It must be the season for a load of kit damage as over the last couple of days I have had several emails about repairing gear. Probably the glue I have used the most for the repair of gear has been been McNett Black Witch neoprene glue. The Black Witch glue is perfect for repairing rips, tears and nicks in spraydecks, wetsuits etc. It also works well for filling holes on the inside of non-neoprene gear like drysuits or dry tops.
Spray skirts/decks have a pretty tough life but do an incredibly important job. I’d been on the look out for a spray skirt to rescue from an inevitable trip to the bin and found one close to home.
Unsponsored’s little brother River (Militia) has a Palm Kevlar RT rand deck that has seen better days. I had offered to repair it for this post without seeing the total extent of the damage.
In fairness the skirt should have been consigned to the bin years ago or at least set on fire and given a grand send off. However the skirt was in such a bad state that it made the perfect subject for this post as most types of repair were required to bring it back to life.
To put the repair into context most joints on the skirt were compromised and in other areas the skirt had separated from the rand. In two key places the kevlar/neoprene had worn out/through and large holes had appeared. Even the top part of the tunnel had separated from the skirt and was also torn in a couple of places. All in all it was in a sorry state.
I have a couple of bits of gear from Palm Equipment. The first is a Kaituna longsleeve top that I purchased last year and then there is this short sleeved version which landed at Unsponsored HQ a couple of weeks ago.
The new 2015 Palm Equipment Horizon shorts have just landed at Unsponsored HQ. I have a bit of time to look at them and am waiting on the warmer weather to arrived to try them out on the river. In the meantime here’s a quick run down.
The outer short is contrasted from Nylon 200d, this is very similar to the fabrics used in dry trousers and dry tops. As they are shorts none of the seams are sealed.
Keeping on top of kit repairs is pretty straight forward and a little bit of TLC could prevent the damage getting worse.
Holes in most stuff can be repaired with Stormseal which is a clear flexible glue. I’d avoid the larger tubes as this stuff will go-off once opened. Keeping it in the fridge will help but you can get packs of 3 x 5g tubes which are superb.
I few mates of mine have also had good success using the Stormseal instant patches to repair dry tops. For breathable fabric McNett patches may be worth considering.
Stormseal will work great on most things including neoprene but I have found that black witch works even better on wetsuits and decks.
Once in a while your kit gets to a point where it is no longer safe to use or it simply doesn’t do its job as well as it should. When it does it is time to get rid.
I’ve been using Palm’s Impact spraydeck for a few months now and am ready to feedback on its performance to date. Thanks to Palm Equipment and Northshore Watersports (for piggy backing delivery) I have a Palm Impact that replaces the Extreme as Palm’s top end neoprene bungee deck. First impressions are good. The deck looks and feels solid. It is well made and the black/lime colour scheme is bang on trend!
On the outside there is a protective 4mm Armortex reinforcement to increase the robustness of the deck. This should make the Impact of interest to those who put their decks through a rough time.
The NRS Hydroskin Socks will protect your feet and keep them warm in the water without the bulk of a heavy neoprene sock. NRS HydroSkin Socks are the ultimate wetshoe liner and they work great with sandals too.The 0.5-mm neoprene core insulates and protects.
What happens when you take a Playboater Workdeck design but make it a little heavier duty, add a dry lip and make the fit just a little snugger? You get the Pro Team Deck.
Since the production of the I.T.S deck Playboater has long been established as one of the best spraydeck manufacturers in the UK if not the world. Over the years I have owned three Playboater decks. The first being an I.T.S deck followed by two workdecks. I still have all three and all three are in A1 condition. Even the I.T.S deck which by now must be an antique. None have been replaced through damage of any sort and have only been retired when new boats have come along.