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A kayak hatch can be a great way of storing gear when you’re out on the water. Many of them are designed to offer watertight storage so that you can keep valuables and other items safe and dry below deck.
Even if your boat doesn’t already have a hatch installed, you can install one yourself. We’ve put together a quick guide with some tips on how to choose and install a kayak hatch.
Types Of Kayak Hatches (Which One Do I Need?)
Kayak hatches come in different shapes and sizes and the one you will need will probably depend on the amount of space you have on your boat. Most types of hatches are generally round, oval or rectangular/square in shape.
The type of cover you have on your hatch may be more important when deciding which type of hatch to choose.
You might find that a screw hatch cover may be more common on smaller day hatches. The lid generally can be taken off completely when the hatch is open and to close the hatch you simply screw the lid on.
With this type of hatch, sand and salt could sometimes affect the threads which could then have an effect on how watertight your hatch will be.
Twist Seal Hatch
A twist seal hatch cover can be easy to use. These types of covers tend to have a hinge so that the lid stays attached to the hatch even when it’s open, so you don’t lose the lid.
These close by using a twist lock mechanism, usually with some type of lever on the top, to help seal the hatch and keep it watertight.
A rubber hatch cover can offer a high level of watertight protection for the inside of your hatch. The rubber cover generally seals around the entire rim of your hatch as it is stretched over it tightly. Over time, however, the rubber could weaken from use and UV damage.
How To Install A Kayak Hatch
Step 1: Measure Your Hatch Area
Before you buy a hatch, it can be useful to measure the area where your hatch will be installed. This should give you an idea of the size of hatch you’ll need. Your boat may already be hatch-ready so you can easily measure the size and see the shape.
Step 2: Measure The Hole You Need To Cut
This may vary depending on the type of hatch you’re installing. Follow the instructions for your hatch kit and measure the hole you will need to cut out. Bear in mind this may be smaller than the hatch area you measured earlier.
Use a pencil or pen to draw around the hole you need to cut.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Hole
Carefully cut out your hole, making sure to follow the line you drew. You might want to smooth out the edges and then vacuum the mess you’ve just made.
Step 4: Install Your Hatch
You can now install your hatch, drilling the relevant holes in order to secure the rim of the hatch to your boat. You may also want to use a sealant as well as the screws to help keep your hatch watertight.
Video: How To Install A Hatch On Your Kayak
Best Kayak Hatch Covers
The Ocean Kayak Gaspachi hatch comes with instructions and hardware and features a 10 by 18 inch rubber cover. It’s designed to fit some Ocean Kayak models.
This Hobie Twist and Seal Hatch features a rubber gasket and a twist and seal lid with a hinge so that it can stay attached to your kayak. The 8 inch hatch includes hardware.
The Wilderness Systems Kayak Konsole could be a good choice if you don’t want to do any drilling. It’s designed to fit in various kayak models by attaching to the cockpit. It features a built-in hinged hatch, mounting surfaces and cup holders.
This Hobie Rectangular Hatch features a twist seal closure and is designed for Hobie Outbacks. It comes with all the hardware you need for installation.
This Harmony 6.5 inch kayak hatch features a screw lid and comes with a bag insert for holding smaller items. It comes with hardware and requires a flat 8.5 inch surface.
Adding a kayak hatch can give you more space to store your gear and help you utilize the space below deck. It can also help to keep your belongings dry.
Remember to measure the area you have before you select a hatch and think about the type of closure that would suit you best.
Let us know how you get on with your installation and give this a share if you want to help out your buddies.