VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

Thinking of building a S&G Shearwater 16 or 17 this summer/fall. Been looking at every picture I can find from those of you that have built them. My question is.... I think I would like to build it with VCP hatches/covers instead of the standard versions. Have any of you built a Shearwater with VCP hatches/covers ?   Anyone have any pictures, advice, pros/cons, etc ?

 

Thank You,

chad

 


8 replies:

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RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

Check out Blue Haren Kayaks web site at http://www.blueheronkayaks.com/kayak/index.html. Ross used KajakSport hatches, which are about the same as VCP on his Whiptail with great results.  SEEYA Jack

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

That Whiptail is a glorious looking thing, totally spoiled in my view by those hatch covers!   They resemble the black plastic lids that are seen on large round household garbage bins!   Probably functionally effective, but visually and aesthetically...!

 

I have gone the other way on my Shearwater 17 build and deleted hatches altogether so as to preserve the sleek look of the design.   Don't need under-deck storage anyway as I only day-paddle for fitness.

 

Wordsmith

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

That Whiptail is a glorious looking thing, totally spoiled in my view by those hatch covers!   They resemble the black plastic lids that are seen on large round household garbage bins!   Probably functionally effective, but visually and aesthetically...!

 

I have gone the other way on my Shearwater 17 build and deleted hatches altogether so as to preserve the sleek look of the design.   Don't need under-deck storage anyway as I only day-paddle for fitness.

 

Wordsmith

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

Wordsmith,

That's because you haven't seen it in person. The photographs don't do the boat justice. The things which make the hatches work in person are the contrasts in color and shape between the slick natural wooden surfaces and the frankly functional hatch covers. The black carbon fiber recess sucessfully makes the transition between the two design regions. I don't know about the SW17, but the Whiptail would be almost cloying if it didn't have those contrasts. They're like the touch of salt or sour that a master chef adds to turn a sicky-sweet dessert into a culinary masterpiece.

Unfortunately, no representation limited to only two dimensions will show the sculptural shapes and many of the pictures on the website suffer from glare and low contrast (Ross, if you're reading this, consider getting a polarizing filter if you're going to be shooting varnished wood on water). I was lucky enough to see the boat in person at Okoumefest a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty spectacular, because of those hatches, not in spite of them.

Laszlo

 

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

Quite correct, Laszlo, I haven't seen the Whiptail, but I HAVE seen VCP hatches.  

 

Despite the interesting culinary motif in your reply I maintain that they are out of place on that particular craft.   The carbon coaming is another thing altogether - its smoothness of styling and finish certainly adds a certain plus to the otherwise 'natural' finish on the craft, whereas the VCPs, with their agricultural- or industrial-looking ribs and channels and so on clash with the overall aesthetic, as well as with the hatch covers.  

 

But then again, beauty is in the eye...

 

Wordsmith 

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

Wordsmith - The rubber hatches are definitely a personal preference or acquired taste.   I bought the KajakSport set years back with the intent of installing them on my Outer Island that was under construction.  I couldn't bring myself to interrupt the serpentine stripe on its deck, so I set them aside.  On the Whiptail, I purposely forced myself to build a simple deck pattern so I wouldn't be reluctant to try the KajakSport hatches.  I'd use them again on a future kayak.  (If the deck is otherwise uninteresting. :) ) 

Laszlo - Thanks for the kind words.  Yeah, a polarizing filter would be good, but with my point-and-shoot, I'd have to mess with shooting through my sunglasses to manage that. 

Your mention of salt and sour made me think "margarita".

Ross

RE: VCP hatches on S&G Shearwater ?

What type of hatches to use are purely a matter of preference.

I would recommend using something, as hatches will enable you to use bulkheads, in my mind...mandatory for safety.

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