VCP hatches

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

VCP hatches

Post by Zoe Newsam » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:07 pm

Despite waxing lyrical (well, almost) about my Valley Argonaut at every opportunity, there's one thing I hate about it: the hatch covers. 2 nice big oval hatches- fantastic. I can practically fit the kitchen sink through the hole. But can I get the double seal on? Can I heck. All kinds of tools have been employed to assist: keys, paddle blades, multitools, paddling partners stronger-than-mine fingers, vaseline to lubricate, and after much effort I get there eventually, but with something of a struggle.

Does anyone have a solution to this problem, or do I need to go & buy a set of Kajaksport hatch covers instead?

Any advice greatly appreciated!
Zoe :0)

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: VCP hatches

Post by Mark R » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:11 pm

zoenewsam wrote:But can I get the double seal on?
Is this the metal band with a foldover clip which mine have?

If so, I've never managed to do them up yet.

Hope this helps.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

VCP hatches

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:19 pm

Hi Zoe, I know exactly what you mean, I discovered this recently when I was testing Point 65 boats with P&H and Valley boats for Paddles. I broke several fingernails on the Jubilee oval VCP front hatch. You should do as my friend Mair does and paddle with someone like Billy. He gives it a very hefty whack with a paddle blade, just in the right place. Several of my friends paddle Valley boats and they all have the same problem, but Billy is the only person I have seen who can get them on so quickly!
Douglas :o)

PS not even silicone spray helps VCP

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:20 pm

No, mine don't have a metal band. Once you've popped the cover onto the rim, you have to squish the bottom lip into the track around the cover- recessed into the deck. Does that make any sense at all? Basically, there's too much rubber cover to fit into the footprint on the deck. Result- extremely sore fingertips.

Zoe

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Violence!

Post by Zoe Newsam » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:24 pm

Looks like he's about to be beaten with a paddle in 'just the right place'! I suppose it's comforting to know I'm not being weak & feeble, but how to solve the problem???

Anyone know of a Kajaksport dealer in the UK?

Zoe ;0)

User avatar
ChrisS
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Post by ChrisS » Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:21 am

I don't know if this suggestion will help in this case, probably not, but I've found that oval hatch covers need to be precisely aligned with the rims. It might help to put some marks on the cover and hull and line them up.

Dave Thomas
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:36 pm

Post by Dave Thomas » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:23 am

I may be wrong, but I would doubt that that a Kajaksport hatch would fit a VCP rim and vice versa. Even if they are the same size, I imagine the profiles of the rims would probably differ.

But if anyone knows better .........!

Dave Thomas

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:57 pm

They are different. One wont fit the other - Valley hatches are narrower.

I know exactly what Zoe means - it might be worth removing a little of the excess material from the hatch cover so that it can fit the recess a little better - its a case of either too much lower hatch rim or not enough width in the recess isn't it??

Kayaksport hatches are much easier to fit and remove - that said, both of the P&H boats I have that are fitted with oval (rear) hatches leak, albeit slightly. One boat has even been back to P&H to have the rim re-seated, to some effect but not a total cure.

Mike.

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Flippin' hatches!...

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:41 pm

Mmmm. Maybe I'll have to take a sharp knife to one side of the hatch covers- VERY carefully! Glad to hear it's not just me.

Does anyone from Valley read this forum? You'd think they'd have fixed it by now. That said, when they're sealed there is definitely no water even thinking about getting in!

Zoe

User avatar
capsized8
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:57 pm
Location: north wales

Hatch Covers

Post by capsized8 » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:07 pm

I have 3 Valley boats parked at home and have a tightness problem with the newest hatch covers (7 months). These came with my daughters Avocet. My Jubilee gave me no problems until the hatch covers got shuffled.
I carry out work for Valley on rims, these have not changed. However, I do believe that a new tool was made for the rubber covers within the last 12 months or so. The old tool was getting tired! The new covers as a consequence are much tighter and slightly larger on outside dimensions.

With the tight covers, I find that supporting the boat between my legs with my back to the toggle. Then, placing the cover on the rim edge nearest to me, I push the hatch cover down and away at the same time, working my hands to the far end of the cover creeping the cover down onto the rim. As for getting the edge to seat, I usually use the plastic handle of my knife or similar rounded object to push it in.

Getting them off - well thats something else!!

They do stay dry though. ;0)
peace and good padlin.

Jonathan.
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:04 pm
Location: Cambs

Valley hatches

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:00 pm

Zoe, why not tallk with Robin at Valley? In my experience customer care is superb.

When he sold me my boat Robin sort of mentioned that Valley owners get looked after for life. I wan't sure he really meant it, but when I had a problem he was as good as his word, fixing it immediately, even though my Aquila was a demo boat and I hadn't even bought it new.

The hatches, by the way, could hardly be easier to get on and off. The only thing I wonder is how long they'll last - sooner or later I imagine they'll get degraded by sunlight. Anyone know the likely life expectancy?

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Valley customer care

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:58 pm

Jonathan - Do you have contact info for Robin at Valley? I've only ever been through Dave Felton at Knoydart, and his customer service is, shall we say, somewhat lacking. I swore never to go back to them after I bought my boat. I have been told before though that Robin is much better. I might try him. Failing that, shaving some rubber off with a very sharp knife seems to be the best idea yet...

