-- Last Updated: Oct-20-12 9:24 AM EST --
If the replacements don't fix the issue, I can think of several ways to secure them. Luckily, plastic is easy to drill and good hardware stores sell stainless steel hardware and rubber-lined washers, much like what you probably have on the foot braces and the seat. With a length or two of webbing and plastic clamps for the ends in the center (also sold in these stores) you ocould fashion a strap for the hatch covers that keeps them secured down and is easy to unclamp for use. Should not be more than $10-$15 in materials. I'm sure there are other ways to do it too...
Looks like a nice kayak though, just enjoy it if this is the main problem and you find a solution.
I had a CD Nomad (Extreme) at one point and it came from the factory with similar straps over the hatches. Problem was, they were made of nylon, which stretched a lot when wet. So lots of water was entering and there was no way to tighten them enough when dry. CD sent me replacements that were made from some other material that did not stretch when wet - problem solved. So, if you get webbing, make sure you pick something that does not stretch when wet. Bungies might work too and many boat manufacturers use then or webbing from the factory over the covers...
As for the weight, this is a 14 foot kayak afterall. Around 50lb should be acceptable and it can still be strong enough for most uses. My WS Zephyr 15.5 (that Sapien bought from me) was about 52lb and never felt it was flimsy at all. The P&H Delphin I now have is probably over 60lb at the same length and that extra 10lb are *very* noticeable in a bad way. So consider yourself lucky if yours is lighter than advertised without obvious issues otherwise -;)
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