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Old 01-06-2018, 17:11   #16
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

The real tropics are a great graveyard for inflatables as Mike has attested above. The Aussie market is flooded with Chinese versions and all seem to have very limited useful lifetimes. But the problem is not restricted to Chinese models as from other respondents it seems that welding may be better but more expensive.
Even if welding is better, it can't easily be applied by the owner if a tear occurs.

Poly craft as mentioned by Mike are often used and they are good but heavy and obviously can't be as easily stored as a collapsible tender. Inflatables are also great for diving as you can roll over the sides without injury.

That raises the matter of the fold up panel types. I have not seen many of them and I was wondering if there have been any developments there.
Another somewhat radical solution I saw decades ago was a home made inflatable. I don't recall what the bottom was made of but the two sides were actual black rubber that had been glued into tubes. The two sides were then covered (loose, not glued) with some protective PVC fabric that kept the sun off the rubber and was removed when growth reached an unacceptable level. the claimed virtue of the arrangement was that the owner could and did do easy repairs to the rubber when needed (car tyre repair kits).
For the yacht involved (about 35 ft) this inflatable was very large as I recall (over 4 m, 12 ft) and was used for diving as well as being an over sized tender. It had a 25 hp outboard motor attached. The owner informed me that the downside was that it was "heavy". However, it had a very long lifetime well before I saw it in Darwin.
Many cruisers use rigid tenders (alloy or f-glass) and they are often kept on deck and used as hatch covers. This allows hatches to remain partly open and protected from rain ingress making the vessel more comfortable in the humid tropics. But then you have the launching and retrieval issues.
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Old 01-06-2018, 17:24   #17
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

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Originally Posted by billgewater View Post
The real tropics are a great graveyard for inflatables as Mike has attested above. The Aussie market is flooded with Chinese versions and all seem to have very limited useful lifetimes. But the problem is not restricted to Chinese models as from other respondents it seems that welding may be better but more expensive.
Even if welding is better, it can't easily be applied by the owner if a tear occurs.

Poly craft as mentioned by Mike are often used and they are good but heavy and obviously can't be as easily stored as a collapsible tender. Inflatables are also great for diving as you can roll over the sides without injury.

That raises the matter of the fold up panel types. I have not seen many of them and I was wondering if there have been any developments there.
Another somewhat radical solution I saw decades ago was a home made inflatable. I don't recall what the bottom was made of but the two sides were actual black rubber that had been glued into tubes. The two sides were then covered (loose, not glued) with some protective PVC fabric that kept the sun off the rubber and was removed when growth reached an unacceptable level. the claimed virtue of the arrangement was that the owner could and did do easy repairs to the rubber when needed (car tyre repair kits).
For the yacht involved (about 35 ft) this inflatable was very large as I recall (over 4 m, 12 ft) and was used for diving as well as being an over sized tender. It had a 25 hp outboard motor attached. The owner informed me that the downside was that it was "heavy". However, it had a very long lifetime well before I saw it in Darwin.
Many cruisers use rigid tenders (alloy or f-glass) and they are often kept on deck and used as hatch covers. This allows hatches to remain partly open and protected from rain ingress making the vessel more comfortable in the humid tropics. But then you have the launching and retrieval issues.
Could this be the end of the inflatable ??? Good case to have a nice nesting hard dinghy that stows at 5ft 4"..... so everyone start building a Danny Greene Chameleon. And you have fun building it, can repair easily and should last 20 years or more.
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Old 01-06-2018, 19:28   #18
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

Welded seams far better in my experience ( On average). Would never buy another glued seam roll up PVC dinghy & I've had a few. They are a PITA to repair, chasing a mole is a good analogy
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Old 01-06-2018, 19:33   #19
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

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The Saturn folks say the seams are hand glued while one of their resellers(boatstogo) say: "Seams are hand glued, also called cold welding or chemical welding. Glue dissolves upper layer of PVC, welding it together. Same way as heat welding, but without cracking."

Now is that sales talk??
That's like saying, if you take a chicken and blow it up like a balloon it will taste like turkey.
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Old 01-06-2018, 19:37   #20
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

Save yourself time, money, and frustration. Buy a hand made wooden/fiberglass tender. They last for ever, don't leak air, and are absolutely beautiful.
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Old 01-06-2018, 19:53   #21
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

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They last for ever, don't leak air, and are absolutely beautiful.
And they are tippy, bang up your topsides, mostly won't plane and don't fit on the deck of smaller boats than your HR49 if they are near the size of usable inflatables.

You forgot to add that they do row better than inflatables as a rule which is one of the really good points that may be achieved.

Jim
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Old 01-06-2018, 20:03   #22
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

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And they are tippy, bang up your topsides, mostly won't plane and don't fit on the deck of smaller boats than your HR49 if they are near the size of usable inflatables.

You forgot to add that they do row better than inflatables as a rule which is one of the really good points that may be achieved.

Jim
Plane? Show me any boat that will plane under oars. Someone makes some nice looking gunnel guards that prevent topside dings. Tippy is a matter of opinion.

I had a seven foot lapstrake tender on the deck of my Alberg 30, it doubled as my dodger.

All that being said...We currently have an Achilles LSI-330. A boy can dream though.
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Old 01-06-2018, 21:25   #23
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

You can buy a hand welder for $400-500 USD. It is very hard to have a consistent weld without lots of practice
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Old 01-06-2018, 21:35   #24
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

You are correct. The only thing I would add is the Urethane fabric is better than hypalon and you can weld it.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:41   #25
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Re: pvc glued seams vs welded seams

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, Sotar.
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