Due to the flexing of the kayak both in transport and on the water, over time the foam wall separating the cockpit from the dry compartments (better known as a bulkhead) may come loose.
The following video will show you how to inspect, prepare, fix and re-seal your kayaks foam bulkhead to provide both strength and waterproofness.
Inspect bulkhead and identify areas that need to be sealed
Tools and materials needed:
Sharp utility knife
Flashlight or headlamp
Waterproof sealan like Sikaflex caulking (plus caulking gun)
Cloths or paper towel for clean up
Using sharp knife cut away old sealant/caulking to make room for new application
Vacuum up loose bits of old sealant/caulking, then wipe clean with a bit of acetone on a cloth or paper towel
Carefully apply caulking or sealant
With glove on, smooth sealant with a finger tip, Then using a a cloth, clean up any excess material
Let dry for a full day or more depending on temperature and humidity (and following the application directions on sealant or caulking tube)
If you need to replace the bulkhead completely follow these steps
1. Remove the bulkhead completely without ripping it 2. Peel any sealant residue from both the bulkhead and the inside of the kayak 3. Using coarse sandpaper, make the bonding surface rough both around the bulkhead and on the inside of the kayak 4. With the sandpaper create a chamfer (a beveled edge) around both sides of the bulkhead where contact is made with the kayak; the chamfer helps to create a strong sealant bead that will both hold and seal the bulkhead better 5. Wash the inside of the kayak and the edge of the bulkhead with acetone or lacquer thinner to make then extremely dry and clean 6. Apply a very thin layer of Sikaflex 291 (or equivalent marine sealant/adhesive) inside the kayak where the bulkhead will touch the hull and deck 7. Slide the bulkhead in place and seal it on both sides (inside the compartment and inside the cockpit) with a continuous bead of sealant, then smooth it out with a wet finger so that there are no holes or bumps left 8. Let the sealant dry for at least 24 hours before allowing it to come into contact with water, though a few days of curing time is preferable
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