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    This project outlines the development cycle of a premium over-molded kayak hatch for the high-end Liquid Logic and Native Kayak brands. The mater… Read More
    This project outlines the development cycle of a premium over-molded kayak hatch for the high-end Liquid Logic and Native Kayak brands. The materials I selected are proprietary but I can tell you its a plastic center section "core" and a rubber rim. This hatch can be found on select Liquid Logic Kayaks and Native Kayaks. Enjoy! Read Less
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INTRODUCTION
This project outlines the development cycle of a premium overmolded kayak hatch for the high-end Liquid Logic and Native Watercraft brands. The materials I selected are proprietery but I can tell you its a plastic center section "core" and a rubber rim. 100% Made in the USA!
You'll notice there are no prototypes. This is becasue the tooling is so expensive. In other words, I only had one shot to get it right!
As of 07/15/2013, this hatch can be found on select Liquid Logic Kayaks and Native Watercraft Kayaks. Enjoy!
INSPIRATION
A comprehensive review of the competition as well as the existing hatches that would be replaced.
TESTING THE CURRENT PRODUCT
I was fortunate enough in this project to have the opportunity to test the hatch my design would be replacing on a 12 day self-support kayak trip down the Grand Canyon in the winter of 2013. 
I was the second person to pilot this (Liquid Logic Stinger XP) prototype boat and the first to pilot it down the Grand Canyon. What an honor!
Great people on a great trip!
CONFIGURATION REVIEW
Simple line sketches over hard copies of model to determine final design. The hour glass shape is now the brand signature for all accessories which can be seen in my other projects.
MODELING THE PART
Modeling hatch in Solidworks. Careful attention was given to the potential of flash. 
TOOLING
Here is a glimps of the EDM electrodes, mold base and over-mold core.
This is a video of a large EDM electrode doing the finishing pass on the core of the hatch. I've seen this a million times and I still think this is really cool!
This is a video of a large EDM electrode doing the finishing pass on the core of the hatch. I've seen this a million times and I still think this is really cool!
Material for hatch core with black color pellets added. What's so neat about this is that this material mixture will create a solid BLACK part.
Here we're testing the clamping characteristics of the over-mold tool against the hatch core for the first time. Notice the large rectangle in the textured portion of the hatch. This should not happen. The tool was tweaked and now it over-molds perfectly with no witness line(s).
PRODUCTION 
First production hatches!
MODIFYING EXISTING BOAT MOLDS
One boat was designed in parallel to take this hatch, others would receive this hatch as a replacement/upgrade but some required huge amounts of cutting and welding to add a mounting rim.
Retrofitting of the new hatch rim to existing cast aluminum molds was done by our mold shop.
Welding and retrofitting was done in our mold shop by two super fun people. 
Look for the pink camo boat in one of the images below. It is the result of all the giggling (and behind the scenes welding) you see here. 
Thanks Hollis! Thanks Beau!
INSTALLED HATCHES
Hatch mounted on the much anticipated Liquid Logic Stinger XP which was designed in parallel with this hatch project. The straps are for external carrying capacity for things like fire wood in places like the Grand Canyon where stops for wood are often times a necessity.
Yet another of our premium kayaks. This one was retrofitted with the new hatch rim and this is one of the first out of the mold. 
THE FUTURE
...A little something to keep you curious... Floated-on graphics are AWESOME! 
SPECIAL THANKS GOES TO:
Shane Benedict, Sam Spear, Bryon Phillips, Hollis Reinlander, Beau Youngblood, Wes Cobb, The Smithson Family, James, Joe, and the rest of this stellar team.
Thanks to the whole Legacy Paddlesports team for letting me take control and push the limits on this hatch! You're all awesome!
Finally, thanks to my wife and kids for putting up with the long hours; I love you!