The Best Hatch Type

 

I know the best hatch type is the one that doesn’t leak.

 

 

 

But seriously,  I’m new to building kayaks and have done some research in this forum and others but still am not settled on what hatch type I want to use. But I digress…

 

Last summer my wife and I bought rec kayaks, she a Wilderness 120 and me a Wilderness 125.  After going down numerous rivers in Michigan we ended up buying, late in the summer, used Neckys, hers a Comp Eliza 154 and my the Chatham 17.  I was hooked and I love that boat.

 

 

Over the winter, she saw my interest in kayaking and suggested I build one.  Boy did she mess up!  I ended up buying a Pygmy Murrelet 17.  I getting close to the point of adding the hatches, probably the scariest part of building a kayak I guess.

 

 

Anyhow, I was hoping you all could help me figure out which way to go.

 

Below is what I’ve learned so far in regards to Hatches

 

 Flush Type

 

  1. Straps On Top
  2. Magnetic
  3. Bungee
  4. Rod from the cockpit

 

 

Non Flush Type:

 

  1. Store Bought Frames with Rubber Lids
  2. Build your own Frame with Wooden Lid

 

 

 

Straps on Top  - That’s what my kit came with.  Two things I don’t like about it, the straps don’t look the best and the gasket is mightly holy, not the church kind.  I read some use minicell instead.

 

 

 

Magnetic  - Can you really get a leak free lid? And where do you get those magnets?

 

Bungee – Looks good but doesn’t the bungee lose it’s strength from being taut?

 

 

Rod from cockpit  - I saw this at a show.  Looks great but is complicated and the guy said he never tested it.

 

 

Store bought with Rubber Lids – These work great as I can attest with my Chatham but they don’t look  the best on a wooden boat.

 

 

Build your own with Wooden Lid – Looks better that above but not the flush type.

 

 

Any help would be appreciated.  I am currently eyeing the Guillemot for my next build for a greater challenge

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Kim

 


18 replies:

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RE: The Best Hatch Type

I've used them all and prefer the bungee method for a sea kayak that won't be carrying a lot of gear. The front hatch on my Merganser is going into its fourth season without leaking a drop or needing to tighten or replace the bungee cords. This boat has seen a lot of service in Buzzards Bay where the normal chop frequently washes over the deck. If you will be carrying gear for an extended trip, go with the rubber lids, as the bungees interfere with interior capacity. -Wes

RE: The Best Hatch Type

My WD12 is also going into its 4th season with the original bungees. They're only taut while on the water or in transit. The rest of the time the lid is off for ventilation. So the bungees actually have very few hours on them and mostly they're stored out of sunlight. The result is that they last a long time.

If you want to adjust the tension, put one of these on it (click for a larger picture):

Full description at http://www.morocz.com/BoatBuilding/DuckBuild10.htm

Laszlo

 

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Ditto the bungies!

I replaced the foam from the kits with minicel foam I ripped on the bandsaw to the thickness to make them flush with the deck. In one case I glued them to the hatch cover and in the other to the hatch. So far, very water tight

Dan

RE: The Best Hatch Type

CH 17 Another Ditto on the bungies with flush mount hatches.  I get tons of complements on the flush mount hatches.  Those that appreciate wood boats are facinated with nicely done flush hatches.

RE: The Best Hatch Type

I second, or is it fourth, on the bungees and flush hatch. Mine are on Chesapeake LT 17.

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Hmmmm.... I'm building a SW 17 from plans. Just put the glass on the hull.... I too had a similar quandary. After much deliberation I chose to cut the hatches out and will be using a strap system to keep them tight. The plans call for a toggle system but I don't like the look of the toggles and can't imagine them lasting very long. I had planned on having rigging on the deck anyway so the look of the straps won't bother me. I considered the hidden latch method but that system also dictates that there will be holes drilled through the bulkheads and I want these to remain water tight. If the flush hatches fail I will build a raised hatch to replace them. I also decided to add a day hatch and separate bulkhead compartment just behind the cockpit. for this I purchased the 8" round SEA-LECT hatch from CLC. I actually like the way it looks but I applied red stain to the deck of my boat so I cannot say what it would look like on bare wood.

RE: The Best Hatch Type

FYI - I did not drill holes in my bulk head.  I used mini bungee cords. When I need to get into my hatches I am able to lift the edge of the hatch enough to get my hand in to unhook the bungees.  I find this system very easy to use and water tight.

RE: The Best Hatch Type

My experience has been the same as Danno. I've not heard of the holes in bulkhead before, though. Where did that come from? I do put a small hole in the center of each bulkhead to equalize air pressure that changes with temperature. They would only leak when the cockpit is flooded, and even then not enough to compromise flotation. -Wes

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Thanks for the input guys.  I think I will go with the bungee type.

btw, the air pressure hole in the bulkhead,  I'm assuming it should be about 1/8" dia. near the top of the bulkhead?

Kim

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Danno & Wes,

I believe he said the bulkhead holes were for the hidden latch, not the hidden bungees.

Laszlo

 

RE: The Best Hatch Type

I'm also planning to use the hidden hatch system on my upcoming Shearwater Hybrid build. I don't really like the metal hook system on the underside of the hatch. Somewhere on this site I saw a homemade wooden system for the hatch portion, I just can't seem to remember where.

Does anyone remember this post?

Mike

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Mike,

Try http://twofootartist.com/merganser-construction-notes/ Scroll about half-way down the page for photo and description. I have the hooks facing outward, and the system has worked well, but on my next build will cut the hooks facing inward. -Wes

RE: The Best Hatch Type

My WD12 with inward facing hooks (click for larger image):

Laszlo

 

RE: The Best Hatch Type

  Mike, is this what you were asking about? Trunk release

We love it on our Wood Ducks but doubt it's performance where extreme waterproofing is desired. There is no pressure on the hatch at the sides to compress a seal.

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Here is the hatch detail on my wife's SW16h...

 

RE: The Best Hatch Type

The design I was thinking about was the ones shown by Wes and Dan.

Thanks,

Mike

RE: The Best Hatch Type

Laszlo,  nice website.  I like your tips on the Wood Duck.

Thanks,

Kim

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