Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emergency gasket repair

Not pretty but patched and ready to go

As I put on my drysuit on the last day of our south coast trip, the neck gasket ripped. I didn't say anything to Ralph or Stan because I didn't want to cause them concern as there wasn't much I could do about it in the field. Had they known they wouldn't have been amused as we rounded Barasway Point in 2-3 metre waves and clapotis.

When I got home I thought I'd try to do a patch job just to see how it would work. If it held then it would be a workable fix far from home.

First, I put both edges as close together as possible and used duct tape on the inside to hold in place. I cut a strip of an old bicycle inner tube to use for the patch and prepared both surfaces by sanding and cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Applied Aquaseal to both surfaces an applied the patch. Next morning I tried it and it held.

I have a new neck gasket to put in but its nice to know that an emergency fix is possible on an extended kayak trip. I'll keep the old gasket to cut any patches out of because its thinner than the bicycle inner tube.

In addition to my usual emergency tool kit, in future, I'll be packing the supplies I need to make this fix if necessary.


  1. How old is your drysuit? Meaning, how many years does it take to get to the point where the neck gasket tears?


  2. PO, the suit itself is 6 years old but I had the neck gasket replaced about a year and a half ago. In fairness, I've used it a lot in that year and a half, probably as much as the preceding 4.5 years. Good time to fix it now as opposed to the middle of the winter coming up.

    Tony :-)