One of the best upgrades you can do on your 2015 outback if you are looking for some more storage space is to upgrade to the larger rectangle hatches which are used on the Pro Angler model.
The modification is a really easy way to increase usable and easily accessible space in the outback and is well worth the effort.
Here is step by step tutorial on how to go about the hatch upgrade.
Step 1 – remove factory round hatch by unscrewing the 8 stainless steel screws.
Step 2 – Sit new hatch surround in the desired spot, and mark with internal edge with pencil onto the kayak. Use a tape to measure each side of the original hole to get it as centered as possible.
Step 3 – Using a jigsaw, angle grinder or hacksaw cut out the the excess kayak deck along your marked line. Better off trimming too little than too much at this stage.
Step 4 – Check to see if new rectangle hatch top fits in the new cut-out. If not, trim a little bit more where required. If it fits ok then happy days!
Step 5 – Place backing plate in the underside of the new hole in the kayak, flat side up against kayak deck. If you have a gasket lay that on the deck and then place the new hatch in position. If no gasket is available just use some marine sealant and run a bead along the deck where the hatch will sit.
Step 6 – With the hatch in position, drill pilot holes to suit the stainless steel screws which you undid from the round hatch. You will need to purchase 7 new screws to accommodate the new larger rectangle hatch. 20-25mm long stainless screws will do the job.
Step 7 – Screw hatch into place, making sure the backing plate is hard up against the inside of the kayak deck.
Step 8 – Install rectangle hatch tray or custom storage tub like we did. These tubs are just flexible storage tubs which can be found at Bunnings. Cut them down to the desired height and they give good under deck storage for your hobie.
The rectangle hatches can be sourced from any hobie kayak dealer, but we get all our Hobie stuff from reputable kayak dealer Action Kayak and Sail, they have a great showroom and every kayak accessory under the sun!