Kayaking Technique Forum

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Day hatches: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

I'm starting to look forward to a couple of winter projects...a new kayak, and retrofitting my existing stripper with a lower coaming to make layback rolls easier.

I've toyed with the notion of day hatches in both of them. What are everyone's thoughts?

With a day hatch, I can have all of my emergency gear or lunch accessible without taking up cockpit room. I also plan to put the cockpit bulkhead immediately behind the seat for easy draining in T-rescues, and I'll probably also slant that bulkhead to further limit cockpit volume.

Now, I generally use that area immediately behind the aft bulkhead for a folding cooler, where I carry 2 gallon milk jugs, which I freeze full of ice, so I can have cold and fresh water even 3 days into a trip. I know, spoiled, ain't I? I will be giving up that "cooler room", but I'm thinking the benefits would be worth it.