Question: I have a Poly-ethylene Roto-Molded sea kayak with leaky foam bulkheads.

Step 1 is to remove the old caulk in the area where you know it is leaking (usually along the bottom of the hull).

Poke the foam with a big spade screw driver adjacent to the caulking and work the tip under the caulk and pry out enough away from the bulkhead so you can cut the caulk. Tug on the end of the cut piece until you've removed any loose caulk. Most times I only replace the caulk along the bottom (the hull). The foam will tear a bit locally where you pull the caulk off, but that probably helps the new caulk adhere better so don't worry about it.

Prep with a light sanding of the hull and wipe the hull and the foam bulkhead with cleaning alcohol.

Have paper towels and several disposable gloves on hand - it gets messy.

I use Lexel caulk (clear) on all PE roto-molded boats. Lexel is available at Lowe's and ACE hardware stores. It is sold in both a squeeze tube and caulking gun tubes. Squeeze tubes are handy for small jobs and confined spaces (e.g. in day hatches) while the caulking gun will let you reach the front bulkhead in front of the foot pedals without having to crawl upside down inside the cockpit (not recommended do to risk of entrapment and inhaling fumes).

To push the caulk in place and remove any bubbles, after laying a bead of caulk wet the tip of your gloved finger and make a nice looking fillet between the hull and the foam bulkhead.


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