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dbjpb

Leaky front hatch and hatch liners

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Initially  when I purchased my kayak I decided to purchase a hatch liner. The plastic bucket cost more the 50 bucks. I have had them on a few different model

kayaks. On a calm day with little wind and small  waves they are great. They provide storage that I can easily access from the kayak. They provide a place to 

stow gear safely.  They prevent your gear from moving under your deck so that you easily  access your gear when you need it.  On a bad day

they can be very bad.  The hatch liner fills up with water quickly and all your gear becomes submerged. Also it makes your kayak unstable. I can't tell you

how many times I have dumped gallons of water out of my hatch liner. Also the below deck storage by the hatch is limited to the size of your hatch liner.

Even if I placed my gear in dry bag the extra water in the hatch made the kayak unstable. My solution was to remove the hatch liner. I permanently attached

some pool noodles inside the hull to prevent my gear from moving to far out of reach.  This way when the kayak starts taking on water it is spread out

over the entire length of the kayak. This helps keep gear drier and makes your kayak more stable.  It also increases the below deck storage by allowing you 

to put gear in a larger space. I also keep my smaller objects in a reusable shopping bag. This has two purposes. It makes it easy to retrieve small objects

from inside the hull. It also helps me carry gear back to the truck after fishing.  If you don't like crawling forward to access your front hatch you can put gear in a dry bag behind your seat in your tank well. You can tether the dry bag to your kayak to prevent losing it.  Most sit on top kayaks have hatch between your legs.  . If you open the hatch you can see how much water your kayak is taking on. It is always a good idea to do this if you notice that your kayak is sluggish  or less stable then normal. It also helps to  have a hand pump with you to remove the water that is in your hull. You can also try to improve the seal where your hatch liner is. I don't think you will  be able to make it water proof. However  you may be able to reduce the amount of water getting inside your kayak significantly. If you put too much  heavy gear in your front hatch it could decrease the way your kayak performs in the surf zone. The front of your kayak may dive under water when the rear of the kayak is lifted up by a wave. You can get around this by installing thigh straps and surfing the wave side ways while bracing.  Check out some viking kayak videos on you  tube for surfing your kayak.  They make it look easy. Keep in mind not all kayaks are made for the surf zone. 

 

 

Edited by dbjpb

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I secured them to the  inside of the hull with zip ties.  Does not have to be pool noodles. You could use a block of foam.  I had an old float bag from a white water kayak I may try and put that in the rear of the kayak for extra flotation in case I get a leak? 

 

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If you are just looking for a bulkhead to prevent things from sliding around and not flotation, I've seen people do some cool things with coroplast (plastic corrugated "cardboard)

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