Retrofit hatch on a skin on frame kayak

Ok ok. I know it’s not very stylish and a deviation far from the East Greenland kayak originals, but I am not comfortable with the cheapo Polyurethane on this otherwise wonderful kayak’s skin. I sawed off and lowered the Isserfiq, then installed a nylon/PU bulk head, sealed it up and now it’s time for a steam bent hatch rim made out of Oak. I will cut the skin open, sew it back onto the hatch and then seal it all with PU.

Why do I do this? Since I have decided to reskin it I might as well do a little experimenting first and see if you can get away with retrofitting several details on a kayak and still keep the integrity of the hull.

On another kayak I installed hatches from the get-go and they work very well. Even after a rolling session, most of the water in the kayak is from sprayskirt or Tuiliq leakage and not via the hatches. This must be one of the most beautiful kayak forms I’ve seen and it sure hurts to gut it open and destroy the lines.

Why hatches and bulkheads on a skin on frame kayak?

Well…umm, I like sleeping outside and like to be able to pack at least some gear in all my kayaks. This one is quite low and hard to get gear into, even more so since I lowered the Isserfik (deckbeam behind the coaming). I probably won’t bother installing a bulkhead in the front. Just want to know if it can be done in a minimalistic way, without adding too much work or weight. Next time, should I decide I need them, I will sew on bulkheads and hatches while I am skinning the whole kayak.

So now the actual cutting of the hole. Scary.

Tried to install my camera inside the frame today to check for leakage. Battery power 1%... maybe next time I’ll have a vid showing something interesting.

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