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Old 05-25-2005   #1
Project Manager
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21
Trimming drytop gaskets

Just purchased a few new drytops with gaskets. Freakin things are turning my face cherry red. Directions state you can stretch them out overnight with a large diameter container or something similar. Question is, do they actually stretch far or should I go ahead and trim them down carefully? All the gaskets seem tight as hell right now but I'd hate to trim them only to find them loosen up.


customfab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2005   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 163
Try stretching with a coffee can wrapped with duct tape so its surface is smooth before you try to trim it. Trimming gaskets is tough, one tiny knick and it'll tear. I have one drytop that i trimmed 3 years ago and the gasket is still doing great. I bought a new drytop last year and tore it on the first cut after trying to stretch it for 3 days.

Good luck.

mescalimick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2005   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
I wish you luck on stretching a gasket much, If it does strech just like a rubber band it will be very week.
If it is a good quality gasket it will have rings around it to trim along.

You cut to the open side of the ring so the edge is a ring not the feather part if that makes since.
To cut it my advice and I cut MANY drysuit gaskets in my time is to place a block of wood in the gasket like it is your wrist/neck a 1x4 works nice, pull the gasket tight on the wood and use a new round edge x-acto knife cutting a small amount at a time slicing against the wood SLOWLY, spreading the piece you are cutting from the gasket. Cut 1 ring at a time then try on the top repeat as needed but leave it snug.
Don't do anything, just stand there.
rasdoggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2005   #4
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062
Don't cut it!

We've replaced many gaskets for people who messed up when they trimmed their jackets. It's not as easy as people make it out to be. And, it can cost you over $50 to get it replaced when you nick it wrong. The little ribs on the inside are not lines to follow for cutting, they are little rigdes to increase contact with your neck. They are more seals that the water has to break through before you get wet.

You can easliy stretch a neck gasket. But, a good quality gasket will not strech out over night. Nor, would you want it to. It's going to time. And, you can over stretch the latex. Use a football, purchase a rubber cone, use a coffee can... be creative.

But, remember your neck gasket will stretch naturally over time. It will never be as tight as it is right now. Try stretching it first, and give it a little time.

Think before you trim, or you might be paying us a visit.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2005   #5
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Don is spot on about the reason for the rings in your dry top neck and wrist seals.
I should have gone into more detail about what they really do. The technique I described is the way the Drysuit mfg. taught us to do it if it was needed and with my neck it was I would have passed out if I didn't trim I am down to the next to last ring on my drytop and it is still snug when I put it on.

Remember to use a spray to keep them soft and from cracking, after rinsing I do mine once a month if you paddle on the Platte it wouldn't hurt to do it more often. Don will get you the right stuff...
Don't do anything, just stand there.
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