The other day, while lashing the Gumotex drybag backpack to a chopped-down trolley I foolishly wore two holes in my Seawave ;-((
Pumping away like a donkey on Limehouse jetty (above), I assumed the non-standard PRV was playing up; probably a grain of Achnahaird sand stuck on the seal. I flipped the cap off, tried to clean it out by springing the valve from behind but no luck. So I gave up and was ready to dismantle or replace it later.
It was only when frustratedly rolling up the boat I noticed two small ragged holes in the hull and realised what had happened. With half a paddle shoved into the cinched-up bag to make a handle, and it all lashed in a to the trolley, I thought I was being rather clever and minimalistic. But strapped to the trolley, the pack soon sagged under its weight and rubbed on the sharp edge of the hard plastic wheels which wore through the pack and then the boat’s hull.
The cut-down trolley had worked fine with my UDB drybag in New Zealand (left), but that was partly because you can fully inflate a UDB via its unique one-way oral valve, transforming it from saggy sack to firm sausage.
Ironically, just two days before this happened, I’d snagged a BNWT Orlieb RS140 (right) cheap on ebay. I’d been eyeing up this non-rigid wheeler duffle as a versatile Seawave transporter plus reliable on-water drybag/buoyancy aid (review shortly).
And what’s more, inventing the wheel was all very well but to be honest, for short 10-minute spells of urban pavement walking between trains and buses (as opposed to traversing Scottish glens), the 17-kilo Seawave is not so hard to carry as a backpack. Lesson quickly learned.
With enough practice with D-rings, let along bike punctures over the years, I was confident I could do a bomb-proof repair on the Seawave. In a way, I was even a little chuffed that my 5-year old kayak was earning its first battle scars. Plus, in my experience rubber-based IKs like Gumotex, NRS and Grabner glue more reliably than PVC boats. Shiny packraft TPU is even easier: you can just tape it, but packrafts are low-psi boats not normally inflated with mechanical pumps. My adapted Seawave side tubes run 4 or 5 psi.
- The right two-part glue (right)
- Solvent and rag
- Sandpaper or abrasive foam sanding block
- Masking tape
- Small brush
- Tyre repair roller (right)
- Space to do a good job