the “fast cure” 5200 instead of the regular stuff that takes a week. If you can’t find it, 4200 will work, as will Lexel or any of the GOOP products. All of them will work on both plastic and composite boats.

If you boat is composite, I’d leave out the screws and fill the holes with sealant. Just clamp the rim in place until the sealant cures. One of the more common problems with Valley and Kajak Sport hatches is cracked rims and they cracks inevitably start at the screw holes, if there are any. You’ll notice that most manufacturers do not use screws to mount these rims on composite boats.

On a plastic boat, you may have to use the screws for extra holding power, but be very careful not to over-tighten them, or the rim will split. Just make them snug enough to pull the rim down into the sealant.

A great fix !
Use the 3M 5200 and thin with acetone. Get it thin enough to put in a syringe and put it in the seam between the hull and the hatch rim. Capillary action will pull it into any voids. The acetone will dry quickly and the 5200 will than set up and seal the voids. You need to let it set up for a few days. Works wonders with leaky hatch rims or any where you need to get to seal a void! Can be messy but cleans up with acetone.