How to check your Kayak for leaks...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Captain Yak's Avatar
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    How to check your Kayak for leaks...

    As the weather starts to change late summer, I like to utilize the downtime to do a little maintenance on my equipment. After the day out on the water at the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament, I had more water in my kayak than usual. I have been out in rough seas before and fish every weekend with only having a small amount of water in my yak when I'm done. This time, there was at least a gallon of water and that was enough water to make me want to check my kayak for leaks.



    The process was extremely easy and only took a small amount of time. Here is how I did it.


    Equipment Needed:
    -Shop Vac
    -Duct Tape
    -Spray Bottle
    -Water/Dish Soap Mix




    -Connect the shop vac exhaust port to the drainage plug in the kayak using the duct tape.


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    -Check the seal and get it as air tight as possible.


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    -Spray everything with the water/soap mixture!!


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    -Look for bubbles and patch any places that appear to be a problem.


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    -Don't forget to check the bottom.


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    No Major Leaks!!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member YakerLG's Avatar
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    Interesting idea and write up, if you didnt find a hole you could check the sealant on screws for your rod holders, fishfinder, or (if you have one) anchor trolley as thats usually the source for the water pooled in my hulls.

    If you do find a leak, or a big crack, its not very difficult to make a patch. I had a big crack in the hole for mirage drive which I patched with some 5200 and duct tape.

    Just drilled a hole on both sides of the crack to stop it from growing, then put duct tape and heated it repeatedly while pressing down the tape with a big spoon. From the inside I put a generous coating of 5200.

    The patch dont look pretty, but it not only saved my kayak from ending up in the garbage, but has held for months, putting on more than a few miles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Captain Yak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YakerLG View Post
    Interesting idea and write up, if you didnt find a hole you could check the sealant on screws for your rod holders, fishfinder, or (if you have one) anchor trolley as thats usually the source for the water pooled in my hulls.

    If you do find a leak, or a big crack, its not very difficult to make a patch. I had a big crack in the hole for mirage drive which I patched with some 5200 and duct tape.

    Just drilled a hole on both sides of the crack to stop it from growing, then put duct tape and heated it repeatedly while pressing down the tape with a big spoon. From the inside I put a generous coating of 5200.

    The patch dont look pretty, but it not only saved my kayak from ending up in the garbage, but has held for months, putting on more than a few miles.
    Checked everything and no holes other than what is expected. I think most of the water came in the front hatch. I pushing through a lot of waves in the tournament.


    If you don't lose, you will eventually win.
    - Helio Gracie

    Links:
    YouTube - SoFlo Kayak Fishing
    Valente Brother's Jiu-Jitsu Fort Lauderdale

  4. #4
    Senior Member Devodud's Avatar
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    One of my rear flush mounts was stressed to the point that the silicone unsealed in the morning at the EKFT, my boat was more than 50% water inside the hull when I landed on the beach, if you had a serious leak it would have been very obvious I think. All boats take on some water on rough days, I have never taken anyone fishing in the rough central florida surf and had them end the day with a dry hull.

  5. #5
    Senior Member timmcollins's Avatar
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    Great way to check for leaks above the water line, and it's better than filling the yak with water which can put excess stress on the seams IMHO.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, martini in one hand, Cheeseburger in the other, body well used and worn out and screaming WOO-HOO What a Ride!"

  6. #6
    Moderator ZimmerNole's Avatar
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    Justin, very informative report. Way to go!
    FSU Alumni GO NOLES!!! >>----->

    2013 Hobie Outback

    www.Extremekayakfishing.com

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  7. #7
    Senior Member quatin's Avatar
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    Quick note to anyone who is sealing their kayaks. You can't seal it 100%. There must be some air flow into the hull for a pressure release, especially on hot days. I think Hobie made their rudder holes leak for this reason. Also a hand pump works if you don't have a shop vac.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kayakangler's Avatar
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    The front hatch seal is usually the issue with the hobies. my seal was crap and after a very rough day on the water, my kayak would be almost half full of water. no joke. i was still floating though. the old hatch seals on the hobies were two pieces glued toghether and the top piece of the seal was a round plastic tube which fell off eventually. so i went to nautical ventures and bought the new seal, it is one solid seal (instead of two seals glued together) and now i get very little water in my yak. it was $18 roughtly and you will have about 2ft extra left over as well. well worth it and very easy to install yourself, just slides right on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by YakerLG View Post
    Interesting idea and write up, if you didnt find a hole you could check the sealant on screws for your rod holders, fishfinder, or (if you have one) anchor trolley as thats usually the source for the water pooled in my hulls.

    If you do find a leak, or a big crack, its not very difficult to make a patch. I had a big crack in the hole for mirage drive which I patched with some 5200 and duct tape.

    Just drilled a hole on both sides of the crack to stop it from growing, then put duct tape and heated it repeatedly while pressing down the tape with a big spoon. From the inside I put a generous coating of 5200.

    The patch dont look pretty, but it not only saved my kayak from ending up in the garbage, but has held for months, putting on more than a few miles.
    Hobies are guaranteed. You should have returned it to any authorized dealer. The worst thing that would have happened is they would have gave you a new kayak and charged you for shipping. Around $175

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Yak View Post
    Checked everything and no holes other than what is expected. I think most of the water came in the front hatch. I pushing through a lot of waves in the tournament.
    At the shop I own we usualy just put them on sawhorses and add a few inches of water and watch for drips. Their are a few cracks that only show when the kayak is stressed so you can put in the mirage drive and work it hard. If Im not sure I add air but I use a small compressor that is rigged to an old drain plug I drilled a hole in the center for the air nozzle. Adding a little soap to the water doesnt hurt.

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