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Old 10-12-2006, 17:32   #1
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Inflatable tube air leak

I see that West marine sells a bottle of inflatable stop leak for about $50. per QT. Has anyone ever used this stuff? Does it work?
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Old 10-12-2006, 18:23   #2
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Consider that when you use this on a car tire no repair shop will ever repair a flat that was attempted to be fixed using the stuff. I have made that mistake. The only good part was it wouldn't have been fixable in the first place so I only lost the cost of the stuff.

I suppose it could work for small leaks but it won't work on larger ones and just adds to the eventual hassles you'll need to deal with after the fact. What about when you deflate the dinghy and have all this crap inside the tube? You sure need to put in a whole lot more than it really takes to get the stuff to shoot out the hole and self patch.

Look at it this way. The small leaks are easy to repair and the big leaks won't be repaired using this stuff. The small leaks will wait a while so you have more time to tend to them using a patch kit you still need aboard anyway. You carry this stuff around in your boat until you need it or leaks out doing what ever to what ever it gets on. It's not people friendly stuff either.
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:38   #3
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Do it right.

Repairing Hypalon Boats:
http://www.clavey.com/Repair%20Manual.pdf

How to Repair Inflatable Boats:
Information From ShipStore.com | How to Repair Inflatable Boats | InflatableRepair from the ShipStore.com ™ on-line catalog.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:14   #4
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I did my best to make proper repairs but I have missed a couple of them. My inflatable was crushed and received 20 or more holes and two rips that were about 8" long. I used about 4 sq. feet of fabric for the repairs so far but I must have missed one where the tube is attached to the fiberglass bottom. I do not want to remove the work that I have done to get in there to put a patch on the inside. This hole can not be real big because the boat holds air for about a day.
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Old 11-12-2006, 18:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
What about when you deflate the dinghy and have all this crap inside the tube?
I took my inflatable to a "professional" for repair earlier this year, and they put some of that liquid latex sealant inside the tube that they worked on.

The liquid gummed up the valve. I spent a few hours picking bits of partly-dried latex out of the valve with needlenose pliers. It helped, but the valve still doesn't seal as well as it used to. i.e. You can hear the air hissing out when you disconnect the pump; put the cap on and screw it down promptly.

After several months, the liquid was still tacky. The insides of the tube were stuck together every time I tried to inflate it. I can't use the electric air pump on that side, because the pressure from the pump is not enough to overcome the adhesive effect.

Every time I deflate the tube, it smells like somebody spilled a bottle of ammonia. It irritates my nose and my eyes. I keep thinking that if I inflate/deflate the boat enough times, all the ammonia will evaporate, but not yet.

In summary, I really wish they had not put this stuff in my boat.

b.t.w. If you are looking at the same stuff I saw in West Marine, the package instructions explicitly state that it is not intended to repair leaks.
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Old 11-12-2006, 18:20   #6
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Quote:
the package instructions explicitly state that it is not intended to repair leaks.
I wonder what it really is intended to be used for.
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Old 11-12-2006, 19:49   #7
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That is a good point Paul.
And the info from you Coot is what I am looking for.
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Old 12-12-2006, 13:59   #8
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My personal use cars do not have a spare tire, the cars come with a leather box containing a bottle of fix a flat from the factory.
I finally had to use the product about two years ago when I was between Lauderdale and Naples on the 75. It worked well and got me into town. I was kind of frightened thinking that I was going to have a solid brick on the bottom of the tire, perhaps the rim would be eaten by the chemical, these are all "wives tales" I had hear about this product.
The tire when removed from the rim had a white powder coating all surfaces. The tire shop, a very large reputable chain offered to repair the tire. I opted to replace the tire. The rim was wiped down and a new tire was placed onto the rim.
I was quit impressed with the product and made sure that there is a can of it in all of my vehicles.
The guys use the product on my trucks to get them to a tire shop for repair in both Florida and California. To date we never have had a tire shop refuse to repair a tire that was inflated with the fix a flat.
With that said in my opinion I believe that fix a flat is a temporary repair measure.
The only negative thing I can say is that the product is in an aerosol can that does have a shelf life.. The can goes "flat" over time.

In April I had lent my zodi inflatable to a neighbor, he put a can of the fix a flat into the inflatable and it did just as what has been posted, turned into a mess. The inflatable was deflated and stuck together. I did not even try to mess with it, pulled the floor and ordered a new one. This was an expensive lesson.
In my opinion the product is great for band aid fix on tires, but will never get near my dock again.
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Old 13-12-2006, 01:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
I wonder what it really is intended to be used for.
The best I could come up with from the paper in the box is this: If your dinghy is made of a material that lets the air diffuse through the fabric over time, then this stuff will provide some sealing against that effect. Of course, I don't remember their exact words, but that was the interpretation I took from what they said.

If your dinghy has a problem with air diffusing out through the fabric, it sure isn't made of the proper materials. And I see a lot of variation just from temperature changes through the day, so I don't really see how you would be able to definitively blame diffusion for anything.

I also seem to recall it was more expensive than an equivalent amount of liquid latex from other sources.

In summary, I have no idea what it is for.
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