My wife and I have 2 Shearwaters (The boats are awesome).
We have not been able to get the hatches to be fully waterproof. They are fine for calm conditions but not in rough wind and waves. We built them with all of the materials in the kit. Recently, we tried ordering some hatch seal material off of the internet. It turned out to be very thin... too thin. Used it on my wife's rear hatch. A recent crossing of Lake Champlain go somewhat scary with her read hatch filling completely with water from large waves. Our front hatches that used the CLC material faired better, but each had atleast a gallon of water. For some reason my rear hatch seems to be watertight, or atleast close to it.
I am looking for a serious fix that is waterproof. My current thoughts are:
- Add external webbing straps to increase and better spread the downward pressure.
- Making the channel form fit the hatch cover by using silicone or thickened epoxy and then pressing the hatch cover (sans foam) covered with plastic (so it won't stick) to create a perfect fit. Then add thin foam to the hatch cover. Has anyone actually tried and fully tested this?
- Find some magic hatch tape (I say magic because I think the CLC stuff is as good as anyone elses).
- Buy flotation bags and admit defeat.