Okay, early this spring I got my hands on a military surplus drysuit for what seemed a very modest price. It’s made from some type of breathable fabric that works very well, and it’s very easy to put on. I’ve never needed to put it to the test, but have been wearing it now that the water is cold. I now see that the fabric tape that is glued over all the seams (on the inside of the suit) is pulling loose all over around the shoulders and upper arms. It seems that rowing, especially while wearing a PFD over the suit, is something this suit was never meant to tolerate, or maybe it is just too old and detriorated to tolerate it (though it doesn’t actually appear old).
I should, and will, find out how badly the seams leak where the tape has pulled off, but in the mean time let’s see what you guys can tell me.
- Does it seem reasonable that rowing, especially with a PFD over the top, would peel off the seam-sealing tape of a drysuit in good condition? And maybe one shouldn’t assume that because a drysuit has stood up to kayak paddling it should also stand up to rowing, unless there’s a good reason why that should be so (lots more body movement when rowing).
- What’s a good way to repair this? Glue the tape back down? Using what kind of glue? Seal the seams? Using what kind of sealant?
- Do drysuits designed for paddling have the seams sealed with glued-on fabric tape, or does this sound like a less-than-ideal sealing method?