Neoprene drysuit gaskets

I just wanted to pass along a project I’ve been working on for the past year. As most people who use drysuits or dry tops know, latex gaskets work well until they fail and sometimes this failure can happen unpredictably. I have retro fitted my drysuit and dry top with neoprene gaskets that are just as waterproof and much more comfortable than latex gaskets. The gaskets can be made and installed without much fuss at a minimal cost. I put together a Webshots folder of the process and materials I used and wanted to pass it along so that others can depend and enjoy their drysuit as much as I do now.

I saw your article in SK was it or C&K? whichever, It looks like a good idea. My drytop is only one season old so the gaskets are still in good shape but as soon as they even begin to look weathered I am going to hit your wehshots and the article. thanks for your efforts!

Only one thing I am not seeing

– Last Updated: Aug-15-08 12:22 PM EST –

The completed job shows what appears to be some shiny tape, or other at the bottom of the installed gasket, on top of and between where I see the drysuit fabric and the neoprene gasket. I didn't see any place where that was applied in the photos, and by then the last bit of the old latex gasket had been removed. It look like this part had to have been added after the neoprene gasket ws glued in.

Was that neoprene tape ironed on after gluing in the gasket, and there just happen to be no photos for that? Or a re-use of the latex ring that had been removed?

I was very surprised when
my neck gasket blew open when I was taking it off. It made the rest of my weekend wet and cold. I took real good care of my suit and gaskets and they looked like new when it failed. Since I’ve been installing the neoprene gaskets in my friends suits, I have noticed that there is a variety to the thickness and the way latex gaskets wear and show fatigue from different manufacturers. I bought a new drytop and the first thing I did was to remove the latex gaskets and install the neoprene gaskets. I didn’t want to ever be left hanging with a blown gasket.

The shiny area around the seam
is where Aquaseal was squeezed out and left a thin layer around the seam area on the gasket. If I would have used less Aquaseal when installing the gasket it wouldn’t have had so much squeeze out.