The Moby Latch by Kyle. |

The Moby Latch by Kyle.


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
Central , Florida
While returning from the grocery store this morning a truck passed me with a really good looking wood kayak on the top of it.
You know me, When he stopped at the Econ to do some paddling I pulled in next to him. :D

The paddle is Kyle and he made a Shearwater Kayak from CLC and as I found out .... a lot more wood boats.

He came up with a novel way to do the hatch on his boat, no straps, no tie downs just a clean deck and with a hatch. His system is called the MOBY Latch ... Here is an explanation and then pictures of the construction.
Copied from

I gave Kyle one of my southernpaddler cards and asked him to check us out , I didn't warn him about Kayak Jack , just said all of us are slightly nuts , especially about wood boats. :lol:


Well here it is. The Moby Latch. Named by one of my paddling group (know locally as “Lou the Girlâ€Â


Well-Known Member
Is that a carbon-fiber (or to suit our UK members......carbon fibre ) epoxied up under the deck? I think we all overlookk the possibilities of carbon tape and is REALLY stiff and strong. Saves laminating a few pounds of steel into every boat at the expense of an ounce or so.

Anybody else using it?


Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
This guy is ingenious. Neat design. Imaginative use of materials and good thinking. Now, the rest of my thoughts.

When I carried things (lunch, thermos of coffee, etc.) on a rack on the back of my dirt bike, I learned a few things. (1) Quite a few things that were fastened on "just right" ended up falling off. Some ran away into the woods and became lost, never to be heard from again. (2) Nothing that was tied on way too tight ever fell off. I discovered that there are two ways of tying things down - for lack of a better label, I call them elastic and restrictive.

Elastic is to just wrap some bungees around it and snug it down. Advantages here are that the item is held in a constant tension squeezing it down into place, just as his bungees hold a constant pressure on the latches.

Disadvantages are that, even though there is a constant squeeze, there is nothing that provides an absolute limit to travel. IE: the item can spring away by stretching the bungees. Some items did just that.

Restrictive is to just wrap a rope around an item and tie it down snugly. Advantages here are that the item has a very definite outer limit of travel, beyond which it won't go. The rope provides a definite border.

Disadvantages are, that the item may be a bit loose in the wrap. In use, items seem to squiggle around, and the rope gets a bit looser. The outer limit is still there, but the inner room has expanded.

Neither system alone was sufficient to hold the items, both together were necessary.

While his design in ingenious, and will likely hold under normal usage, I would have some pucker factor under rough waves and bouncing around in high waters. I may be worrying unnecessarily, or maybe I'm not. Some sea trials would determine that. But, he is now trusting his life to something that has moving parts, and if any one of them fail - any one of the cams or any one of the bungees - the hatch will no longer be sealed against water intake.

While I admire is imaginative design, I'd say that he is almost done - but not yet. Maybe an over-center-locking device on the cams to provide a positive lock?