Neck gasket replacement

I want to replace the neck gasket on my Stohlquist drysuit. About 2 yrs ago I patched a slit near the base of the gasket, using a bike patch and rubber cement. It is holding well. However, the top of the gasket (where it gets stretched the most) is getting that dried-out look with hairline cracks on the outside.

I bought a Kokatat gasket. It is a MUCH thinner rubber, but I’m not concerned about that. The thing I am wondering about is the replacement method. Supposedly you cut the old gasket off only partway, leaving at least an inch in place. You then glue the new gasket to the leftover ring.

This gives rise to two questions:

  1. The bike patch is right near the bottom. I was hoping to cut the whole gasket off to eliminate that area but it doesn’t look like it’s possible. Do I really have to leave the bottom of the old gasket in place? Is there an alternate method?

  2. What happens the next time I have to replace the gasket? Won’t the additional layers of new gaskets glued to remnants make a thick, stiff, uncomfortable collar? The whole procedure sounds incredibly klugey to me.

    Any advice from people who’ve replaced neck gaskets is GREATLY appreciated. I’m not looking forward to this at all.

I’ve been told that it isn’t a good
idea to leave any of the old gasket on the drysuit. A friend was telling that he installed a new latex gasket over the old latex ring, as Kokatat suggest and one day when he was pulling off the drysuit the new latex gasket fell off because the old ring that it was glued to completely deteriorated without being able to see it. Removing the the old latex gasket from your drysuit is not that much work and only takes about 20 minutes.

Fear of damage, maybe
So how did your friend repair the repair? If I remove the old gasket entirely, I will be dealing with the gasket-Goretex interface. I wonder if Kokatat is afraid that people will screw it up and damage the Gore-tex.

I have always removed the old gasket
It’s not hard. Just use a heat gun to warm it up and gently pull it off. Kayak Academy has a great neck gasket kit (form and clamps) that is significantly cheaper than Kokatats, or you can make your own. You’ll find instructions on their website as well.


He didn’t say what

– Last Updated: Oct-27-07 4:23 PM EST –

was done but I would think that the old gasket had to be removed. I don't think that Kokatat is afraid of people messing up the drysuit but it seems to be an accepted standard to just leave the old ring on the drysuit and apply the new gasket over it. I think latex is an unacceptable material to use in the first place so I would remove all of it and use neoprene. Kokatat suggest using an iron to remove the old gasket and it works really well. Set the heat to medium/high and heat a couple inch area, which releases the glue, then pull, heat a couple more inches and pull and repeat until the entire gasket ring is removed. If the iron is set too low it won't release the glue and if it is set too hot it can delaminate the Goretex which is no big deal since you can Aquaseal it back together. I found that using an old basketball to rest the working area on works well.

Thanks to all
I would much prefer to remove the old gasket entirely, only because of that bike patch. OTOH, I’d like to just do it and go paddle, plus most of the old gasket is still in good shape, so maybe I’ll tack the new onto the old remnant. Gotta think about this some more.

Thanks for your replies.

I’ve replaced a few
Used to maintain close to 1,000 drysuits for the offshore oilpatch. Leaving remnants of the old gasket was not an option for us, only because of the psychological effect of an obvious repair on the wearer. (Usually an extremely unhappy rig worker on his way to 2 weeks of Hell)

We used heat and Toluene to remove all traces of glue. Be careful, Toluene is evil stuff, hopefully someone here at can suggest a friendlier alternative. We used a Bostik product to glue the new gasket on, but the exact designation escapes me at the moment. McNett makes a seal cement which I have used recently to good effect.

Best of luck!