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Old 06-02-2011   #1
one legged wonder's Avatar
Ouray & Buena Vista & Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 292
replacing neck gaskets

so i just got a killer deal on a koktat dry top but i have to replace the neck gasket. i have the gasket but have no idea how to replace it. any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

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Old 06-02-2011   #2
Salida, Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 91
It is relatively easy with the correct tools. I use a plastic disc and 2 plastic 1/2 rings and 6 clamps. Use aquaseal adhesive on clean (with alcohol) and roughed up (sand paper) gaskets and let dry 24 hours. If the gasket has been repaired before, remove old gasket with hair dryer (carefully) and glue to strip of original gasket. If it has never been replaced, cut off blown gasket leaving about 3/4" of gasket on to glue new gasket to.

If you need I can take pics of tools later. I did this alot in Alaska and actually have a drytop drying now.

Good luck

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Old 06-02-2011   #3
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Indian Hills
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 340
Bomber Gear Video

Rich at Bomber Gear has a great tutorial. It worked well for me.
With cunning skill like a duck walking a tightrope at night
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Old 06-02-2011   #4
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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 83
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Old 06-02-2011   #5
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Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 173
I've replaced both wrist and neck gaskets myself before. I would do the wrists again, but I think you're better off having the neck gasket "professionally" replaced.

The neck just seemed like a big hassle to learn how to do something that I probably won't do all that often. With the supplies (Aquaseal and gasket) it wasn't much cheaper for me than taking it to a shop.

Also, Kokatat has great customer service and can replace them relatively quickly. If you don't have access to a shop, or time to send it in to Kokatat, then I think the info Mike posted is probably as good as any.
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Old 06-02-2011   #6
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 438
If you have a spare top that you can use for a few weeks, send it to Kokatat and have it replaced by them. I've done two myself when I didn't have a spare and it is a huge pain in the ass. Sent mine to Kokatat this last winter and it came back perfect, the extra $$ was well worth it, especially when you consider you'll blow at least four hours of your time and a full tube of aquaseal.

But, if you must do it yourself the Bomber video is very helpful.
Drew J.
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Old 06-02-2011   #7
dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 281
I think the neck gaskets are super easy...just got a plate, turned the top inside out and put the plate inside, cut out the old gasket, glued on the new gasket, laid another plate on top with weights on it and it came out wrinkles, missed glue, etc One of the plates did get a little messy with glue but that was the only issue. I think the whole process maybe took an hour and that was the first time I'd tried it.
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Old 06-03-2011   #8
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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
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Posts: 83
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I disagree, really simple process, biggest thing is having the foam cylinder and cotol. I finished replacing mine in 20 minutes, ready to use in just over an hour.
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Old 06-03-2011   #9
Carbondale, CO
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 132
I've done it and it wasn't too difficult. My tip is be sure to find a cylinder that stretches the fabric completely so there is no waviness at all. Once the jacket fabric is flat around the cylinder, you are ready to go.
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Old 06-03-2011   #10
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Agree, it's a really simple process once you get the tools; and you get better with practice. One thing I have found to be really helpful: a large highway cone (how you come up with it is of course up to your discretion....). I cut the square base off of mine, then cut it down short so you're not working with anything sticking through the neck gasket hole. The tapered shape of the cone allows the drysuit fabric to stretch really evenly. After the glued gasket is placed over the fabric, I just wrap an old bike innertube over that and then duct tape it tight for 12 hrs. Ready to go the next day. Roughly the same procedure for wrist gaskets, except I use a large canned-food can that fits almost perfectly. For one or two gaskets at a time, it's worth doing it yourself. I just sent 3 different suits/tops back to Kokatat to have 9 gaskets replaced at once. They had all 3 back to me in 11 days, $295.00 including materials/labor/shipping. Hell of a deal, in my opinion. And, all of the gaskets looked like they were the first set of original gaskets from when I purchased the products (no leftover old gasket rings, no wrinkles, no glue squeeze, etc). Well worth it from Kokatat, if you have the time.

So many rivers, so little time..........
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