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blackdogfish

Cutting a new hatch into fiberglass kayak?

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I've got an old WS Tarpon 120 fiberglass kayak.  Fore and aft hatches are very small- 6" diameter, with little bags below.  (see pic) I guess they envisioned someone would put a banana or glasses in there???  And there'a lot of space under the deck where items could be stowed.   The hull is molded around the hatch- meaning there is a recessed molded area where the hatch installs.

I'm wondering if I could get a hatch assembly from another kayak, cut the deck and install it.  (See green dashed line in pic.)

I know that the top deck has a cross-curvature and the new hatch would have to conform to that.

Any experts have advice here?

Deck-Plate-with-fat-bag_grande.jpeg

Inked20190516_084815 (002)_LI.jpg

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Not an expert but I had that exact key hatch on an old WS Paradise yak. It’s too small, hard to open, and the fine threads go bad easily. A square or rectangler hatch from West marine or similar should be doable. The only issue I see is the curvature for a tight seal with a larger hatch,  and the proximity to the vertical wall of the foot wells. That’s a unique rare yak, plan well so you don’t open the can! :worms:

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The kayak has some value now. Why not just sell it and get a different kayak that will accept a bigger hatch. Otherwise you may end up taking a trip to the recycling center. It does not look like you will be able to add a bigger hatch to the

kayak in this picture. The area in your picture does not appear to be flat.

 

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Seems too risky in terms of creating a water-tight setup in that exposed area. I'd put some pad eyes with bungee cords and use a deck bag for storage.

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Take a straight edge and see if the area you want to cut is flat

 

if round hole, make a template out of 1/8” hard board and use that with your router or dremel 

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1 hour ago, tj7501 said:

Seems too risky in terms of creating a water-tight setup in that exposed area. I'd put some pad eyes with bungee cords and use a deck bag for storage.

My thoughts exactly :th: 

 

 

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Question of what COULD you do versus what SHOULD you do. You COULD make a line like that which mimics the hatch combing from a different boat, then build a combing that size (you'd have to epoxy in some attachment points underneath first) kind of like how they build cockpit combings on wood yaks. Then once secured you could use the other hatch. The problem is you'd glass the joint between the combing and the deck, and without being able to get below to work I don't think you could get it to be strong enough or watertight. Two of my boats have those, they're for waterproof boxes for phones and keys, that's about it. Maybe a little bong or something (only kidding...)

 

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16 hours ago, stormy monday said:

Question of what COULD you do versus what SHOULD you do. You COULD make a line like that which mimics the hatch combing from a different boat, then build a combing that size (you'd have to epoxy in some attachment points underneath first) kind of like how they build cockpit combings on wood yaks. Then once secured you could use the other hatch. The problem is you'd glass the joint between the combing and the deck, and without being able to get below to work I don't think you could get it to be strong enough or watertight. Two of my boats have those, they're for waterproof boxes for phones and keys, that's about it. Maybe a little bong or something (only kidding...)

 

That's the problem, I can't get my bong in there.

 

 

 

kidding

 

Yeah, I understand what you're saying.

I'm realizing it's not worth it.  I paid $300 for the boat.  I'm doing $100 (materials) of gelcoat repair on it and adding probably $75 of rails to it.  It's getting to the point where it would be more cost-effective to just get a good used modern Tarpon 120. What this boat has going for it is that it is LIGHT.  12 foot.  Somewhere around 40 pounds!

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