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Something Unexpected Occurred...
Customer Rating: 4.3 of 5
This was my second 12' Vapor hatch kit. The initial fit and quality
out of the box on this one was even worse than the first one
(which was bad). The hinge area was all distorted and needed
fixed. Luckily, these hatches respond well to heat, so you can use
a heat gun to very carefully mold it back into shape. I suspect
these have been sitting in a box in a hot warehouse at Old Town's
distribution center for probably 7 years when they were first made
in 2010. This is not ACK's fault in any way (I just want to make
that clear...they're just the seller)!
The fitment of the included hinges is pretty poor. It is a very how-
ya-going design. It took me a good 30 minutes before committing
to drill, just because they fit so wonky, I wasn't even sure if it
would work. The secret is to apply A LOT of downward pressure on
the rear of the hatch, which flattens out the hinge brackets. You
will need to have someone hold the front of the hatch to keep it
from popping back (or use a strap to hold it down, like I did). The
included rivets are absolutely junk. Do not use them! They do not
break cleanly. Lesson learned. I used some SEA-LECT Designs
rivets instead, which worked beautifully. Also be sure to use lots of
silicone around the hinge brackets, just because they're not the
The kit tells you to drill two holes and use the included 1/8''
bungee to secure the front of the hatch. I decided against this,
because why go through all the trouble of waterproofing your deck,
but then add holes that can't be waterproof? Also, I could tell that
1/8'' bungee wasn't going to offer a secure hold on the hatch.
Instead I used 1/4'' bungee and rigged up a deck bungee setup
with pad eyes in a design that would securely hold the hatch closed
(see photos). The middle pad eyes are open hook, so I can undo
the bungee to open the hatch. This is a very secure setup and also
provides a rear deck area to store things.
The hatches themselves are not very waterproof. More like "splash
proof". To help waterproof them, I added "M-D Building Products
1033 Rubber Auto & Marine Weather Stripping" around the rim of
the hatch to help seal them (see photo). This helped out
tremendously with getting a better seal. It's not water tight, but it
does a much better job of keeping things dry if you get really wet.
I also lined one hatch with "Reflectix Double Insulation" and
silicone, turning one hatch into a cooler (see photo). Both of these
products are available at your local big box hardware store.
Overall this kit is very disappointing, but it is our only option for 12'
Vapor kayaks...so we have to make do with it. I hear the 10'
Vapor version fits slightly better, probably due to its small size. It is
also $20 cheaper for some reason. If you look at Old Town's
website, they've moved away from this design hatch on newer 12'
Vapor models, understandably why.
Vapor hatch was easy to install and works great.
They ought to include it on original purchase of Old Towne kayaks.
Very quick delivery
great addition to our Vapors