beat me to it

Posted by LeeG on Jun 14, 2005

from what i've seen there can be a huge variation in water tightness of the hatches starting with whether the straps are TIGHT. It takes a lot of finger strength to use fastek buckles in an application that they aren't designed for. Fastek buckles are perfect for back pack waist belts and compression straps where they're secured THEN tightened. On the hatches you have to bring the straps to maximum tension for the buckle to close, it can only be done with thumb and forefingers. If those straps aren't tight the hatches aren't waterproof. The next spot where problems occur is where the side of the hatch is flared out wider than the top edges of the curve so the gasket is completely compressed at the top of the deck but much less or not at all at the sides. The raised hatch rings help a lot but when kayaks are inverted and tumbled water finds the path of least resistance. Putting 1/2 rounds on the edge of the hatches under the straps or bringing the deck anchors inboard is another way to ensure they're tight. That's why I like the method used on the A.Hawk with a single strap attached to the hatch. The mechanical levers don't require ANY finger strength or coordination and the single strap makes for a quick positioning and temporary closure. It works when your fingers are frozen and the hatch can never become a handle for rescuees or a hook for towlines.

In Response to: Re: hatches leak on capsi by Mac on Jun 14, 2005