S and I have Prijon Marlin HTP blow-moulded sea kayaks. They are comfortable, well-finished kayaks, and all-round pretty good plastic boats. They have a convenient day hatch right in front of the cockpit: a 17cm diameter quick screw lid opens to a neoprene sock that hangs under the deck between the paddler’s legs. Super handy for stuff you want quick and easy access to, for example: snacks, emergency communication equipment, spray jacket/cagoule.
|Day hatch in front of cockpit.|
A year or two after we bought our Prijons, the day hatches started to occasionally leak. The hatch cover seals with a large O-ring, so we were frequently cleaning and lubing our O-rings hoping to stop the leaking. Over time it got worse and worse, until one day after a very calm paddle we returned to find our neoprene socks with large puddles of water in them. The only source of the water was the drips from our paddles.
Ridiculous. It was time to fix this. Dr. Google was no help at all. But I remembered Old Man Snoady (“The Wisdom” I call him when he is out of earshot - I wouldn’t want to overly inflate his ego) suggesting that maybe the water was getting in under the plastic fitting that holds the threads for the cover, and not, as I had assumed, under the cover and past the O-ring. I have long got used to OMS always being right, so after completely drying the hatch, I got out the hose and gave it a good solid spray. The results were unambiguous: nothing was getting past the O-ring, but water was clearly seeping in under the threaded “fitting”.
I pulled off the hatch cover and the bolted-on fitting with the threads. The top of the neoprene sock was well bonded to deck, but there was no gasket or sealing between the neoprene and the hatch cover fitting. Over time the neoprene had compressed under the pressure from the cover fitting, so that water could easily make egress into the neoprene sock, maybe even getting wicked in.
|Day hatch with the cover and threaded fitting removed.|
Out came the Sikaflex. I applied a liberal amount of Sikaflex where the threaded fitting bolts to the deck, gently tightened up the bolts, and let it cure for 24 hours. Then I fully tightened the bolts, re-attached the hatch cover and went Eskimo rolling. No leakage for the first time in years!
|Finished repair. I should of used black.|
A month and many paddles later, my hatch has not leaked once. Fantastic.