WS Zephyr hatches

I’m interested in hearing from owners of plastic Zephyrs about how well the hatch lids perform. I know the Pro models have Kajaksport lids, which are my favourite, but the plastic boats have Confluence lids. My only experience with the latter lids is on a Dagger Alchemy and it has not been super positive.

So, do the plastic Zephyr lids leak? Implode? Thanks for any advice you can share.

Check my reviews
If I recall, mine were dry, except the rear during self rescues where I suppose the flexibility pushes air out when I sit on top of it, then sucks some water back in. Dry in whitewater add after a 2 hour roll session though. YMMV though, as there are variances. I had Tsunami and two Tempests 170 over the years too and all but one Temoest (that was dry like the Zephyr) had at least one hatch that was leaking a bit. Nothing to worry about though, not much, unless you get a really defective one. The new style I don’t think will blow if properly closed.

Mine are dry -
I do apply a bit of 303 in the Spring which helps them go on and off easily and securely.

Good luck so far, dry
On delivery they were crazy hard to get on, after 303 application, and leaving them on over a hot summer season they are manageable now. The day hatch is a little tough to get back on while out on the water.

Z hatches

– Last Updated: Oct-14-13 9:41 AM EST –

I had a Z 160, it's hatches were almost always bone dry. My 155 hatches stay resonably dry. Sometimes ending up with a few onces in the rear and a few drips to a spash in the other two after a good surf session with some serious side surfs & beat downs. After a rolling session they'll be dry or maybe a few drips. I've never had a hatch blow, but, I've taken some 5mm cord and attatched lengths on both sides of the rear hatch that will almost meet in the middle then these are strapped together by a fastex clip and cinched tight to form an X over the center. I surf & rock garden in this boat so take this extra precaution along with float bags in the front & rear compartment. I feel the day hatch is easy enough to use OTW & have not had any major issues like with my Alchemy,(the Dagger hatches and quality control seem a step below the WS even though they come out of the same factory).

On a side note; a friend of mine has come up with a tight fitting wood form to fit the Alchemy rear hatch hole, it is a four piece expandable in lenght X width, utilizing 3/8" all-thread and nuts. He heated the plastic hatch hole then applied pressure with the form to stretch the hole to suggly fit the cover. It worked, so mine is next.

All the best, tOM

I have experience
We own a plastic zephyr, an alchemy s and an alchemy l. All boats were purchased new and used extensively in dynamic water and roolling and rescue practice. The zephyr does not leak excessively but the alchemys both have leaky rear hatches. I also have several friends who paddle alchemys and l think most of them have leaky rear hatch problems.

I’ve measured several alchemy rear hatches. They vary significantly in size and of the alchemy hatches I’ve measured are simply too small to seal in the hatch covr. My solution has been to fabricate a hatch enlarging tool that has successfully sized the rear hatches in both our alchemys.

I don’t know what Confluence Sports would say about me using my hatch enlarging tool on their boats. I wish they did a better job of sizing the hatches on the boats we bought.

If you want more info about how I succesfully resized my alchemy rear hatches please contact me privately. The method should work on a plastic zephyr as well although to my knowledge not a method approved by the manufacturer.

That’s awesome. I’ve never heard of stretching a hatch opening to fit the cover. Mad Genius!

One more thing
Sometimes the skeg cable opening through the bulk heads is not glued well and let’s water from the cockpit into the day hatch. Easy enough to fix. Had that on one of my Tempests. The Z had no issues whatsoever.

I must say, all tTempests and Zephyrs that I had or had paddled had skegs that were substantially curved, enough to worry that would affect tracking to one side (but could not tell if they did - almost never had to use much skeg in these boats where I paddled them).

Really? Never seen that on any boat. Do you mean the skeg blade was curved, the skeg box was curved or did you mean it was some how mis aligned?

Curious, tOM

The skeg blade
Curved front to back rather than flat.

pretty common
I’ve noticed these curved (warped?) skeg blades on a number of different kayaks of various brands (including mine!). The ones I notice are always the flat plastic type. Aluminum and hydrofoil-shaped plastic skeg blades don’t seem as prone to this issue.

I don’t think the skeg blade is long enough for the curvature to have much effect. At least I don’t notice it.

It would be nice to know why that happens. I saw a tempest where the skeg was curved and stuck to the box like the hull was soft/ hot.

Brand new boat. It was so stuck the cable buckled.