Drysuit Maintenance

Hi everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season. As the Spring 2018 season is slowly approaching, please read this information regarding proper drysuit maintenance and storage. Its time to take your drysuits out and look for holes and tears. We don't want to find any issues on the first day of practice in March! Thanks. -Dan

Apply unscented talcum powder lightly to the inside of the legs and sleeves, and a medium dusting to the inside of your neck and wrist seals of your dry suit. Talcum powder is a dry lubricant and greatly facilitates getting into your drysuit. Talcum powder can be purchased cheaply from an auto parts store (tire change talcum powder) or from your pharmacist at the pharmacy counter. Do not use scented powder found in your grocery or pharmacy aisles, as the additives may damage the drysuit seals.

Make sure you rinse your dry suit with fresh water after each use, especially the seals. As you sail water washes and sprays over your suit, and chemicals in the water will adhere to the suit, potentially causing irreparable damage. The best thing is to rinse off with fresh water right after sailing while still in the suit, or if that is not possible, rinse the suit in the shower.

1. Wash your Drysuit, using a detergent specifically formulated for waterproof-breathable fabrics such as Gear Aid’s ReviveX Pro Cleaner. ReviveX is available on Amazon for around $10 - and remember when shopping on Amazon to shop on www.smile.amazon.com where you will have designated the East End
Youth Sailing Foundation as your charity of choice! Do not wash your drysuit in a washing machine but rather use a large tub (10 - 20 gallons) or a bathtub. Fill with lukewarm water and the recommended amount of cleaner. Turn the suit inside out, and starting from the feet (to allow air to escape from the suit) work the suit in and under the water until it is fully submerged. Agitate the suit with your hands for 2-3 minutes. Pick the suit up by the feet to allow it to drain back into the tub. Turn the suit right side out and repeat the process. Rinse the drysuit under a shower, both inside and out. Hang the drysuit by the feet with the sipper open and let dry. Make sure both inside and outside are completely dry.

2. Apply Gear Aid’s Rubber Boot Saver or UV Tech (again available on www.smile.amazon.com) to your seals periodically to protect and maintain seals. Once the seals are clean and dry, apply inside and out, wiping it on with a clean cloth. Reapply periodically throughout the sailing season. This prevents the latex seals from weakening (‘dry-rot") by replacing lost oils and also protects the seals from harmful UV rays.

3. Once the seals are clean and conditioned, fully coat inside and outside of all seals with talcum powder thus preventing the seals from sticking together which can result in what is called a "melted" seal.

4. Apply Gear Aid’s Durable Water Repellant (DWR) spray (also available on www.smile.amazon.com) to your drysuit to help keep it in tip top shape for many seasons. The DWR bonds with the individual fibers in the threads of the drysuit and prevents water from soaking into the threads and ‘wetting out’. Instead, the DWR causes the water to ‘bead up’ and roll off the fabric which ensures the breathability of the drysuit. DWR coatings are durable but don’t last forever and the more you used your suit the more often you will need to do this. This is especially true of high abrasion areas where the DWR wears away faster. Find a place outdoors where you can hang the suit and begin applying the DWR spray. You will spray all outside areas of the dry suit fabric to the saturation point – ‘wet out’ the material. Applying DWR to a dry garment allows you to see if you are completely coating all areas of the fabric. Once the whole suit has been treated, go back and reapply DWR to high wear areas of the suit like knees, shoulders, elbows, and seat. Once fully treated with DWR, keep the suit hanging in a dry place for 48 hours prior to use.