Hatch rims necessary?

So, I just found that my dog used half of one of my hatch rims as a chew toy. I can certainly make a new one from some Luan if necesssary, but my question is: what purpose do they serve? Are they necessary?

9 replies:

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RE: Hatch rims necessary?

pretty sure they're an additional piece to keep water out of the hatch. Not sure of your kayak but if you ever roll one or flip a rec. kayak upside down, water in the hatches is NOT a good thing.

RE: Hatch rims necessary?

Not everyone uses them. I omitted the hatch rims on my SW, and I still get a pretty good seal. The only time they leaked was when I had deliberately flipped the kayak, practicing self-rescue techniques, and I'm talking about a few dribbles of water, nothing safety-threatening. When I use the boat normally, spray & waves do not penetrate. I used the foam that came with the kit. It seemed really tight  at first, but it compressed down. I also noticed that the foam strip is a little wider than the hatch sill, and a little of the foam sticks down into the compartment, improving the seal.


RE: Hatch rims necessary?

I'm assuming you're not planning for flush hatches if you plan on skipping the rim.  The lips provide extra strength and rigidity around the hatch but you can certainly get away with not using them for hatches that aren't flush mount.  Obviously they're necessary for flush mount hatches.


RE: Hatch rims necessary?

I think FrankP has the rims confused with the sill.  The sill keeps the cover from falling thu the hole into the boat.  The rim goes on the inner edge of the sill to help capture the gasket and, no, you do not need the rim.  Have used my Shearwater for 1 1/2 years with no hatch rims and have had no leaks.  I will say that, if I was using the hatches regularly, the rims would be a nice addition to keep the gaskets from getting rubbed and pulled loose evertime stuff is loaded or unloaded.  For short day trips however, it's no big deal. 


RE: Hatch rims necessary?

Paul, you are right!  I had them confused because I've never had rims on mine and it never even occurred to me you might want a "rim" on the hatch lid itself.  Live and learn.

So, obviously since I've never had them on my boat for 7 or 8 years now, they aren't a necessity.  I open my hatches after almost every paddle and I've never had any issues with gaskets being torn up either.  Maybe I'm just not as rough on them as other people?


RE: Hatch rims necessary?

On the Chesapeakes, hatch "doublers" stiffen the hatch openings on the underside of the deck, and narrower hatch "rims" do the same, but are fitted on top of the deck.

The main purpose of the "rims" though, I think, is to provide a sort of dam against any water that might make it past the foam gasket.

My Chesapeakes were built from old kits that specified neither doublers or rims. I did add the doublers using some scrap okoume that I had, but did not do the rims.

If you do want the rims, and don't have the plywood, you might consider soaking a length of cord in epoxy, and applying that around the outside edges of the deck openings.


RE: Hatch rims necessary?

Thanks for the information everybody.

The rim that my dog had for a snack was one of the front ones and, since I usually don't use the front hatch anyway, I guess I'll use them on the rear hatch and skip them on the front.

We'll see how it goes.

RE: Hatch rims necessary?

   So, TomT, how did it go?

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