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Neck Gasket Replacement Advice

Bill Gwynn

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Today at the end of our Annisquam paddle my brother was getting out of his brand new Kokatat Dry Suit and the neck gasket tore all the way down the front. Needless to say he's quite bummed considering we were going to paddle tomorrow and Tuesday.

So... whats the best way to get this fixed? Send it back to Kokatat? How long will that take? What about replaceing it himself ? Is this a fairly reasonable option? What special tools, glue, etc. are needed? I guess time to get fixed is the biggest concern, he paddles 4-5 days a week. Are there any shops locally that will do the job?



P&H Capella...All White

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Senting it back to kokatat is the sure thing but will take you several weeks at best to get it back. Doing it yourself is not the most pleasant thing but it ain't the hardest either. Two methods I've seen are located here:



I used the kokatat method. Cardboard is easier to find, although I think the foam form would be easier to use though a tad bit more expensive if you don't have foam. (Brian probably has some left from his workshop.)

Anyway, once I got the aquaseal and the neck gasket, it took me several hours to get it done and a day to let the adhesive cure. It seems OS Systems have the best prices on gaskets.


Tell Brad to shave the stuff off his face. Less likely to rip a gasket the next time. ;)


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New England Small Craft used to (two seasons ago) have a really good jig from Kokatat to replacing neck gaskets. I used it with good success -- it made the job a lot easier. It's the one described on the Kokatat web site. Not sure if they still have it or and if they do if they are still lending it out, but it would be worth asking.


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I was in a similar situation a couple of seasons ago: neck gasket ripped at the takeout and I had to paddle the following weekend. Doing it myself was not an option due to work and travel mid-week.

So I dropped it off at United Divers in Somerville (http://www.uniteddivers.com/). They have a lady that does it for them. She did a very professional job (factory quality) installing a gasket that was a bit heavier than Kokotat's standard latex. Wasn't cheap ($68.25 with tax in April 2003) but it was done in a couple of days.


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If the suit is "brand new", it may be covered under warranty, so your brother may have to weigh the cost of a local repair against the inconvenience of sending the suit out for a free repair.

I have a set of rings and disks that I made for repairing neck seals (per the instructions on Kokatat's web site). I don't have any seals, but if you can find a seal kit locally, you're welcome to use the tools. I did mine and Linda's recently, and it's actually a lot easier than it looks.

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