I have a leak in the inside of the bow in an older version of the Helios II. It appears to be on the seam, what do you recommend for a repair job and sealant? It is an excellent kayak, that I use frequently. I am weary of using it on any lenghty trips anymore due to the leak.
The older Helios used brass grommets that, when corroded, produce copper ions that do damage to the natural rubber on the inside of the seam.
You can reseal these seams using either SeamGrip or AquaSeal by McNett. The SeamGrip is the same urethane formulation, but a little thinner than the AquaSeal.
First, remove all the old grommets by prying them out. Then open up the seams and place the SeamGrip or AquaSeal into them using a wooden matchstick or equivalent small tool. Pay attention to the seam at the grommet hole. Then cover the seam with some waxed paper and use wooden clothespins as clamps to hold the seam together. Place the pins next to one another for a uniform grip. Let the adhesive dry at least 24 hours.
Reinflate the chambers and look for edge leaks along the seams using soapy water to check for bubbles. You probably will find some seeping seams as the air will wick through the cloth. Mark the leaking edges. Deflate the chamber and use a little Seam Grip or AquaSeal on the leaking edges. Let dry overnight again. It may take a couple of tries to get all the slow leaks.
Can you recommend a grommet that doesn’t corrode the rubber (aside from brass)?
We have been using a nickel-plated brass grommet that works OK. Stainless steel grommets work well, of course, but are hard to find.
I have a friend coming down from the states in November. He can source and bring the grommets down. Can you notify me of the size? Also, will i need a grommet gun?
Yes, you will need either a grommet pliers or a grommet stamp and die set.
I have taken off all of the corroded grommets from my innova, and need to replace them. Unfortunately, I never took not of the size. Can you email me the size grommet that I will need.
#2, which is about a 3/8″ diameter grommet.