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Old 12-02-2009, 10:18   #1
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Repair or replace?

I have a 10 year old West Marine inflatable dingy that is coming apart at the seams. Has anyone had success gluing these things back together for any length of time? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a new one? If so any recommendations?
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:21   #2
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I bought the special glues and reworked one. Never was that confident I got it all done well though. If it's your daily transportation, I'd say buy another...
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:43   #3
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I'd replace it. West Marine inflatables are, I believe, made by Zodiac. So far I've seen three, including one of mine that the floor fell out of when the adhesive failed. One fellow I know stepped into his inflatable and just kept going as the floor fell out. His was about 3-4 months old.

Personally, it will be a long time before I buy another from either West Marine or Zodiac.

Rich
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:55   #4
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My advise would be to learn your lesson early and go to a hard dinghy. Most of us go through several deflatables and spend years messing with the dumb things before getting smart and getting a good hard dinghy. Once we do......we never look back. You have the opportunity to save yourself a lot of frustration (and wet feet) now.

Let the "Inflatable wars" begin........
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Old 12-02-2009, 13:50   #5
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10 years? Inflatable? Consider yourself quite blessed and definitely bite the bullet on a replacement. You'll never get that feeling out of the back of your mind of "Wonder when she's gonna sink?" otherwise. And when she does finally start her voyage to the bottom, it'll no doubt occur when you're in the muckiest cold harbor water you can imagine - and the first thing on your mind will be "Should have replaced her last year". I'll echo the above in saying - time to get that rigid bottom. Go ahead - you've earned it.....
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Old 12-02-2009, 19:14   #6
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Thanks all! The opinions are all pretty unanimous on this one.

Mike
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Old 12-02-2009, 22:02   #7
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Mike, apparently there are issues with glue (as opposed to welding) in dink construction. Zodiac dealers will not do life raft refits once they reach 10 years of age--because the French government condemns the rafts at that age, saying the seams are totally unreliable.

It shouldn't be that, but considering how expensive it would be to open up and reseal every seam...time to take the hit and move on.

Some folks have shot expanding urethane foam (same as home insulation) into their inflatables and turned the pontoons into rigid foam-filled pontoons. If you never need to deflate it...that's one way to get a few more years out of it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 23:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJWEENZ View Post
I have a 10 year old West Marine inflatable dingy that is coming apart at the seams. Has anyone had success gluing these things back together for any length of time? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a new one? If so any recommendations?
Ours is about 10 and has nearly circumnavigated.
We just spatter more glue on and another patch
We can't get Hypolon glue here - its only sold in $50 kits so we are going to use swimming pool cement.

Yes the floors detatch a bit... keep glueing them but we always have wet feet. Is wet feet enough to go spend a few $K on a new one? Only you can answer that!
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Old 13-02-2009, 08:17   #9
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My advise would be to learn your lesson early and go to a hard dinghy. Most of us go through several deflatables and spend years messing with the dumb things before getting smart and getting a good hard dinghy. Once we do......we never look back. You have the opportunity to save yourself a lot of frustration (and wet feet) now.

Let the "Inflatable wars" begin........

We started with a hard and really, really wanted to make it work....after two years we gave up and went inflatable and have loved them....first was an Achilles that lasted 15 years and now we have Avon.

I'd by a new one.
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Old 13-02-2009, 09:30   #10
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Query: Is your dying dink Hypalon or PVC? We have succeeded in keeping antique Hypalon boats going for years past their Use-by Dates. Takes a bit of work and time, but us retired cruisers have lots more time than money.

The best glue that we have found for this is SC-2000, which is a two-pot contact cement of great strength. In Australia it is distributed by Beltreco, findable in metropolitan yellow pages. One of its uses is assembly of the giant rubber conveyor belts used to load coal onto ships, so you get an idea of its strength!

If the boat is made of PVC it is likely not worth repairing...

Good luck with it!

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
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Old 13-02-2009, 11:16   #11
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... The best glue that we have found for this is SC-2000, which is a two-pot contact cement of great strength. In Australia it is distributed by Beltreco ...
SC-2000 is distributed by Rema Tip Top in North America:

REMA Industrial Division

REMA Industrial Division

http://www.rema-tiptop.de/ttoe/smart...NT_SC_2000.pdf
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Old 13-02-2009, 13:22   #12
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PVC I think.
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Old 13-02-2009, 13:46   #13
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We bought an Avon 3.10 RIB and a Tohatsu 9.9 in 1992. They've been through a lot including 4 years cruising Mexico and they are both still going strong. The Avon is made of Hypalon, not PVC.
BTW, we never bothered with a boat cover for the tropical sun, and the only patch needed was because of a small straight screwdriver in my hip pocket.

Steve B.
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