To glue a leaking bulkhead?

SZihn

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Joined
Jul 1, 2021
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153
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
Hello to all.
I went on the water most of today and I just got home. I found today the bulkhead on my Necky Chatham 17 (plastic) is leaking at the 6:00 position. If I push on it the bottom will move back and forth about 3/16 of an inch.
I am thinking I could use a syringe and a needle with a larger bore to squirt glue into the place that it's become loose, until it oozes out both side so I would know I got it all filled up. But I don't know what kind of glue to use. The bulkhead is foam, and about 2" thick as near as I can tell. Have any of you done such repairs and if so , what is recommended?
I thought about Barge Cement because it will grab foam, but I am unsure and if something else is better I'd love to know about it.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
Necky originally used Kop-R-Lastic sealant. 'Stone Mason' Gutter and siding Sealant- at Home Depot- is the same or very similar.

The really good property of Kop-R-Lastic is that the bead of cured sealant has good tensile strength. I found that I could pull the 'rope' of sealant loose by pulling on a free end. I removed and replaced the foam bulkheads in a Necky Tesla a few years ago. Both foam bulkheads had shrunk over the years and pulled loose from the hull.

You may find that the loose area at the bottom of the bulkhead has allowed sand and dirt to collect in the gap. Try sealing just the bottom section, and if that doesn't work I'd advise pulling the old sealant, removing the bulkhead and cleaning the contact surfaces before re-intalling with sealant.
 

CPS

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Oct 27, 2020
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Location
BC
I used lexel for mine. Not much sticks well to polyethylene but it's holding up so far.
 

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
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Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
I'll buy some Lexel tomorrow. I think it would be good to puddle a bit of acetone on one side of the bulkhead and blow it through with a compressor so it will flush and clean any gunk in the area to glue shut. I'll turn the kayak upside down let the boat heat up in the sun and evaporate all the acetone and then force the Lexel into the joint until it's coming out all-around. Then turn the kayak upside down a 2nd time and let it cure over 3 days or so.

What say you folks?

Is that a good overall plan?
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
I would test acetone on a small spot of the foam before proceeding. Some foams dissolve in acetone.

Sometimes it's possible to shove a rag through the gap with a putty knife and clean it with that. Or a piece of folded sandpaper. You'll figure it out.
Use plenty of ventilation if you are using acetone. (No pilot lights nearby!!!!!)
 
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sofstu

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Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
103
Location
Kootenays BC
I agree with John on this.
I would be more inclined to use rubbing alcohol, but would still test it first.

Oh, on another topic.
How do you like the new kayak?
 

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
Messages
153
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
I never thought about placing float bags in the Chatham, but I can see how it could be a good idea at times.
The compartment that's leaking is the small one, just behind the seat. The bow and the stern compartments don't leak at all.

But I guess no compartment ever leaks............until they do.
 

Jasper

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Jun 8, 2017
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Location
Portland, OR, US
I never thought about placing float bags in the Chatham, but I can see how it could be a good idea at times.
The compartment that's leaking is the small one, just behind the seat. The bow and the stern compartments don't leak at all.

But I guess no compartment ever leaks............until they do.
Polyethylene has a lot of great properties for kayak manufacturing, but it's (lack of) ability to hold a glue joint isn't one of them...

I wouldn't worry to much about it, I suspect it will be some time till you go out in conditions where blown out bulkheads will be a concern but float bags are cheap insurance and will last you through several boats. Some of mine are over 30 years old, but sit in a boat out of UV radiation and don't really break down.
 

eggabeewa

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Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
19
Location
Greater Vancouver, BC
I guess I'm late to this discussion but i have an old poly necky ( actually have 3) but one has small leak in a bulkhead. I asked at wck and they recommended lexel. I haven't gotten around to fixing it yet (small leak) but have since acquired another rec poly kayak that has a rear hatch but no bulkhead that i want to add a bulkhead to it. Your success with lexel has encouraged me. Thanks to all.
 
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