Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Leaking Kayak?

Leaking Kayak?
Leaking Kayak?

A common problem faced by paddlers each time they buy a new boat. Reasons for such problems can be placed in to one of two categories;

* The paddlers kit is letting the water in.
* The boat is really leaking.

If your paddling kit doesn’t fit correctly it will leak and yes the boat will fill with water. If it’s a simple case of ill fitting dry top or deck then the solution may be easy but expensive – get some kit that fits. On the other hand your kit may need a little TLC – check seals/seams and repair or replace as necessary.

However that said boats do leak even when fresh from the factory and assuming your kit is OK we need to go over the boat and make sure it’s as water tight as possible.

Where do we start? – Simple, anywhere the manufacturer has had to cut or drill holes to fit the boat out;

* Seat
* Footrests
* Thighbraces
* Drain hole

Fittings for the seat, footrests and thighbraces and any other internal/external attachments tend to be held in place by screws or bolts. The easiest way to deal with water entering via these points is to partially undo each screw/bolt apply some silicone based sealer and re-tighten. When the silicone cures the hole should be sealed. If not you may need to invest in some larger washers (best bought from a chandlers) or try some more silicone!

The area that I have found to leak more than any other on my boats has been the drain hole. Not the hole itself but around the actual mounting. Again silicon sealant is the solution. If you can get inside and reach the drain hole, try and get some silicon around the mounting, do the same around the outside – this should sort it out.


  1. Alan

    Apparently leaving the silicon to cure for a while before re-tightening gives a better seal.

  2. Catherine Gardner-Gaskin

    You could be better of using polyurethane as your sealant as silicon although a good water proofer does mean you cannot use any other adhesives on your kayak as they will not work, If you get it on your gear same problem – so you cannot get your seam tape re-done.

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