foam/poly adhesion?

Skunked again. I used silicone caulk to reinstall the foam bulkhead in my polyethylene kayak. Did not hold at all, so poorly in fact, I could peel off all the hunks and start over easy. Next I tried urethane adhesive caulk. Same deal, came apart the first trip.

What’s the stuff to use?

West’s System has some new stuff
out that is supposed to be good for gluing stuff to poly as well as other materials.

I forget the name, but maybe someone else will chime in here with it.

Or check on their website



You screwed yourself, too!
NEVER use silicone sealer in a kayak! It bonds poorly and it leaves a residue that prevents other adhesives from bonding well, as you’ve learned. Now you get to experience the fun of trying to get the residue out (hexane works and there are special silicone removers) and make another bulkhead that you can bond in properly (unless you can remove all traces of silicone from the existing bulkhead). Bond it in with Lexel, GOOP, 3M 4200 or 5200 or another suitable adhesive.

You aren’t the first to learn

– Last Updated: Aug-19-08 10:25 AM EST –

...the hard way. And after all your hard work it pissed you off, didn't it? Been there - Done that.

and now you ask for advice. Welcome to our world.

Lexel will solve the problem but you'll need to remove allof the silicone. It will be easier than the original adhesive. I used a 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Lexel can be purchased at most good paint stores, Home Depot, Lowe's and many outfitters. The squeeze tube is easier to work with than the caulking gun tube but both will be messy if you aren't careful.

After finally reinstalling and caulking the bulkhead let it dry for 2 days and recaulk.

Paddlin' on

All is not lost
Well thanks guys, the original bulkhead is toast anyway, it ripped through at the groove they put in them. AND, I happen to have a huge chunk of minicell, 2" thick that will work nicely for a new one. I wonder - that groove must be necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t put it in, but why?

Oh, it galls me to buy specialty products like that, usually something already on the shelf, with a different label on it. But doing it one more time and forgetting it is probably worth it in this case.

Chiming in…


current issue(#26), “Gluing plastics with G-flex”

“Plastic boat repairs” and “Bonding a skeg to a polyethylene kayak”

Don’t worry Fluke
We all learn by our mistakes.

Find some one hundred year old guy who doesn’t have Alzheimers; pick his brain, and you can’t go wrong!

I figured Bryan would be scolding you. I just happened to listen to him about eight or nine years ago on the silicon.