Vented hatch covers for storage?

I keep my kayak on a rack at a local boat yard on the Potomac River. When I get back from paddling around in the evening, I’m basically left with no option put to put all my gear into the cockpit or storage compartments and close them up. This keeps the stuff secure, readily available, and keeps the bugs out. But it doesn’t let the stuff dry.

I’m envisioning a hatch cover with a mesh or screen material that would be GREAT for this. The nerdy part of me is envisioning hatch covers with built in exhaust fans on solar panels…

Any suggestions before I re-invent the wheel?

I’ve used solar car window inserts
that perhaps could be adapted, but first, find some Nylon mesh. If you can’t find it “raw” you can scavenge it from a mesh bag. Better would be a flat weave mesh. I have some but wouldn’t know where to find more.

Buy some bungee cord in a suitable thickness. Knot the bungee so it is snug around the hatch rim. Put the mesh over the hatch and pull the bungee loop down over the rim. Pull excess mesh out under the bungee. Trim the mesh leaving a few inches.

Now, using contact cement, wet the mesh outside the rim, and a suitable range inside the rim, and after the contact cement is suitably “dry,” bring the outer mesh over to contact the inner. It may be necessary to segment the mesh to make the foldover procedure easier.

I haven’t done that with mesh, but I have done it with neoprene, to make neoprene hatch covers.

How about window screen & shock cord?
Cut it a little larger than needed and slip a band of shock cord around it.

I haven’t tried it, but it seems like it should work and the materials should be available locally.

Seattle Fabrics
They have everything: Mesh

won’t screening or mesh let just as much water in as out?

Why don’t you leave anything dry inside the hatches with them closed and take out anything that is wet such as sprayskirt, life jacket, clothes - rinse it and keep it in the car?

search around
someone makes a cockpit cover with mesh zippered top, turn kayak over with stuff in zippered cover.

Mesh dive bag
put it in the cockpit and secure it. Its not going to dry well anyway unless you store it cockpit side up. Water evaporates up.

You could just buy one

what suzanneh said
I’d bet you could leave the hatches off and the stuff still wouldn’t dry in less than a few days. And if it’s a wetsuit or other clothing, good luck avoiding a rash when you put it back on.

That has got to be ripe in there!

The wet stuff will never dry inside a boat, even with a mesh cover. It needs to be hung up somewhere, at least the valuable stuff and the things that touch your skin.


– Last Updated: Apr-26-11 7:49 PM EST –

I don't want to take it home with me because I sometimes ride my bike to the river rather than driving.

It won't get wet in the boat with mesh because it will be upside down on the rack. So I'm looking for air circulation to allow the stuff to dry nicely. This is why I was thinking a little fan and battery would be great. But I think I might be asking too much of a small confined space.

What ever you do
do it with a spare cover. That way you can put on a solid cover when paddling. I like your idea of upside down and then add a solar fan to circulate the air. It is worth a try but not sure if it would dry anything to the point that you would not get mildew on it. But worth trying. You could also take your gear home with you in a backpack when riding your bike.