My poor 2nd hand polyethelene kayak didn’t get the best of care this winter. I’ll need to check the bulkhead seals, UV treat the hull, WD 40 the rudder, and possibly replace the rigging before I can use it. Has anyone had to reseal bulkheads? If so, what’s the best sealant to use? Any other TLC advice?
Lexel seams to be the best
sealant for bulkheads in a plastic boat. I just installed a forward bulkhead in my OT Egret (not oem with one). After asking around ALOT, checking on here and the 'web, and talking to the manufacturer - Lexel is the stuff.
Find the mfg info here:
I bought the Lexel locally through ACE Hardware (Sashco sealants refuses to distribute it through large retailers like Home Depot / Lowes / WalMart).
It cost somewhere around $7.00 per 10.5oz ‘caulk gun’ sized tube. One tube was just enough to do two layers on both sides of the new bulkhead, and to re-seal the factory one.
BTW . . Do not use silicone - I made that mistake and had to start all over!!!
Also consider checking with the
manufacturer. I have a plastic Necky, and Necky has always been very helpful when I have called them for information.
poor neglected yak
I just checked with the manufacturer (Wilderness Systems) and for theirs they recommend clear silicone but now I’m hesitant to do that. tddockery2, what happened when you used the silicone seal?
I cannot say that the manufacturer is incorrect, and they do know their boats! I am only going by personal experience and what I read over several days of web searches.
I used a 100% silicon sealant/adhesive, and as it cured it tended to pull away from the hull in several places where it didn’t seem to have enough grip on the plastic.
‘Fixing’ with additional silicone just made matters worse, as silicone does not readily adhere to cured silicone (lexel will adhere to old lexel, so the mfg says), and the 2nd layer did not hold to the boat any better than the first.
It may well have also been an operator error issue, though I did ‘flame treat’ and scuff the hull first. After pulling out the ‘I know it wont be water proof’ first try, I did some more in depth research and it seems this is common. This more in depth learning is why I removed the first try and started over from scratch
I have been out several times since using the lexel (including a thorough dumping in the local river after broadsiding a large strainer during a paddle trip today) and I can attest to its water tightness now!
Marine Goop. Once cured ain’t