Repairing Neoprene

Hi. I have an old neoprene sprayskirt with some rips, not all the way through, but down to the last thread and I want to repair it. Should I glue two seams together? Patch it with a piece of neoprene? And is there any difference between contact cement and McNett’s neoprene cement? Besides price? Or what glue should I use?


Hands down the best patching/gluing stuff out there for neoprene.

which aquaseal product?

McNett Aquaseal


I would use neoprene cement rather
than Aquaseal for the particular glueing job you are facing. Nothing against Aquaseal, but neoprene cement will attach the surfaces without adding significance thickness. Aquaseal is great when there is a full-blown hole requiring filling.

However, condider whether that skirt is too old for lasting repair. I have made skirts from neoprene, and as they got old, appearance of cracks starting on the smooth face and proceeding up to the Nylon fabric backing was a sign that the neoprene was losing its integrity. You might spend time and money patching when you really needed a replacement.

this ole sprayskirt
still has some life in it and is worth the five buck and an hour that it will take to make it young again. is there any difference between neoprene cement and regular contact cement? i bet there’s not, but would like to know for sure.

Yes, there is a big difference.
Neoprene cement is mostly solvent, with very little substance. It dissolves the surface of the neoprene in the cracks you hope to fix. When the surfaces are dry to the touch, according to instructions, then you press the surfaces together and they are essentially welded.

Contact cement doesn’t stick particularly well to neoprene, in my experience. Aquaseal sticks very well, but in the cracks you want to fix, it may be hard to control how the crack edges are pushed together while the Aquaseal dries. You may get lumps and gaps. With neoprene cement, you won’t have that problem.

I like to buy neoprene cement from a dive shop. When you use it, you are more likely to not wait long enough for the surfaces to dry than you are to wait too long. Follow the instructions as close as you can.

great information

Neoprene cement
It’s actually a thickened solvent. To do an edge to edge repair, you put a coat of neoprene cement on each surface. When no longer tacky, do a second coat. In 5 minutes or so it will be very sticky. On a scrap of wax paper you push the edges together inch by inch. The joint gets fused together. When done properly you can’t re-tear it no matter how hard you pull. I used to do it for wet suit repairs and learned how to do this at a dive shop demo. You usually can get real neoprene cement at dive shops. Otherwise you won’t find it other than on line.

Aquaseal will do an excellent edge to edge joint except you have to hold the pieces in position with weights / clamps etc. Once done you can run a bead on the outside joints to fortify it.

For the best of both worlds,
Use neoprene cement for the edge glues, then give the inside of the repair a coat of Aquaseal thinned with Cotol. Give the Aquaseal a dusting of baby powder while it’s still slightly tacky and it will be less “grabby” on bare skin.