How to Repair Leaks in Your Kayak

Unless your kayak has a crack, leaks primarily occur in the following areas: seams, ends, hatch rims, bulkheads, skeg housings or fittings. Eddyline kayaks are all water tested before leaving the factory. However over time, leaks can develop from various sorts of stresses including freezing and thawing, shock, overtightening car tie downs, etc… Most leaks are easy to fix, the trick is finding them.  The menu below contains some procedures and suggestions.


On a dry day on the lawn or on sawhorses, put 3-5 gallons of water in each compartment (one at a time). Watching carefully, roll or lift the kayak to force the water over any suspect area and watch for where it runs or drips out. It is surprising how much water accumulates in a few hours with a drip. Also watch for the transfer of water from one compartment to another. This would indicate a bulkhead leak. Remember, the bulkheads are vented with a tiny hole in the center, so you will be looking for leaks or seepage around the perimeter.

Leaks: Repair

Since a leak rarely means a structural problem, simple sealants like a marine polyurethane sealant are quite adequate for stopping them. Once you have identified a leak, press a very small amount of sealant into the area with a finger or rag. Be sure to wipe off the excess, you just want to seal the pore that is allowing water to pass. We prefer to do the sealing on the inside when you can reach the problem, otherwise apply the seal to the outside or both sides.

Leaks: Recommended Sealants

3M 5200 Fast Cure or any other marine grade polyurethane sealant. Silicone may be used, however, once you use silicone in an area, nothing else will stick to it in the future. This may cause problems if you need to do further repairs.

Leaks: Hatch Rims

If your hatch rims leak, it is best to seal them from the underside. Spread a small amount of sealant like a marine polyurethane sealant into the gap between the rim edge and the kayak deck edge. This is an easy area to reach and will not affect the appearance of the kayak. Wipe off the excess.

Leaks: Skeg Housing

Seal the skeg housing from the outside of the kayak. Just inside the opening of the housing is the joint between the housing and the kayak hull. If you are unable to locate the specific area of the leak, seal around the perimeter of the housing by pressing into the joint. Pay particular attention to the ends. Wipe off any excess.