Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

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Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby Decay » Mon May 31, 2010 10:33 am

This is a series of videos showing how a vacuum cleaner can be used to find leaks in a plastic Sit on Top (SOT) kayak. You have to have a vacuum cleaner with an exhaust port so you can use the blower to pump air into the hull of the kayak.

I will be demonstrating on a Hobie Adventure with a view to fix a leaking front hatch seal.

I hope to take you through the process of finding leaks and then using "hatch tape" to show you how I fixed the front hatch on a Hobie Adventure.

This is my first attempt at directing a feature length documentary so please excuse any amateur sections.

Step 1: Setting up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMvbiwkiYWg


This is step 2 attaching the vacuum cleaner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNYJLwgJHb8


Step 3: finding a leak in the forward hatch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hyFFI_ZIw


Step 4: Measuring the amount of hatch seal needed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmi-HIN6nGE


Step 5: marking out where the hatch tape should go
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsTLqS5U3Dc


Step 6: the tape in place
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYERBXJIl5I


Step 7: final test and comments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0_hbJjmF8c


I've used this method of using a vacuum cleaner (exhaust port) for finding other leaks in kayaks, not just the hatch seals. I think it is a good method for finding leaks.
In terms of fixing hatches, I think the biggest downfall of this system is that hatch tape doesn't stick to the plastic that kayaks are made of particularly well and I think it may come off after several uses and I hope to update that information as I start using the tape on trips

Any feedback or adding links to other methods would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Derek
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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby Macbrand » Mon May 31, 2010 10:44 am

very informative, thanks Decay
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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby Dodge » Mon May 31, 2010 2:34 pm

Decay wrote:
I think the biggest downfall of this system is that hatch tape doesn't stick to the plastic that kayaks are made of particularly well and I think it may come off after several uses and I hope to update that information as I start using the tape on trips


Derek if you use a smear of All Clear as your adhesive it should stick if you give it time to cure, and is generally my adhesive of choice on yak glueing jobs ... contact cement also sticks OK
Cheers RICHO

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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby YakCult » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:21 am

All your information is presented very well Derek - much appreciated!
A mate of mine recently had a hair line crack on the underside of the hull. So small that putting water in the hull didn't really reveal too much.
But had it been soapy and under pressure - well - much easier, that's for sure!!
Cheers - bruce
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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby Roo1 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:27 pm

I've had the "new improved Decay seal" fitted to the front hatch of my AI, in fact I had the man himself - Derek - fit it for me. It took Derek about 2-3 minutes under torchlight to fit the seal the night before we undertook a 90km round trip to Moreton island. The yak was loaded with camping gear, food & fishing gear and was low in the water. Usually conditions that have water coming over the front of the yak result in up to 3-4 litres of water inside at the end of the day. Two days heavily loaded with heaps of water coming over the bow resulted in less than 200mL inside the hull, and I thinks most of this came in by the rudder cables and opening the middle hatch ( I'd estimate 5-10mL "tips" in every time you open the hatch, and since this is where I store my lures I open it fairly regularly ). When I opened the front hatch at the end of each day there was no indication of any water making its way past the "Decay seal".

Recommend this as a simple upgrade to improve the seal of the AI front hatch.

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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby SnakeMan » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:43 pm

nice work derek, good to see the boat is floating well and from the 90km trip sounds like under sail again :D
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Re: Finding leaks and sealing hatches using a vacuum cleaner

Postby ROBT » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:16 pm

good post - never thought of using a vacuum to check for leaks
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