Shearwater Sport hatch question

Hello all, second time builder here that's waiting for a Shearwater Sport kit to ship.  

As I'll be using this primarily for day paddles and short trips, I'd like to simplify things and go hatchless, maybe just a breather tube like in the Kaholo SUPs to equalize pressure in the bulkheads.  

Any thoughts, suggestions, or dirty looks followed by a smack upside the head ? :-) 

Thanks !


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RE: Shearwater Sport hatch question

I finished my Shearwater Sport hybrid (second build!) this year, and fretted about the hatch hold downs through at least half the build. I even considered leaving them out till later (as you can always cut them in even after the boat is  finished). I fancied really clean lines without hatches or cord, and I thought about putting a circular hatch in the bulkheads, to give me some storage and a clean deck. In the end though, for a good day trip I wanted to carry:

change of clothes

Emergency food (read greedy picnic)

Brew kit

Map and compass, and water/energy drink on the deck

so I decided to use the hatches, rather than the alternatives of deck bags.

I went for internal bungees to hold them down, and after much experiment (or overthinking) I settled on a finger loop attachment. I did a drill/fill/drill, then a short loop of cord, melted with a lighter on the inside on each end to form a blob, then wood flour/epoxy over to seal it.

The rear hatch is completely airtight. The forward hatch has developed a dribble, which only shows up after a heavy downpour and a long motorway journey. I'll fiddle about a bit more with the seal, and I'm sure I can get it tight again.

After a few weeks, the seals have taken on the lip so they are nearly flush, and   they do make a properly versatile craft. Here are the forward and stern hatches respectively, on Ullswater a couple of weeks ago.

In the end, think about what you fancy doing on your days out, and what you might want to bring along on your voyage.


RE: Shearwater Sport hatch question

Good points Beaker.  I'm thinking about building the Sh Sport hybrid. 

Do you think a kayak cart would fit in the storage space?

How do you like the craft overall?


RE: Shearwater Sport hatch question

Hi Hickory,

Yes, a cart will go in.

I wanted a reasonably seaworthy boat, but which could still fit in my cellar. It is a delight to paddle, and great for a day out on the lake, or playing about in the surf. It tends towards good tracking rather than turning tightly. I can heel it over till the coaming meets the water and it will still pop back up. 

The ply deck version is still very pretty, and will also get you on the water faster; the hybrid deck looks great, and is an absorbing build for the winter. 

There's a few pics of some recent trips here:

and here

RE: Shearwater Sport hatch question

Thanks for the great info, and enjoyed your're forum links.  Thats some awefully nice lake country to paddle.


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