I recently purchased a Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 17 Pro (fiberglass) and I am having to replace all of the rigging. I noticed that other than the four main screws/bolts for the foot rails, there were no other gaskets on any of the hardware. Should I purchase gaskets for the hardware on the top of the kayak like the rigging or is this not necessary as it is below the waterline and didn’t originally have gaskets?
Did you look under the hull to see if there was some compound protecting against leaks inside? I don’t have a WS boat to look at, but in many cases the waterproofing is done via something on the inside of the hull.
My Tempest has stainless steel washers that are coated with rubber on one side sealing all of the deck rigging holes. It came with these washers but some of them were the wrong size and the deck leaked like crazy. I talked to Flatpick who told me what size they were supposed to be and I picked up the correct size at Seattle Screw. Worked like a charm. They weren’t rubber washers but rubber molded onto the stainless washers. Seems to me that rubber washers would work fine.
I use 3m 4200.
Stainless backed rubber or neoprene sealing washers are readily available online. Be aware that the back side of fasteners used for kayak deck fittings can sometimes be very hard to reach.
If the inside isn’t relatively smooth you may need to use a marine grade sealant, but this can make future disassembly difficult.
Be aware that there are different sizes. My Tempest had them all installed but some were the wrong size. They all looked about the same but they weren’t. I never knew if WS got burned on an order of washers or if the two people who assembled my boat didn’t know the difference. Steve said that the quality was really suffering on the composite boats just before they shut down manufacturing in SC and my boat was testament to that. I ended up doing some finish work to make the boat watertight. It’s great now.
The attached photo shows the washers that I’m talking about. Sorry about the other stuff shown.
If the threaded parts of the bolts are protruding into the boat beyond the nuts you might want to add marine grade stainless cap nut to the ends. It was like that in the storage compartments of my boat and they tore holes in stuff sacks and dry bags when loading camping gear. If in the cockpit area you might get cut. They can be sharp.
We think alike. That is pretty much what I did. Once I determined that I had solved the leaking bolts/washers I stuck some little plastic caps over the nuts that I could reach in the hatches. Didn’t need them in the cockpit. Can’t remember where the plastic caps came from.
Hardware stores sell them in the special fasteners section. aka…Ace Hardware Sometimes called acorn caps.
Of course the other option is use the correct length fastner.
super helpful photo, thanks!