Dry Top Gasket Repair 101

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Fear not, oh wet-neck one. When you get home, just follow these idiot-proof tips from PL’s ‘Bomber’ buddy Rick Frankin, founder of Bomber Gear. He’s made the repair process as easy as driving shuttle on the Lower Youghiogheny. For those who can only read water, he’s also put it on video at BomberGear.com

All you need are some simple household items and a tube of Aquaseal, found at most paddling or shops (don’t sniff). The Aquaseal will form a strong waterproof seal, and the whole process takes less than an hour minus the cure time (8 hours or more). Do it right and you could be out on the water the next day, without the dry top toupee.
What you will need: Aquaseal, wax paper, pen, clothes, pins, cardboard, scissors, bowls, and an iron
Method:
1. Measure the distance between the edge of the bowl to the edge of the outer gasket cover
2. Trace the circle on the cardboard and cut the circle out
3. Flip outer neoprene neck inside out
4. Insert cardboard through neck hole
5. Iron off seam tape along the edge of the gasket (use wax paper)
6. Take out cardboard and turn the jacket completely inside out
7. Insert cardboard back through the neck hole
8. Iron off existing gasket picking at the edges
9. Cut 2 wax paper circles same size as the cardboard circle
10. When all pieces of the gasket are off, inset the 2 pieces of wax paper through the neck hole over the cardboard that is already there
11. Apply Aquaseal along the glue edge be sure to push the glue all the way to the edge (it is OK to get it all over the wax paper)
12. Clean the gluing edge of the gasket with antiseptic wipe (glossy side)
13. Close pin the top of the inside gasket (non glossy side)
14. Put on Latex gloves
15. Apply glue to the outside (glossy side) of the gasket 1 ½ inch around the circumference. Be sure to get the glue all the way to the edge of the gasket
16. Let both sides dry for 10 to 15 minutes or until tacky
17. Pull one layer of the wax paper out of the neck hole
18. Apply both glue edges together pressing along the glue area, massaging the air bubbles out
19. Cut strips of wax paper and cardboard to cover the glue area
20. Place an array of bowls to press the cardboard down compressing the glue job
21. Let dry for 8 hours
22. Remove the bowls and slowly remove the glue job off the wax paper. Mash and press along all edges
23. Let it dry for another 8 hours
24. Slowly and carefully peel off all the wax paper from the inside of the project and remove the cardboard
25. Let it cure for 4 more hours and you are ready to paddle

For a video link of the process, visit : BomberGear.com

By Matt Hill