Section 16 - Front Hatch
The XL and XT's interior is open front to back. If you elect to install a front hatch you will need to install a bulkhead to prevent smaller items from drifting past the front hatch area. I used a section of a foam swim noodle to wedge inside. If you do not install a front hatch you will need a mesh type gear bag, or one that drains easily, to place up front on deck to hold your gear. I don't recommend that. Keep in mind this hatch is a large opening and can easily take on water if left open in rough seas.
The hatch cover tethers to one of the extra eyelets on the XT that I talked about in the "Kayak Modifications" section. The XL cover will tether to a factory eyelet that the bungee cord is on. I suggest removing the XL bungee cord and replacing it with a strap. I also attached a stainless steel removable link to the eyelet to make it easier to connect the hatch cover clip. The link stays on permanently. I used Marine Goop when installing the XT eyelet. The front hatch holds all my dive gear (except weights/weight belt) and miscellaneous items as well as the battery for the fish finder. I use a spray silicone on the inside lip of the hatch cover from time to time so it remains easy to get on and off.