Fixing Leaking Hatches
I used the kayak for a season but I have not taken it out much in waves. The hatches don't seal very well and water gradually comes in as waves wash over the boat. Even with the straps tightly closed enough water would seep in to make it impossible to use in anything but calm water.
The previous owner had tried to deal with this by using lots of foam strips but they were coming apart and did not work very well.
I'm working in the shop building the SCAMP sailboat and brought in the kayak to have a look and hopefully fix the leaking hatches for the new season.
When I looked at the bottom of the hatch I realized that the frame had come apart. This would cause the hatch to lose it's shape
It took a bit of time to clean up the sticky foam strips and left over glue. I then used epoxy to re-glue the hatches to their frames.
Much to my surprise the repair warped the hatch even more. This was obviously a flaw in the construction that had actually caused the hatches to come apart rather than the coming apart of the hatches causing the warp.
I tried to force the hatch down but it took a lot of pull and would not work.
I decided to make a series of cuts on the frame and try and epoxy the hatch in the proper shape. If I put a bead of epoxy in the cuts, then close the hatches in the proper shape I might not have to redo the frames.
I tried putting the hatches down without any glue to check if the shape could be improved and found that the hatch went on nicely and could be sealed without too much trouble with the straps. Adding some wooden wedges would clamp the hatch in better while the epoxy set.
email me: Christine