DIY Scupper hatch covers

Made something extra cool or fixed something broken? Help a brother out!

DIY Scupper hatch covers

Postby greeney » July 11th, 2016, 11:03 am

Image

A few weeks ago I borrowed a friend's single-hatch scupper classic to go out diving. I ended up dropping the hatch cover in the water and was unable to recover it (and I got skunked :mad: ). I tried calling kayak dealers all over the US to find a replacement and they all responded the same after they stopped laughing: "You'll never find one. They have been out of production for over a decade and there are a thousand other people with the same problem.

With no other option, I knew I had to either buy a new kayak or make a replacement cover. My first thought was to mold one out of fiberglass. I borrowed a hatch from a friend and tried to make a fiberglass copy. It was a complete disaster. I spent a bunch of money on fiberglass and resin, made a huge mess, and ended up with a terrible part that only resembles a hatch cover if you squint. I vowed never to work with fiberglass again and moved on.

Image

My next thought was to make one out of polycarbonate (Lexan). That ended up working really well so here is a step-by-step guide to do it yourself.

You will need:

    Tools:
  • Scissors
  • Pen Torch
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Pen/marker
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver

    Materials:
  • Cardboard sheets
  • 18"x24" polycarbonate sheet
  • Silocone sealant
  • Trim-lok gasket
  • #10x32 machine screws, flat washers, neoprene washers, and nylon lock nuts
  • 1.5" webbing and buckles



First, cut out a cardboard outline that just fits over the hatch.

Image

Then draw a 2" border around that shape.

Image

Then score the inside oval and cut out some wedges so the cardboard will bend.

Image

Fold and tape it into shape and trim so it fits just right. This might take a few iterations to perfect, but it's worth it to spend some time getting your cardboard model just right.

Image

Now you have a perfect cardboard model of the hatch! Next, unfold it and trace the inside oval and the outline onto a piece of polycarbonate. I used a 18"x24" piece that cost about $20. Then cut along the lines with a jigsaw.

Image

You can cold bend lexan, but it is really difficult to do by hand. I used a pen-torch to slowly heat the bend lines and then bend the piece to match the cardboard model. If you heat too much or too quickly, the material bubbles and is a little unsightly.

Image

Next, peel off the protective film, seal the seams with silicone, and press on a trim-lok seal. I got a 25' roll of trim-lok from amazon for $35. I tried to heat weld the seams, but that didn't work very well so I went with silicone instead.

Image

Drill a hole and install the tether buckle and it's good to go!

Image

It worked so well that I made another one, cut out the rear hatch well, and turned the boat into a double-hatch model.

Image

Happy Scupping!

Image
User avatar
greeney
spearo
 
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2014

Re: DIY Scupper hatch covers

Postby chris oak » July 11th, 2016, 12:32 pm

That looks great! How impact resistant is it? I was going to suggest marine goop but I think that might react bad with the lexan, silicone is more forgiving and is water tight too. The only other thing might be sun damage and if that's the case you can always paint it.

What's the story on the seabass :)?
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4445
Joined: June 2013

Re: DIY Scupper hatch covers

Postby greeney » July 11th, 2016, 1:08 pm

chris oak wrote:That looks great! How impact resistant is it? I was going to suggest marine goop but I think that might react bad with the lexan, silicone is more forgiving and is water tight too. The only other thing might be sun damage and if that's the case you can always paint it.


Lexan is pretty bomb proof and these things are forgiving anyway. A small leak at the seams is no big deal and it's easy to reapply the silicone sealant. The original hatches certainly weren't airtight. It will probably scratch, but who cares? I was originally going to paint it, but the kayak owner liked the clear look. I would rough it up with sandpaper before painting, though.

chris oak wrote:What's the story on the seabass :)?


Oops. That was some lazy cropping. ;)
User avatar
greeney
spearo
 
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2014

Re: DIY Scupper hatch covers

Postby BeauG » July 11th, 2016, 8:58 pm

I can attest that those hatches are solid replacements. They feel pretty sturdy and look like they belong on the yak.

I can also verify that the fiberglass model was an enormous turd. :rofl:
Bakersfield Freedivers
User avatar
BeauG
spearo
 
Posts: 433
Joined: May 2014
Location: Santa Barbara


Return to DIY's: Do it yourself

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

  • Supported by