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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:50 am 
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I plan to start salt water kayak fishing this spring in central New Jersey....Striped Bass, Bluefish, Fluke etc.

I am currently doing initial research on kayaks....my budget is $2500. On paper the Outback looks good for me.....though I plan to test drive several models.

Does anyone know if the Outback front hatch leak issue has been resolved on new models?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:30 am 
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Consider my remarks as uninformed as I am just starting into this Hobie kayak world myself as part of my personal backpacking expansion program. I have done my research, purchased my boat (2018 Rev13), car rack, storage rack, PFD, etc, etc, etc. My research indicated that the front hatch on the Rev is also prone to leaking. Apparently caused by over-tightening the hatch cover, causing it to warp. I don't know, but at any rate it seems like it would be difficult to prevent water from seeping in completely. So my plan is to use the hatch liner (already purchased) and make sure it is sealed to the opening using sufficient gasket material (like foam weather stripping or similar) that is thicker and soft. This should keep the interior a little dryer, at least that is my theory at this point. For me, I don't foresee the need to stow items inside as I would prefer stow my gear behind the seat in water proof bags.

Just my zero experience thoughts on the same issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:05 am 
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Having experience with all kinds of of watertight hatches in a wide variety of water craft, I've concluded this: watertight hatches aren't.

They all leak to some extent. Some worse than others. The front hatches on both my TI and Mirage Oasis will leak if you get green water over them. And given their design, it's probably inevitable.The black Hobie screw hatches in the decks leak a little bit too.

There's always a little bit of water in the bilges of my boats if I've gone out in any wind and waves. And that's been the case for all my other 4 kayaks and several sailboats. If you have anything that absolutely must stay dry, then put in the best drybag or waterproof box you can afford. And even then, stuff will get wet.

If I'm doing stuff in my boats where I'm going to be offshore, I carry a bilge pump in case a little too much leaks in. Otherwise I don't stress too much about moisture. I'm in a kayak after all and some water is to be expected.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:53 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. My concern is the boat will take on water if capsized before I can right it and re-board.

I've seen videos with instructions of how to grind down the Outback hatch to fix the issue on older models. It's an easy fix, but I'd be reluctant to do it on a new boat because of warranty implications.

I agree on the bilge pump....that's a don't leave home without it item as far as I'm concerned.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:48 am 
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On new models you don't have to grind down hatch, the hatch has been rechaped.

Anyway it still leak, not only on water. If you let the kayak outside on a hard rainy day, you'll see water inside...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:59 am 
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Location: Houston, Texas
frede wrote:
Thanks for the responses. My concern is the boat will take on water if capsized before I can right it and re-board.

I've seen videos with instructions of how to grind down the Outback hatch to fix the issue on older models. It's an easy fix, but I'd be reluctant to do it on a new boat because of warranty implications.

I agree on the bilge pump....that's a don't leave home without it item as far as I'm concerned.


If you have your front hatch bungee'd in place - you should not have to worry about getting too much water through your front hatch - even if you capsize. Some water may get in but not enough to matter. Just make sure to secure the front hatch each and every time.

And as stated earlier => always carry a bilge pump.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:14 pm 
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I get about a gallon of water in the kayak on most trips i take (several hours on the water). i always thought i had a slow leak somewhere until i left the kayak out during a rainstorm.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:42 pm 
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sebby wrote:
I get about a gallon of water in the kayak on most trips i take (several hours on the water). i always thought i had a slow leak somewhere until i left the kayak out during a rainstorm.


Q.E.D.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
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Location: Auckland NZ
My experience is as follows

My AI hull is now very watertight - I get minimal water in it despite green water over the bows and very little from (rain/sea)water over the screw-down hatches - but I have spent quite a bit of time reseating the screw-down hatches with marine sealant and I replaced the front hatch's sealing strip with one that stands slightly higher (I think Hobie is now using something very similar on its new boats).

