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Old 01-05-2018, 16:04   #1
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Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

My dinghy is leaking air. Half of my outboard was under water (see photos). I'm getting the outboard Mercury 9.9 repaired or replaced through insurance.

What about the dinghy? Is it easily fixable? It has 3 compartments for air. I think 2 of the 3 are leaking air.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!
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Old 01-05-2018, 22:07   #2
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Bump. Anyone?
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Old 01-05-2018, 22:16   #3
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

This is the technique I use for finding leaks in dry suits or bicycle tires: inflate and then go over every square inch with a spray bottle of dish washing soap and water (anything bubbly) and look for bubbles. Spray an area, bubbles will form where the air leaks.
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Old 01-05-2018, 22:38   #4
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

When you find bubbles, mark the leaks so you can find them after cleaning off the soap and anything else that might interfere with patching adhesive. Buy a patching kit appropriate for the material of your dinghy. Look on YouTube for "Patch inflatable," and you'll find numerous articles about it. Read all of them and you'll have a good idea of how it's done.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:17   #5
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Had a similar problem that drove me nuts. Turned out the leak was under the reinforced fabric holding the oar locks. No amount of 5200 helped...
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:36   #6
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

It's probably a silly question but have you checked the rubber in your valvesand made sure they are well seated? I have a 25 year old hypolan Achilles and when it starts leaking it has usually been the inflation valves
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:42   #7
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Had a similar problem, but not quite so serious. Turned out the tube ends, just aft the transom, both had leaks. The shop claimed leaks there are common, and the best/cheapest fix is to redo both ends. We did, in 2011 in Phuket, Thailand, and have not had significant air leaks since. May be a place to start looking?
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:50   #8
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

The easiest thing to check is the valves, a problem more common than one might think.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:55   #9
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Cool Hand,
This worked for me, once. Buy a couple quarts,(or Litres) of green slime. This is the road side flat tire repair kit slime that comes in those car tire repair kits. Only you can also buy it in bulk, without the tire valve.
Pour in a generous amount, rotate the dingy every which way. then pump it up. Good luck.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:58   #10
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

As everyone else has said. I have had five inflatable dighies. Use soap/spray bottle and also cechk the valves. Make sure its really pumped up first. Then tunr it over and do it again. I suspect valves firsth then punctures, get the right repiar kit for your materiual. In other words, everything everyone has already said!
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:03   #11
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Agreed best way to find leaks is spray w/ soapy water but here are a couple sealing techniques to add to the bucket:

Super glue.... ONLY for small punctures not to hold patch or bridge area. Clean with acetone first. I've used a drop of super glue and it melds into the material both Hypalon and PVC.

Marine Tex.... This product bonds and is yet flexible so no patch needed. Comes in grey or white/ two part epoxy type mix. I've used this a dozen times to fix different holes and splits.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:09   #12
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
Agreed best way to find leaks is spray w/ soapy water but here are a couple sealing techniques to add to the bucket:

Super glue.... ONLY for small punctures not to hold patch or bridge area. Clean with acetone first. I've used a drop of super glue and it melds into the material both Hypalon and PVC.

Marine Tex.... This product bonds and is yet flexible so no patch needed. Comes in grey or white/ two part epoxy type mix. I've used this a dozen times to fix different holes and splits.
And laser weld. Its a glue that goes solid with ultra violet. Brilliant stuff. Let the air out of the defective tube so you can get the glue in the hole too.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:26   #13
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

I use a very soapy mixture of dish soap and water. Very soapy. I use a sponge.

the repair can come in a few forms.

2 part glue with a patch
4200 quick cure with a patch. (lasted this last time 7 years and counting).

if it in a bad place, I use Aquaseal. it is a wetsuit repair glue sold in dive shops. It is not UV stable, so cover it or peel it off and put new on after a few months.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:26   #14
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sveinung View Post
This is the technique I use for finding leaks in dry suits or bicycle tires: inflate and then go over every square inch with a spray bottle of dish washing soap and water (anything bubbly) and look for bubbles. Spray an area, bubbles will form where the air leaks.
I once bought a leaky dinghy...on purpose, because it was really cheap. I pumped it up and used the soapy water method described above. I found a half dozen or so tiny pinholes. I cleaned around each one with alcohol (from my stove) and patched with TEAR-AID...its a kind of stretchy repair tape. It worked great...no more leaks! Lasted as long as I owned the boat...and likely quite a bit longer.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:03   #15
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Re: Dinghy leaking air; please help find culprit and fix it.

Thank you for all the info everyone!!

I think it's the valves. After pumping, I hear a small hissing sound around the valve where I pump it with air.

I will take photos next time.

You guys are awesome!!! Thank you for the ideas and suggestions.

Now... how to I fix/replace the valve(s)?
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