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Old 02-28-2014   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Gasket wear: how much is too much?

Hey guys hopefully someone can help me out here and be easy. I just picked up a used dry top and I've never owned one before hence the question. It's an NRS and definitely a couple seasons old. Wrist gaskets are in great shape and the neck gasket does have some visible wear. By the edge at the top there is some small amount of surface cracking but nothing that looks too big however about midway down there is about a 1 inch long crack in the latex that is definitely deeper. It doesn't go all the way through I would say it's about half to three quarters of the thickness deep at the most.

Is this something to worry about and a huge concern or will it still last me a while? I paid less than 50 for it so I think it was still a good deal even if I end up having to replace the neck gasket. Or did I just waste my money?

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Old 02-28-2014   #2
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Also is it possible to just Glue a small latex patch over the crack or is this frowned upon?

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Old 02-28-2014   #3
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
I'm a total wimp and almost always replace mine preemptively. Otherwise my experience is it rips right in the middle of the season at the beginning of a cold run. That however is not the most cost effective way to go. I've paddled with duct tape or with some glue on a torn gasket for quite a while without problems (being very carefully pulling it off & on). It leaks more than it would otherwise, but is doable. So the latex patch is probably worth a try.
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Old 02-28-2014   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
Sounds like you got a great deal on the top. Based on your description of the wear near the top of the gasket it is kind of a crap shoot if it will last the season, usually this is a 50/50 in my experience. The tear that is in the middle can be fixed with a bike tube patch. So I guess it depends on how much you are going to be wearing it if you should replace the whole gasket or not. My guess is that you will have to replace it by the end of the season at the latest. Hope that helps.
The Warrior of the Light Knows that eveything around him form part of his Good Fight. -Paulo Coelho
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Old 03-01-2014   #5
Sumas, Chilliwack, BC
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 120
NRS has a cool how-to video on replacing neck gaskets. Doesn't seem too hard if one is handy/crafty. I believe it is on their site.
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Old 03-01-2014   #6
don't bogart that
rpludwig's Avatar
Frosted Flakes N of Baytuckey, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 180
Replace the gasket now

You don't want to be that guy, gear fail, then wondering why the shop can't get it done sooner in the middle of summer. Have pro's do it, is not expensive and lasts many seasons
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Old 03-02-2014   #7
ednaout's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 966
Originally Posted by KSC View Post
I'm a total wimp...
Yes, I've boated with KCS and would have I agree...but that's beside the point.

OP - probably better to be safe than sorry. That being said, I've gotten great wear out of using a simple bicycle patch (perhaps repairing several times through the remainder of the season) on a gasket when I wasn't ready to give it up (for time's sake) for repair. As a side note - those little bike tube repair kits are a great thing to keep in your pfd or repair kit.

Also, if you think you're going to get into boating pretty regularly, think about investing in a dry suit. Expensive, I know, but soooooo worth it.
"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."
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Old 03-02-2014   #8
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Thanks guys. Continuing from where last season ended I'll probably be boating class 3 to 4 (think Stevens down on the poudre, waterton, and other similar runs probably increasing difficulty as the season goes on) at least once or twice a week from May onward until no more water so I guess pretty regularly. There's no way I can afford a dry suit this year that will be a 2015 season purchase.

I'm very handy though (repaired a cracked jackson boat that I now consider good as new, refinished a wooden paddle with resin, built an arduino controlled brewing system, etc) so I'm not worried about the gasket replacement being hard.

I think I'll do the bike tube thing now on the big crack and get an extra gasket to have it ready, but wait on replacing it until the current one looks like it's really about to give or does break and then do my replacement. most of my boating will be on the poudre where a torn gasket isn't a huge deal since we are roadside. Plus I lasted from late may through the season last year with only a paddling jacket while learning how to combat roll so anything dry is an improvement.
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Old 03-02-2014   #9
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
put some duct tape on your paddle too, that way, when the gasket blows at the put in, you can still run the shit, unless you are a wimp.

that reminded me of a time, middle narrows a few years ago in june without a drytop or shirt with, booth and beausoliel, because I forgot everything at home except my boat, paddle, skirt, helmet pfd.They thought I was nuts.

That was a fun day, your gonna paddle a little harder when all your wearing is shorts.

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