Ann and I were in a similar position with a 16 y.o. Hypalon Zodiac
a few years back. Once the outer Hypalon has worn through and exposed the fabric
scrim layer inside, sun rot
weakens the scrim to the point that painting is useless, no matter how super the paint is. We used various patching materials scrounged from other defunct dinghies, bladder type water tanks
, even some PVC based Herculite fabric
(stuff used for pool covers, patio stuff and so on). We tried a lot of different glues. As mentioned, the typical Bostic stuff sold for Hypalon repair (and used in the manufacture of dinghies) has a very short shelf life and is expensive. Either Sikaflex 291 or 3M 5200 works quite well, though holding large patches in place long enough for curing is touchy. Using techniques like this we got another couple of years out of "ZOD the magnificent"!
At any rate, I bet that you can find someone else's dead inflatable somewhere in Fiji
and dissect it for patch material. IF you are gonna use Sika for adhesive
, PVC material will work ok (if it isn't too dead itself).
IF you can obtain 2-part polyurethane
foam in Fiji
, filling the tubes with such has been successful, but it can be a bit exciting to work with. And of course, you can't deflate the tubes then!
Finally, getting new tubes put on does work. We had our nearly new Gemini RIB stolen in Hobart a few years ago. The sods drove it up the Derwent to their lair, removed the 12 Y.O. beater Suziki o/b, poured petrol into the hull and lit it off. The police eventually found the charred corpse and we got her back. The powder-coated alloy hull was scorched but intact, and after a lot of work cleaning
it up we returned it to the Gemini folks in Southport. They put new tubes on for just one half the price
of a new dink. Prior to that, an independent dinghy
repair chap had said that he could fabricate new tubes as well, but never got a price
So, there's hope for you... good luck with the job, and we hope that your bum stays dry!