WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?

Hey all

I've made it to the hatch-carving step with my embryonic Wood Duck 12', and I see the VCP hatch as an option. I'm debating; extra cost VS more accessible storage and waterproofness? Is there anything else to consider? Anyone have any strong opinions? Thanks! 


6 replies:

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RE: WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?

Hi Matt:

I elected to install the VCP hatch.  I have had VCP hatches before in my other kayaks, and they are as close to watertight as it gets.  I still take no chances, however, and put my gear in drybags.  When securing and removing the hatch, it is very much like a tupperware container - you can hear it "burp" and be assured that it has a good seal.

VCP hatches are very common among kayaks, and a replacement cover is very easy to obtain. 

On the other hand, check out Laszlo's boat and others that have the flush mounted hatch - it looks dynamite. 

Hope this helps - I decided the last minute when I ordered my kit.

Dan Kehlenbach

Anchorage, AK 

RE: WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?

Hey Matt,

As Dan said, I went with the flush-mounted hatch (with internal hold-down bungees). I chose it for the looks. With the internal hold-downs there's no mounting hardware visible at all.

When built as specified in the manual, it can be slightly leaky in rough conditions or rain (the most water the boat picked up was cartopping to Okoumefest in the rain last year), but on a nice sunny day in quiet to moderate waters it's completely dry. And I suspect very few people will ever want to roll a WD.

I'm not sure that accessibility is really affected by the hatch type. I find turning around to reach the hatch area awkward enough that I've never been tempted to do it on the water. Rather, I use that monster-sized cockpit and the deck bungees to hold what I need while paddling.

After a few months of paddling I replaced the open cell foam weatherstripping that came with the kit with a gasket I cut from closed cell foam. I haven't seen any leaks since then.

Finally, putting your stuff into drybags and then putting them into the hatch space as Dan says, takes care of any leak issues.

Have fun,



RE: WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?


Tell us more about the c losed cell foam weatherstripping, where did you get it etc.  I am curious since my hatches leak more than I'd like in my Shearwaters.

Jon T

RE: WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?


It's the very stuff that CLC sells - the 3/4-inch minicell foam - which right now is even on sale in 1x2 foot pieces.

I simply traced the hatch outline onto the foam and cut out a ring with an exacto knife. Then I split it into 2 3/8-inch thick rings which gave me 2 gaskets. One was glued to the hatch with contact cement, the other is a spare. The cats use the center part as a scratching pad.

A shinto rasp or rough sanding block can be used to fine tune the gasket's thickness.


RE: WD12: VCP vs standard wood hatch?

Great, thanks for the tips, all. Just for the looks, I think I'll go with the wood top with the minicell foam modification. Very clever.


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