Wilderness Systems hatch covers

I have Tempest 170 and have noticed the rear hatch cover wont close properly hence not water tight and easy knocked off. The boat is about 5 years old, has anyone else had this problem. I also have a Zephyr 16 that has the new rear hatch system that is awesome. The Kayaks are great designs but the quality of the bulkheads and the silicon or glue they use is crap when practicing rescues and good stuff like that water leak through from the bulk heads.


– Last Updated: Jan-19-09 8:30 AM EST –

The older WS hatches have a tendency to come off under the kind of pressure that may happen when someone puts weight on them in a rescue. I had heard of it for a while, finally saw exactly that happen this last fall. You may want to consider purchasing the correct sized Kayak Sport hatch covers. If I hear right they are more reliable.

As to the leaking bulkheads, do you have a plastic boat? If you do, you need to redo the seal between the bulkhead (usually minicell foam) and the hull with something like Lexel once to twice a year as normal maintenance. All plastic boats will deform a bit over time and compromise that seal. It's not a flaw but a fact of life with plastic boats.

If you have a fiberglass boat, it's less so but still not wildly uncommon to have to redo that seal in a boat that's been under hard use. Different sealent though - I forget what my husband has used.

The final possibility is that your boat was leaking a little bit around a bulkhead to start with, but from your post it sounds like the bulkhead leak has come up under use.

just like celia says
5200 by 3M is the best waterproof sealant , make sure the areas you are sealing are clean . If salt water ya best fresh water clean an dry afore seal. Plstc. flex’s an bends from all kinds o stuff goin on an the sealant will come loose . I replaced plstc. bulkheads in a glass yak o mine with thin plywood , epoxy, glassed the edges . Also in a wood yak , now thats a dry ride .


good points
Thanks for that, i will speak to my local dealer today about the Tempest and my 3 month old Zephyr

like celia says, but . . .
I don’t think you can replace the hatch cover with KS covers unless you also replace the hatch rim.

I have used a tempest 165 pro a bunch, and the rear hatch is ridiculous. Fits poorly, and falls off if you look at it wrong.

Have seen more than my fair share…

– Last Updated: Jan-19-09 9:17 PM EST –

of ill-fitting crappy hatches on W.S. poly boats in my shop in the past. Kind of embarrassing when a customer looks at you and asks how they are supposed to go on, and we can't get them to fit on either. Many sales went to other brands because of those hatches. Sold a bunch of W.S. hulls cheap for that very reason, which amazes me... because a cheap boat with a hatch that won't stay on isn't much of a deal. Standard response from W.S. has usually been "We need to see a photo". Tell me how to show a hatch won't stay on with a photo! I will add, these are the ONLY hatches we've ever had an issue with in my shop. They sucked, and I'm thinking that's why you are seeing the new cam-lock, hinged hatches on a lot of the new hulls since late '08.