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There are many features and options that the designer can choose to include or omit with the overall decision being dependent on the end benefit or performance that he/she would like the boat to have or do.
The different features to consider when looking to purchase a canoe, kayak, sea kayak or sit-on-top can be found under each heading.
FEATURES EXPLAINED - HATCHES
Hatches allow you to access storage compartments within your kayak, where you can take food, drink and sunscreen for a day trip, or tent, sleeping bag and clothing for over-night expeditions.
Whilst some storage areas can be quite dry, none are absolutely guaranteed to be water tight. It is strongly recommended that you put your belongings into dry bags, firstly to keep them dry and secondly to prevent your things spreading out inside your kayak.
There are a number of different types of hatches which offer different results. The types of hatches include:
Read on below to find out more about the different types of hatches.
Rubber Push-on Hatches
Australis use all rubber "push-on" hatches, as we have found that they are more practical and user friendly than the alternatives.
Australis use "push-on" hatches because:
Australis "push-on" hatches give a great seal because:
In our trials, we have found that a 100kg person can stand with one foot in the centre of our oval rubber hatch (used on the sea kayaks), and the hatch will remain firmly attached!
Some designers choose not to use push-on hatches because they think that they will "pop-off" under the pressure of a wave coming onto the top deck of the kayak.
This has been true of some the hatches on boats made by our competitors because:
Hard Covers over Neoprene
The most commonly used hatch is a hard cover over neoprene.
The neoprene skin is the actual "seal",whilst the hard cover is needed to stop the waves pushing the neoprene cover into the hull when in rough conditions.
Australis do not use hard covers secured with buckles over neoprene because:
•Neoprene covers can be quite difficult to fit to the profile, especially for people with limited strength or with arthritic conditions.
The first plastic sea kayak that we made, the "Trilogy", had hard covers over neoprene, and we found that water would get in under the hard cover and then seep through the neoprene into the storage area.
As a result of this experience, all Australis hatches are now rubber "push-on".
Australis do not use "screw" hatches because:
"Screw" hatches are usually used by people who want a hatch that is cheap and easy to install.
Hatches with Quarter Turn Locks
Australis do not use "hatches with quarter turn locks" because:
An advantage of this type of hatch is that they can be quite large and allow you to put large objects into your storage areas, and because they are made of a hard material are very strong when waves crash onto the kayak deck.