neck gasket repair

My neck gasket appears to be in great shape, except for one spot half-way down in the back where it must have gotten scraped or pinched or something at some point. It has a pin-hole, with a 1 cm abrasion next to that. It’s not an area that is stretched much, because it’s further down on the gasket, but I’m sure it gets stretched a bit each time I put it on or take it off.

I dabbed a little seal cement on it when I found it, and that’s drying now. Not sure how that will hold up.

I suppose that ultimately I need to replace the gasket? Or is there a way to patch an otherwise healthy gasket?

If I’m replacing it, is it simple to make a neck gasket jig, like those sold by kayak academy? Or is it worth paying $55 for theirs?

drysuit repair

I just did mine

– Last Updated: Mar-20-09 3:38 PM EST –

I turned the suit inside out and stretched out the neck opening over a coffee can (perfect fit) and followed the instructions that came with the neck gasket replacement from nrs. Wicked easy and took only a few minutes of work. Everything I needed was in the replacement kit. I just cut the old one off with a pair of sharp scissors and glued the new one on. Piece of cake.

what brand?
My understanding is that my suit (a kokatat GFER) has a flat flange where the neck gasket attaches to the suit, so you have to use a flat form, rather than a cylindrical one.

nrs extreme
as in extremely easy neck gasket repair compared to the flat ones. :slight_smile:

I used a kokotat

– Last Updated: Mar-20-09 8:49 PM EST –

neck gasket to repair my nrs extreme and that worked fine.Coffee can with a towel wrapped around it; a little fluff from the towel stuck to the glue and actually made the gasket more comfortable. Plenty of goop in the kokotat kit...wear rubber gloves ;-). My hands were waterproof for weeks. Did my repair while wrapped in a towel, getting ready to shower, suddenly remembering a 3+ run was the next morning, with the wife yelling "dinner is ready." If my repair held up,and it has, your self repair will be fine!

We have 2 kokatat drysuits and 2 of their drytops, and it is definitely easier to use a flat jig for the neck gaskets. I made one out of 3/8" plywood, and rubbed it with paraffin to keep the glue from sticking to the form. We do our own gaskets all the time. Not hard at all – just have to be meticulous and patient.

What I have found is that NRS gaskets are easier to install. Not sure why. They must get their gaskets from a different supplier than Kokatat does.

I made mine
I got the idea from the Kokatat web site and also Kayak Academy’s. Made mine from some 1/2 MDF and use plenty of spring clamps ($2 at HD) I have replaced two gaskets with complete success.

make your own
Easy enough to make your own. The kit consists of one flat ring about the size of a dinner plate. Size yours to fit the suit you have. Then cut semi circles - the Kokatat one is two half circles. MUCH easier though is you have more pieces to clamp on then two. I use 8 for my jig, each semi circle is cut in half.

The pieces of the kokatat one are made of thin formica material. I forget the name of that. BUT if you want to make an even better jig, make it out of polyproplene. Buy a couple of those inexpensive plastic cutting boards. My husband made a jig out of that for me and it is much easier to use because the aquaseal doesn’t stick to it. That and a large yogurt container to put the gasket on when positioning and a ton of clamps - I use 16 although 8 come with the kit when purchased. Because I use more pieces on top as it is easier to position them, I need more clamps.

It is always easier to invent a better mousetrap when you have the first mousetrap to look at.

Some stores have loaner jigs if you have a store near you, check with them. If they do, they probably also have a gasket supply for you to try on. Be sure to read the date on the inside of the gasket, these are better when “fresh”.


Replacing the gasket
yourself isn’t that big of job. Give it a try, the second time will be a breeze. I would plan on doing the replacement as soon as possible before it blows open on you. It’s really odd how unpredictable latex is. You can make the disk and ring out of anything that’s firm and cover it with packaging tape to keep the glue from sticking to it. I would also recommend to remove all of the old gasket before installing the new one. I’ve had people tell me that when they have left the old gasket ring on the drysuit that it can keep deteriorating under the new gasket and eventually fall apart while putting on or taking off the drysuit. If you really want a dependable and more comfortable gasket and don’t mind a little extra work you can make your own gaskets out of neoprene. It’s a great upgrade. Here is link to a webshots album if your interested.

Simple repair or replacement

– Last Updated: Mar-22-09 11:19 AM EST –

To repair your current seal, simply put a bicycle tube patch over the hole.

When you're ready to replace it, there are pics of the procedure in my "Drysuit Repair" album on Webshots at:

I agree with Suz that you should make your own jig. I figured that I'd be doing many seals over the years and I made mine out of 3/8" plywood. A layer of plastic packing tape over the surfaces that may come in contact with glue prevents sticking. They'll probably last a lifetime.

Suz's idea of using a non-stick plastic like polyethylene or polypropylene is a good one, though I would prefer to use material at least 1/4" thick, as that would distribute pressure more evenly.

I’m not sure the Seal cement will seal
that little hole. The Seal cement I have used does contain some “substance” but is mainly a solvent to dissolve neoprene or rubber so the material can weld to itself.

You might be able to seal a small hole with some Aquaseal. You would need to apply a drop to the hole and then spread it so it will dry in a thin layer that can stretch with the surrounding neoprene.

You could also cut a tiny patch from some spare neck gasket material (might be some below where the gasket is glued in) and cover the hole using Seal Cement or Aquaseal. The patch probably shouldn’t go any farther beyond the hole than necessary.

A third possiblity would be to cut a patch out of a Nylon stocking, and patch it over the hole with Aquaseal. The Nylon would reinforce the Aquaseal and would be able to stretch to a degree.

If you’re lucky, and your hole is not in a high stress area, it might last quite a while.

Thanks for all the ideas.