Caribou rear compartment leak

I have a 2009 Current Designs Caribou, which has a skeg. From the first time I had it on the water (brand new) I’ve found 1-2 cups of water in the rear compartment every time I paddle, which so far has mostly been trips under 2 hrs. Most of the trips have been on very calm, sunny days with almost no splash on the upper deck. A few days have been in rougher conditions. I’ve ensured that the rear hatch is firmly secured, and I’ve always found about the same amount of water. I’ve spoken to the reps at Current Designs and they have no suggestions. The other day I filled up the rear compartment with water and checked for leaks. The only leak I saw was a small amount of water coming through the cable housing in the skeg, so I liberally applied waterproof caulking to the entire cable housing inside the compartment. Went out paddling for a couple of hours and there was again a couple of cups of water in the compartment. Anybody else with this problem? If you solved it, what did you do? Thanks for reading this long post.

clean it up and start over
This time, don’t liberally apply anything. Pinpoint the source. Maybe set it upsidedown on something, fill the skeg housing with water, and see if you can figure it out. I’d probably use the edges of paper towels to trace my way to the source. Have everything dry, come down with the corner of a paper towel from above the leak, and watch for where the fine little corner first contacts moisture.

If it leaked new, I would go back to the retailer. They should find a way for Current Designs to handle this for you. It’s got to be a bugger finding a way to deal with an issue like this for a manufacturer, but they should find this kind of defect unacceptable on their part.

I’ve always had very good luck with Current Designs. I just got off the water about a half hour ago from a couple hours of paddling my '99 Caribou. I figure I rolled at least a dozen times just to stay loose and cool. I just went out and checked the hatch just to be sure. I found 2 small droplets in an otherwise bone dry hatch, which likely dropped in as I took the cover off. The kind of leaking your talking about just isn’t something I would expect or consider acceptable. A couple cups of water will soak up a lot of stuff if you’re using the hatch for storage.

Thanks for the reply and suggestions
I’ll remove all the caulk and see where it’s leaking from. Before I filled up the compartment, I turned the kayak upside-down and poured dyed water into the skeg housing from the outside, but didn’t see any leak. I’ll try it again using the paper towel. I may use a spray nozzle to increase the pressure.

Unfortunately, the retailer I bought the boat from is out of business.

grab a friend
We know it’s seeping in while you’re sitting in it. I’d be happy to walk into the water next to you sitting in the kayak with some paper towels to figure exactly where it’s getting in. Or the other way around. Have someone else sit in the kayak while you investigate.

If filling the skeg box upside down doesn’t cause anything to start seeping through, this should be a sure way to find it. Then hopefully you can seal it with just a drop or two of something, or adjusting a fitting, or whatever might be the case. The tube that the skeg cable goes through must be sealed to a point above water level, usually a sealed tube all the way up to the slider on the top deck. The place where the tube meets the skeg housing must be sealed against one another, and the skeg housing and hull itself of course.

Good luck.

If a little leak is found where the skeg cable tube meets the housing, assuming there is no rubber fitting there, does anyone know the best tiny bit of sealant to use for this finished glass against plastic tube connection?

With the skeg deployed and the kayak on your roof spray water up into the skeg box. It may have a leak at the fitting at the skeg end of the cable.

leaking through hatch gasket. Go to HomeDepot and get the thin weatherstrip gasket and see if a strip around the hatch coaming fixes it. Also put in a tiny 1/16" hole in your aft bulkhead.

consider that
the uppermost section of the skeg box is not flooded during normal paddling. It is subject to splash/surge, but not underwater. I would be looking for a hatch or seam issue.

My old Bou has always been dry as a bone.

Another skeg boat had a skeg leak where the front of the box met the hull.

Painted some epoxy over the joint on the inside and it was good to go.