In preparation for our Grand Canyon trip, we were a bit curious how watertight the rear hatch would be on the Jackson, Wavesport, or Liquidlogic boats. But for any of the boats a very simple aftermarket strap will assure the hatch stays in place in harder water. Virtually all sea kayaks come with this standard! I guess whitewater boaters are not whiners. Just kidding! Another aftermarket tip: buy some 1/4 inch weatherstriping at home depot, and use it around the hatch base to provide a more watertight seal. The Jackson and Wavesport boats don’t work with weatherstripping quite as well, so I would recommend taking along a bike inner tube for extra security. A standard road tube works pretty perfectly (wrapped twice).
And while I am equipment venting, all 3 companies have opted for ultra-massive cockpits. Fine, but “comeon man”. Someday we will meet a cockpit size that is ridiculously too big. Not only is it a pain to get some of these skirts on, but you need to be ultra careful in matching the skirt to the boat. And I hope I don’t have to swim with one of these skirts providing an anchor!
We did have one skirt blow in Lava falls. Rather than be ripped out of his boat, Dave rolled and nursed the swamped boat to shore. He assures us it was on properly. We had taken along some bike inner tubes as skirt backup, but we only had that one incident. So we used the inner tubes on the Jackson Hatches