However - I have had trouble in the past correcting 'excessive water in the hull problems'. The main culprits in my experience are the black screw-down hatches if these are not installed into a properly flat area of deck - a slight bend in them seems to substantially reduce the effectiveness of the gasket - but it might also be due to the fact that none of the ones I have taken apart have been sealed with any sort of marine sealant - a simple rubber gasket was all I ever found (though Hobie may have changes its approach on the more recent boats).

That said I have recently acquired a used Revo 13 and this does seem to let in quite a lot of water and I suspect the front ('toilet lid') hatch - it does seem to take a lot more water over the bows than the AI hull (aka Revo 16) that I have. I have replaced the sealing strip but this hasn't made much difference and I am now thinking about a mating strip on the underside of the hatch lid as well. I thought about using the Hatch Liner but as far as I can tell any water that finds its way under the hatch lid will probably get into the hatch liner and soak anything stowed there - I would be really interested if anyone can advise on their experience of the watertightness of the hatch liner on the Revo 13.

I also haven't yet reseated the hatches which I will do in due course - having immersed and thus wrecked a mobile phone that I stowed in a Hobie tackle bucket whose lid came off under the centre hatch I can vouch for the fact that on my Revo 13 the centre hatch does let in quite a lot of water... and there is the rear hatch too.

Personally I carry a car sponge in my boats - I have had one experience where a hull crack allowed a considerable amount of water into the hull (it was about half full when I noticed) the sponge enabled me to get enough water out of the hull to be able to get back to shore safely (and Hobie replaced the hull - all credit to them!).

Finally, having had a reasonable number of opportunities to test the theory in practise I can say that in my experience even if you capsize and take a while to right your boat you should not get too much water in it to cause a problem... you could borrow a boat and test this for yourself before pourchasing if you wanted to be 100% satisfied on that score.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Auckland NZ
My experience is as follows

My AI hull is now very watertight - I get minimal water in it despite green water over the bows and very little from (rain/sea)water over the screw-down hatches - but I have spent quite a bit of time reseating the screw-down hatches with marine sealant and I replaced the front hatch's sealing strip with one that stands slightly higher (I think Hobie is now using something very similar on its new boats).

However - I have had trouble in the past correcting 'excessive water in the hull problems'. The main culprits in my experience are the black screw-down hatches if these are not installed into a properly flat area of deck - a slight bend in them seems to substantially reduce the effectiveness of the gasket - but it might also be due to the fact that none of the ones I have taken apart have been sealed with any sort of marine sealant - a simple rubber gasket was all I ever found (though Hobie may have changes its approach on the more recent boats).

That said I have recently acquired a used Revo 13 and this does seem to let in quite a lot of water and I suspect the front ('toilet lid') hatch - it does seem to take a lot more water over the bows than the AI hull (aka Revo 16) that I have. I have replaced the sealing strip but this hasn't made much difference and I am now thinking about a mating strip on the underside of the hatch lid as well. I thought about using the Hatch Liner but as far as I can tell any water that finds its way under the hatch lid will probably get into the hatch liner and soak anything stowed there - I would be really interested if anyone can advise on their experience of the watertightness of the hatch liner on the Revo 13.

I also haven't yet reseated the hatches which I will do in due course - having immersed and thus wrecked a mobile phone that I stowed in a Hobie tackle bucket whose lid came off under the centre hatch I can vouch for the fact that on my Revo 13 the centre hatch does let in quite a lot of water... and there is the rear hatch too.

Personally I carry a car sponge in my boats - I have had one experience where a hull crack allowed a considerable amount of water into the hull (it was about half full when I noticed) the sponge enabled me to get enough water out of the hull to be able to get back to shore safely (and Hobie replaced the hull - all credit to them!).

Finally, having had a reasonable number of opportunities to test the theory in practise I can say that in my experience even if you capsize and take a while to right your boat you should not get too much water in it to cause a problem... you could borrow a boat and test this for yourself before pourchasing if you wanted to be 100% satisfied on that score.


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