We didn't order the spray skirts as we love getting wet and the reason for kayaking... but may consider if as you mention it will keep us dry in adverse conditions. Yes we are planning on adding a gasket or 'real hatch' to the rear which will seal it from water intrusion. I have also seen some mods that add a small bilge pump using a small 12v battery sealed from the elements. uses the water plug in the back to shoot the bilge water out... cool and functional.Be sure to order the spray 'skirts' too.. and spend on the better, lighter weight paddles. Well worth the difference.
IIRC the pelicans have a very open cockpit well.. wearing skirts in choppy conditions will keep you dry, getting caught in some passing gas guzzler's wash can get you a lapful of water otherwise too.
As to opening the storage well, that may be another difficult 'sealing' in slop. Might be difficult to keep the gear dry in waves.
Glad to hear you're liking them so far!
Yeah... We had some powerboats send some whopping waves towards us and afraid the waves would flip us over but it didn't and didn't get the sloshing into the cockpit so all good there.It's not just about 'getting wet'... it's about having a lot of water sloshing about that won't drain away too..
I like the yellow paddles.. ours have yellow blades which aids in your visibility, I think most kayak paddles will float when assembled, at least for a while, but not so much when in separate halves.
What colour are your boats? We have red and yellow - both quite visible, and find that blue and green kayaks are much harder to spot at a distance.. but often it's the paddles you see first anyway.