Section 17 - Center Hatch




All or part of the XT center hatch is at or below the water line, depending on the weight of the occupant alone and/or coupled with the weight of the dive gear.

The XT hatch is not watertight and will allow water to leak into the interior of the kayak if below the waterline. The amount of leakage depends on the fit of the 8" Gaspachi hatch cover, the amount of time it is below the waterline, and how long you are out on the water.

Many of the current Ocean Kayak models have a factory installed or optional center hatch, depending on the model. The factory installed ones are the screw-on plastic type and that hatch is a molded separate compartment and will not flood the hull should it leak.

The "Scrambler" model has two optional round hatches that utilize a rubber-like 8" Gaspachi hatch. These hatches open to the hull interior and will flood the hull if they leak.

The "Scrambler XL" model has a factory installed center hatch that is a separate compartment and will not flood the hull should it leak.

If the XT hatch cover should come off when it is at or below the waterline the kayak will instantly fill with water, as happened to me. My kayak did not completely sink but had so much water in it that it was impossible to paddle. Fortunately, I was with two other kayak divers and we were able to straddle my kayak across theirs in order to drain it. Had I been alone 3/4 of a mile off-shore, no doubt I would have entertained thoughts of being shark bait while waiting for assistance.

If you already have a center hatch installed on your Scrambler XT, I strongly suggest you cut the tether off the cover and permanently seal it in place with Marine Goop or the equivalent. If you haven't installed a center hatch, then by all means don't.