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  1. #1
    Team Starburst Ian@1904's Avatar
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    Dry suit repairs

    Is anyone else facing six week repairs for things like neck seals and zips? Apparently, Otter, Seaskin, Solent SCUBA etc are in the same situation.

    I am horrified that the wait is going to be that long. I am fortunate in that I have a backup suit that I will use over the next few weeks. But even that suit might need some TLC when I visit Orkney in August, I will be contacting Ben if that is the case

    I can understand that after a two year dive pause many suits now need repair, but I would have hoped that companies would be able to recruit and train more staff. If there are hundreds of suits waiting for repair that has the knock on effect of hundreds of divers unable to dive, hence all the boat space adverts I have on FB.

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member JimmE's Avatar
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    Iíve always been impressed with Hammond for suit repairs - have been using them even before I bought one of their suits as they were previously the repair centre for BARE - the suit I had at the time.

    Iím not local to them so send the suit by post.

    Their website shows a current lead time of 3-4 weeks, but they offer a speedy turnaround option where you can pay a 30% surcharge for a 1-week turnaround or a 50% surcharge for a 48-hr turnaround. Saved my Scapa trip a few years ago!

    They have my suit at the moment for a new neck seal, zip and a couple of more minor repairs, also having a P-valve fitted whilst its in.

    One of our club members sent their suit back to Seaskin in January, expecting it back at end of March, and only just got it back in early June, so definitely seems to be a backlog at some places!

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member
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    Ian latex or neoprene seals. If latex try Dam.

    Graham

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    Yes - O3 are similar. Book a slot some weeks hence, send it off and wait 3 weeks. They always keep to their timetable though so at least you do know when it is coming back. Just after lockdown it was even worse - 3 to 6 months delay on a new custom suit

  5. #5
    TDF Member Titanic's Avatar
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    Phoned O3 on 19th May, given slot starting 9th June to be returned by 30th.
    Based on the phone call if I hadn't confirmed that slot immediately it would have slipped back further.
    Last edited by Titanic; 20-06-2022 at 10:19 PM.
    You are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.

  6. #6
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    DIY Zip replacements aren't that hard, they are just laborious and need a lot of patience. I started doing my own a few years ago. If you screw it up then it can be removed and redone relatively easily, provided you didn't get glue on the teeth (even then it's just inconvenient, not terminal). You can have a lot of goes at it in that 6 week waiting period It's one of those jobs that is a bit intimidating the first time but doable if you are prepared, I'd put it about a 4 spanner Haynes rating.

    Same goes for neck and wrist seals (assuming latex).

    It's not ideal but it beats no diving for six weeks if you don't have a spare suit.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  7. #7
    Established TDF Member taz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdeadyet View Post
    DIY Zip replacements aren't that hard, they are just laborious and need a lot of patience. I started doing my own a few years ago. If you screw it up then it can be removed and redone relatively easily, provided you didn't get glue on the teeth (even then it's just inconvenient, not terminal). You can have a lot of goes at it in that 6 week waiting period It's one of those jobs that is a bit intimidating the first time but doable if you are prepared, I'd put it about a 4 spanner Haynes rating.

    Same goes for neck and wrist seals (assuming latex).

    It's not ideal but it beats no diving for six weeks if you don't have a spare suit.

    I agree.

    The fear of making a mistake when doing it yourself is the worst bit.
    I always do all seals and zip replacements and most material repairs and although I'm not
    as neat with the glue as some I never had any issues with it. It's the preparation that
    is key. If you get everything you need before you start and prepare it well the rest is
    relatively straight forward.

    taz

    .
    .. ... -. .----. - / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / --. --- --- -..

  8. #8
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taz View Post
    I agree.

    The fear of making a mistake when doing it yourself is the worst bit.
    I always do all seals and zip replacements and most material repairs and although I'm not
    as neat with the glue as some I never had any issues with it. It's the preparation that
    is key. If you get everything you need before you start and prepare it well the rest is
    relatively straight forward.

    taz

    .
    Preparation, definitely. It's a lot easier now with so many YT videos and online guides as well. The first zip I did there wasn't a lot.

    The thing that got me is that doing the zip is easy, the hard part is getting everything to stay in the right place. There's a lot of weight and a lot of material flopping around in a dry suit so knowing what position you need to get it in and how to get it there is half the battle. That's what screwed up my first attempt. Take a few dry runs at it before you even attempt it with glue so you have an idea what each step is like.

    The first step is scary but you just need to remember you aren't going to make the suit any worse if the zip is already knackered.

    Seals are very easy. I'd give neck seals a 2 spanner rating and wrist seals a 1.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  9. #9
    All hail ZOM Woz's Avatar
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    Did my wrist seals last week, piece of cake. Also replaced the zip a while back and that was easy peasy too. As I did it, I did a step by step guide which is on the BSAC website.

    As others have said, prep is key, as is a bit of patience and an uninterrupted run at it. Wrist seals are easiest and my biggest hint would be to use 1L plastic tonic bottles as formers. Drink about 1/3, squeeze the gas out and screw the cap on. Shove into the sleeves then shake the bottle to inflate and form a rock hard surface on which to press the seals onto. When you're done sticking, unscrew the cap, let the gas out to deflate and pull the bottle out.

    For zip replacement you really need something that has a slot in it so that you can press the backing strip onto the suit. I use a custom cut bit of steel to do this, but you could use a couple of tables pushed together to leave a slot. Again, patience and not being disturbed is key.

    Minor leaks are easy on a neoprene suit are easy just make up a thin batch of urethane glue (Aquasure or Stormsure) and thin it down with some accelerator (Cotol if you're made of money, or ethyl acetate off eBay which is loads cheaper and the same stuff). On a membrane they are even easier just some 2 part and seam tape stuck over the leak. Use the thinner/cleaner to get it sparkly clean and give the rubber a little roughing up like when you mend a bike puncture.

    Neck seals are tricker but the hardest part is finding something to use as a former. I've used pans, woks and even a football. You can get quite creative when you need to!

    I get glue from a company called Bondrite- the 2 part is C5004 and you can get small tins (250ml) right up to 5L cans. They also do the cleaner/thinner. The glue they sell is strong as hell and way better than the crap you get in a dive shop. Eventually the Part B will go hard if you don't use it but they sell that separately if you ask them. The Part A lasts forever.
    Last edited by Woz; 20-06-2022 at 03:49 PM.
    I have nothing to do with BSAC any more apart from being a muggle member. So anything I write on here is likely to be complete bollocks. Hooray!

  10. #10
    TDF Member uncertainplume's Avatar
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    I have used this guy's videos as guideline: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPj..._8djHUl3tbs2SA
    and buy materials from fleebay from https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/gybesports
    I think I also managed to buy the glue on fleebay


 
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