P and H Kayak Water Leak

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P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by kayakbiker » Sat May 13, 2017 5:06 pm

Ever since I purchased my brand new Delphin 155 last year it has suffered from water leaks into the rear compartment. I have spent considerable time trying to identify where the water is leaking from including replacing the rear hatch cover which was done under warranty and sealing holes myself in the bulkhead and deck. However lately after a sea excursion there was so much water in the back i became quite concerned so investigated further and found the skeg bolt was actually loose. I tightened it up and tried again. This made a big difference but unfortunately Im still getting some water into the hatch.
I'm wondering if its possible to change the seal in the skeg box as I stil think thats where its leaking from.
Does anyone know if theres a big seal in there possibly a metric o ring. If so is its easy enough to replace or is it difficult?
I'm also wondering do Kayak manufacturers quality test their kayaks before selling them to check for water leaks? Is each kayak tested or is it done in batches.
You would think when you were buying new you were buying a water tight craft or at least expect the hatches to be water tight. I am a first time kayak buyer so maybe im wrong. Do kayaks all leak or have i just been unlucky? Do manufacturers test kayaks or not

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by GrahamC » Sat May 13, 2017 5:16 pm

Unless P+H have changed the skeg system, there is no possibility of leakage from the skeg pivot bolt because this simply slips into a recess in the skegbox which is totally sealed - the deployment bungee and skeg cable ensures that it is retained. As far as I can see, the only possibility for leakage is through the skeg cable connection - maybe this is what you are referring too. This is usually heavily coated in sealant, spo much so on my boat that I cannot see what is underneath!

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Curph » Sat May 13, 2017 8:40 pm

You could always try finding the leak by putting some water into the compartment while ashore and moving / tilting the kayak until you find the leak! You won't need much water to find it, certainly don't fill the boat, 2 litres was more than enough for me to find a leaking deck fitting that was letting in a surprising amount of water in waves.

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat May 13, 2017 10:32 pm

If you think it's the skeg box, turn the boat upside down and fill the skeg box with water. Then hold a camera with a video capability inside the rear hatch (with a light if the camera doesn't have one) and see where the water is coming from. It's awkward to get your head in the right place to see, but a camera can go.

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by PlymouthDamo » Sun May 14, 2017 9:44 am

I had a slow leak in my skeg box, and locating it was a nightmare. I tried both techniques mentioned above - i.e. putting water in the skeg box and putting water in the rear compartment - which confirmed the skeg box was leaking, but didn't tell me where from. The water oozed out so slowly that it just seemed to magically appear as drips hanging from the lowest point.

In the end, I ratchet-strapped a sheet of high-density foam, backed up by a sheet of chipboard across the rear hatch opening to seal it. I drilled a hole through this and inserted a low pressure inflator gun from my scuba diving kit into this. I then turned the boat upside down, filled the skeg box with water and pressurised the rear compartment. Hey presto - a trail of bubbles coming up from the leak.

If you haven't got the kit to do the above, you might just have to be very patient and a dab hand with a torch, a mirror, a towel and talcum powder.

And are you certain it's not the hatch cover? Even new, these are the most likely point of water-ingress.

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Graham T » Sun May 14, 2017 10:56 am

Hello Kayakbiker, sorry to hear as a first time buyer you are having these problems.

No not all kayaks leak. I have only owned composite kayaks, these from three different manufacturers, new and second hand. The only leak from new has been the skeg wire outer tube where it passes from the day hatch into the cockpit an easy fix.

Whether each manufacturer tests for being water tight prior to sale I dont know but know not all do.

The Delphin being a Poly boat is outside my experience, in your position I would investigate careful as suggested above rather than trying blindly. It is possible to get water past the hatch cover and one thing you could try is to spray the lid around the inside with silicone spray, put the lid onto the rim wiggle a little, remove and wipe away the excess. This should help make sure the lid is properly seated but is not intended to seal leaks as such.

As above in looking for leaks on my current kayak bought second hand, I filled the skeg box (skeg removed) and looked inside with a torch. You can probably also reach in and feel with a finger to detect any even small seeps of water. if this is okay then I half filled the rear compartment fitted the hatch lid, turned the kayak upside down on trestles rolled it around looking first for any sign of water ingress through the bulkhead, then leaving the kayak upside down I pumped up/down on the lid looking for leaks of the hatch cover to rim seal. This in my case did show some leaking BUT not enough for concern and would be most unlikely to happen in normal use.
If I bought a new kayak and had leaks that are a concern it would go back to the manufacturer to be sorted out, repair if possible and replacement if needs be.
I have not owned a kayak from P&H but they have a good reputation so at the very least I suggest you speak to them or the shop you bought from

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Sean_soup » Sun May 14, 2017 12:15 pm

I bought a brand new Delphin last year (one of the first with a day hatch), and found it was leaking a bit too.

I took it back to the shop and between us we spent ages dicking about with a hose in their yard. We failed utterly to find a leak in the rear compartment, but did discover that it was possible to put the oval hatch cover on incorrectly - it was so grabby and awkward to get on that I was not always getting it lined up quite right so it didn't seal properly the whole way around. A bit of silicone lube around the rim of the hatch cover sorted that - made it much easier to get on, and possible to slip round to line up correctly.

I still find the odd drop of water in there, but nothing compared to what it was like. Interesting to read the suggestions in this thread about the skeg box but it's really no longer a problem, less than a sponge-full after a day's paddling now.

The day hatch was leaky too - that came down to a sloppy fit where the skeg control cable goes through the bulkhead. Water was coming through from the cockpit any time I capsized, or swam especially. (I've not been paddling long - still a bit of a frequent swimmer now, a year ago I never seemed to stay upright for long.)

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Ken_T » Wed May 17, 2017 8:07 am

Hi KayakBiker,
Have you tested the bulkheads? in my experience with plastic boats the seal between the bulkhead & the hull is the least reliable part of the boat.

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by coldwind » Mon May 29, 2017 5:51 pm

I owned a Delphin 155 surf that suffered the same problem, leaky rear hatch. It would let rain water in overnight if left on the beach, it was that bad. I bought it at Cornwall Canoes and they replaced the hatch cover to no avail. Bob, the owner of Canoe Group, gave it the once over and pointed out that the whole kayak was faulty, thigh brace holes were different on each side, the hatch was cut too small and a few other faults. P&H replaced the kayak under warranty. Cracking boat and great service from both Cornwall Canoes and P&H

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Re: P and H Kayak Water Leak

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon May 29, 2017 6:15 pm

Another source of leaks is the recessed deck fittings. If they have not been laminated over properly when the deck was laid up they can leak. Several of mine did, but were fixed by a coat of epoxy on the inside. Mine wasn't a P&H boat, but I don't see any reason why the fault would be limited to one manufacturer, it's a mistake any one laminating by hand could make when trying to keep the weight to a minimum.

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