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How to Replace a Cataraft Nose Cone

Older NRS River Cat and Kodiak cataraft tubes used a proprietary two-piece plastic nose cone to seal the ends of the tubes. We use top-quality “50-year” silicone sealant to bond the nose cone to the boat material. If you experience air leaking around a nose cone it usually results from one of two things. Either the silicone has been dislodged or the inner part of the cone has cracked, usually from a crash against a rock or other hard object. This video shows you how to repair a leaking cataraft nose.

If you suspect a leak, inflate the tube and spray soapy water around the cone. If you get bubbles, you can try tightening the cone, but you’ll probably need to remove the outer portion. Unscrew the cone with the boat inflated, using the 5/16" Allen wrench.

Look at the face of the inner portion. If there are no cracks, you can probably seal the leak by reapplying silicone sealant under the outer cone. Peel off as much of the old sealant as you can and apply two beads of sealant, 1/4" thick, around the two rings inside the cone. Put the cone in place and twist it one-quarter turn to spread the sealant. Replace the bolt and tighten. Don’t overtighten, that can crack the inner cone. Usually a quarter-turn past “just tight” is sufficient.

If the inner cone is cracked, it must be replaced. To remove it you’ll have to cut a slit in the tube material, just large enough to pull the inner piece out.

Peel away any loose sealant from the tube material. Insert the new inner piece and cover its surface with new silicone sealant. Pull the piece into position and hang it from the nose cone bolt for 24 hours for the sealant to cure.

Then, you’ll reseal the outer cone, following the steps above. You’ll also need to put a patch on the slit you cut earlier.