Capsized8 - I have no problems getting the hatches on, it's the double seal that's a problem. I've tried using an 'implement' & working it round, and I still struggle with the last 6 inches. Any ideas?

Jonathan.
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:04 pm
Location: Cambs

Here you go.....

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:17 pm

Valley Canoe Products: 0115 961 4995. Ask for Robin.

VCP is on the outskirts of Nottingham.
Last edited by Jonathan. on Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England

Ageing of VCP lids

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:17 pm

Jonathan wrote:
The only thing I wonder is how long they'll last - sooner or later I imagine they'll get degraded by sunlight. Anyone know the likely life expectancy?
About eight to 10 years in my experience. They start to crack on the surface, and then a year or so later loose all their toughness and crack right through.

I don't think it's sunlight that does it, as mine get worse even when in a dark shed.

Chris
Last edited by Chris Bolton on Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan.
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:04 pm
Location: Cambs

Rubber hatches

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:30 pm

Thanks Chris.

How do you store your hatches to make them last as long as possible? I had always thought bicycle tyres are more long-lifed if they can be kept in the dark for a while before they're used.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: VCP hatches

Post by Jim » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:16 pm

guidebook wrote:
zoenewsam wrote:But can I get the double seal on?
Is this the metal band with a foldover clip which mine have?

If so, I've never managed to do them up yet.

Hope this helps.
These are only on the circular hatches Mark. The trick is (and I only discovered this whilst paddling with the Bolton CC guys a couple of years back) that the band is not self locking. What you need is hatches that are recessed, so there is a step up around one or 2 sides at least as high as the top of the hatch. Rotate the band so that when you close the clip up tensioning the band, it slips down between the step and the hatch and is magically prevented from opening itself. It takes a bit of practice to find the right spot, not enough into the step and they don't stay closed very well, too far and they are a real pain to undo (the clue is that it's also difficult to do them up in this situation). It is a worthwhile exercise, my hatches don't leak at all with the bands on - need to stop the water migrating through the bulkheads from the cockpit though.

JIM

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:23 pm

Thanks Jonathan, I'll try calling VCP tomorrow & post on here as to how I get on.

Zoe

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Success!

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:26 pm

Well, I spoke to a chap at Valley this morning called Jason. Apparently Robin is about to retire & Jason is taking over from him. He was at Valley several years ago but then migrated to Pyrhana /P&H, and has come back. He'll be at several of the symposiums this summer too.

He was very helpful & suggested either the sharp knife idea, or using an electric sander. I used a sharp stanley knife round the rim of my front hatch to shave about 1mm off the edge. I then used the sander to chamfer the edge, and this now fits beautifully. The back hatch is tighter, so I took off the same with a knife as the front hatch and sanded and rounded a little more, and that, although it's still harder to get on than the front hatch, is now do-able too.

Zoe

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:13 pm

Hafords do a product called Rubber & Nylon Lublicant - aerosol can. I've just used it on the Kayak Sport hatches and it certainly makes getting them on and off somewhat easier, not that they were especailly difficult to deal with in the first place!

Whether the rear hatch now seals better is something I shall report on in due course.

Regs - Mike.

Craig Addison
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2002 5:17 pm
Location: Wimborne, Dorset

Re: Success!

Post by Craig Addison » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:40 pm

zoenewsam wrote:Well, I spoke to a chap at Valley this morning called Jason. Apparently Robin is about to retire & Jason is taking over from him. He was at Valley several years ago but then migrated to Pyrhana /P&H, and has come back. He'll be at several of the symposiums this summer too.

Zoe
That'll be Mr Buxton then, He's being joined by another well known chap from the Pyrhana P&H stable, lets hope they sort some of their suppliers out who aren't doing them any favours, it will also be good to see them at symposia again.

Craig.

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Valley wising up?

Post by Zoe Newsam » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:03 am

Craig Addison wrote:
lets hope they sort some of their suppliers out who aren't doing them any favours
;0) Think a lot of us know exactly who you mean! I spoke to Jason about that. We'll wait & see I guess!

Zoe

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:42 am

JUst to update on the effects of using the rubber/nylon lubricant - it's certainly helped make the covers a lot easier to remove and replace. I guess this would help the seal as well.

Use of a hosepipe around the skeg box also revealed a tiny gap between the glass fillet round the skeg cable where it enters the skeg box and the cable - some expoxy sorted that.

It was'nt obvious - unlike the boat I came acrss last year where the outer cable cover had come away from the box totally - that particualr boat was taking in two to three big sponge fulls of water each day!

The compartment still isnt totally waterproof tho - maybe the pressure decrease caused by the air inside contracting in the cold sea water is sucking water from the hatch recess past the seal? Time to remove the tape currently sealing the breather holes "fitted" to P&H bulkheads and see what happens.

Mike.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:29 pm

Just updating this - the cause turned out to be a pinhole in the skeg box!

I've also recently had a leak to the front hatch which turned out to be a crack in the epoxy fill right at the front, through which the hole for the bow toggle line is drilled.

I now have a dry boat tho!!

Mike.

Post Reply