One of the things you need to decide along the way of building this boat is how and where to access the storage areas. After much thought and deliberation, I decided my hatches needed to do the following:
- First and foremost is convenient access. What, not waterproofness? That’s correct. I place the convenience factor as numero uno.
- Hinged as opposed to pop-off style. I don’t want to remove a door and place it somewhere before reaching into the hatch, so a hinge is important to me.
- Proud fit not flush. I want my hatches to sit on-top of, not down into the storage areas. My simple reasoning for this is to better prevent water intrusion. If the hatch sits proud of the hull, water needs to get up over the lip before it can drop down into the storage area. This may not be a benefit in a capsize, but may prove beneficial in an afternoon rain shower.
- Simple and easy to install. I’m a simple dude.
But doesn’t this style of hatch leak? Probably yes, but I’ve heard and read that all hatches leak. I figure, if I take on a little water, so be it. I’m hoping not to be in a capsize situation very often. If I am overly concerned about this, I can always pack my gear in waterproof river bags. I have a ton of those laying around because I also kayak and whitewater raft.
The hatches I choose were all purchase from Duckworks Magazine. They appear solid, simple and practical. The hinge is stainless and the overall appearance is one of quality.
This is just one way to skin this cat. Many others have utilized other methods and are very happy with their systems.
I’m still trying to decide what hatch to use on the seats. My concern is that the raised flange of this hatch may not be comfortable to sit on. So, I’m still undecided about seat hatches. Always more to think about.