Ring King wrote:
Ive read quite a bit about adding weather stripping to the front hatch to help with water intrusion. I would think the center hatch would need it too. Even with that I don't believe you could make it waterproof. Don't forget to add pool noodles to the inside of the hull to aid in floatation for if you do fill up with water. More bouyancy is always a good thing. Every little bit helps!!
When I bought my PA in 2009 there was much discussion about making the PA water tight. There was an incident where someone sank their PA because they said the fishing rod tubes filled with water when they tried a reentry from the bow, which later turned out to be a forward hatch not securely closed problem. Hobie chimed in and said it was very hard to create a water tight seal around a hatch as large as the PA' foward hatch. Before it was found to be a hatch issue though, some guys bought large scupper plugs, one guy posted pics of some kind of ball that he stuffed in each hole, and I just took the rod tubes out altogether and covered the openings with a piece of sheet metal aluminum (overkill)...But it did leave me with more forward hatch storage space and I never used the rod tubes anyway
After it was determined that the guys sinking problem wasn't because of rod tubes, and was a forward hatch issue, I installed weather stripping both to the underside of my PA front hatch lid, and on top of the hatch liner. This made the bungee hold down much tighter. Then to correct the issue with the middle hatch, I bought Hobie's special tool to remove the bungee screw, I shortened the bungee and then reinstalled everything to make the bungee hold down the hatch tighter. Last but not least, I went around the inside hull wherever I could reach and covered any screw or fitting that went through the hull with silicone sealer. That made my PA water tight. The only water that gets in now is from condensation, or when I have the PA in really bad conditions where waves are constantly rolling and breaking over the bow.