I have a 2012 model WS Zephyr. The gray goop placed around the bulkheads by the manufacturer appears to be disintegrating. The boat has had very light use. It looks almost like the goop is not sticking to the hull. The bulkheads do seem to be fixed tightly still but something has definitely gone wrong. Wish I could post a picture. Anyone have this problem? Will WS stand behind it and make repairs or should I do it myself? Any suggestions how to go about it?
Your best bet
would be to contact the manufacturer right away.
Its a common WS problem
and will lead to your bulkheads not being water tight (which can be a major safety concern).
Here is what I would do (if you are somewhat handy)…
- Mark the current position of the bulkheads with a permanent marker.
- Peel away the caulk and use a thin blade to separate the bulkheads from the hull.
- Clean the bulkheads where they contact the hull.
- Use West Systems G/Flex epoxy to fix the hulls back into their original position.
This provides a far better and more durable seal than WS does at the factory.
If you purchased locally contact your dealer and see if they will re-do it for you. The sealant they use on those kayaks is pretty good, but they don’t take the time to sand the area before applying it in the factory and it often peels away at the bottom of the bulkhead.
If the dealer can’t do the job for you, its no big deal to do it yourself. As mentioned above remove as much of the old caulking as possible and clean the area really well. Sand the area to be sealed. Use a good low modulus polyurethane(not silicone)sealant like Tremco Dymonic FC (the “aluminum stone” color is a good match to what Wilderness uses) and you should be good to go.
If you contact Wilderness they might send you some goop to do it yourself.
I’ll see if the dealer (eastern mountain sports) will address it. If not, I’ll do it myself.
when you do it
scrape between the bulkhead and hull with a hacksaw blade to roughen up the hull then press the caulking gun an inch deep between hull and bulkhead while injecting the sealant in.
You could have EMS do it but it'll take more time than doing it yourself .
I have a feeling
that I would do better job than EMS staff. The problem is I have zero time to be futzing around. When I do have free time I want to paddle. I may just put some air bags in and call it good until the off season.
I’ve used the hippo patch tape for bulkheads a time or two. It is a very quick repair that has lasted so far. One of the new boats I bought was from WS and a local dealer, when I had a problem the dealer and the WS rep really took care of me.
Agree poor prep is cause. I am a huge proponent of West system products. Hunt yourself up one of their plastic boat repair kits.
Hippo Patch –
I’ve never seen or used this stuff. Will it mold neatly to the rounded and angled surface of the kayak interior and bulkhead? Does it stick well to the plastic and foam surfaces?
Hippo patch is like tape
Really really sticky tape with adhesive that never dries.
So what happens to gear in the hatch? Does it goop the gear all up?
its a fabric-backed adhesive tape in which the adhesive remains flexible. It won't make a mess of things. Think of it more as a sealant (tape) that doesn't solidify.