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Old 04-08-2021, 05:44   #1
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Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Is this even cost effective?


The "hull" has separated from the tubes along the entire length of the dingy except at the transom. seems to me ALL the seams will have to redone INCLUDING the transom.
I read one comprehensive artivle about this with solvents to remove old hard glue, prep all surfaces, prep adhesive and then finally re gluing with special glue.


Sounds expensive and very time consuming. I cant do it while cruising, and in the Med, I suspect the price during peak of summer season would be prohibitive.


Its a fairly nice dingy apart form all that, but I suspect the answer is to buy a new one.


Thats also a challenge right now and no, Barvaria24.com doesnt take credit cards.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:46   #2
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

You've summed it up, and are facing the decision. Repair is going to be expensive in time and money, and is very difficult while cruising. Replacement is expensive, maybe beyond your current resources. Choose replacement, and pursue it until you get to the "can I or can't I" moment of handing over the funds. If it's "I can't," then you are stuck with repair. Pursue that one until the job is done or you have the resources to change back to replacement.

I could draw you a diagram of this decision process. The vertical axis is resistance and difficulty. The horizontal is closeness to one decision or the other, at the two sides. You are sitting on top of the center of a "W". Going one way seems easy (attractive, down hill) and then gets difficult (up hill), you switch to the other and it seems easy and then difficult, you switch back, and so on.

You're stuck with the decision. Someone may be able to say "I tried to glue it, and don't bother," pushing you toward replacement, but no one on the forum can quantify the difficulties of repair or finance that you face. If you do go the repair route, I hope you'll post regarding your experience with it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:56   #3
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

We had a similar problem this spring. Our rib had developed a leak between the transom and tube. Which meant separating the two, fixing the leak, then reseaming the transom.
Very difficult to do while cruising, so we took it as an opportunity to upgrade. We donated the old one to a friend who still has a workshop and is gearing up to start cruising in a year or so.
Being able to do the work in a shop with room and controlled temp and humidity makes it easier. So it depends on your situation I guess.
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Old 04-08-2021, 15:04   #4
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Hi, Green Heaven, let me play devil's advocate here... We have done many, smaller repairs while cruising, and this one will take a few days.

Glue first: you need enough good glue. Probably a one liter can of Rema Tip Top SC 4000 will (plus catalyst) will be enough.

If the tubes are intact and hold air, you can do this repair. You only need a little air in the tubes. They should look sort of like you let the air out of a baby elephant. Do all the prep on the first day, then one side and the bow as the next day is warming up. Let it cure overnight. If it is going well and there are still at least 6 hrs. of warm, dry day, finish it in the first day. Otherwise stop for the day. The next day, finish it. Let that cure 24 hrs. Inflate, but not really tight, and use. The following day, finish inflating it. You'll want to arrange the use of a field, or somewhere it can be protected from theft for doing the work and temp storage. So, you need a marina, or the use of a paddle board or kayak for getting to and from the boat.

Paying $150 an hour for 2 people for perhaps what will add up to 3 five hour half days....Under $1200, whereas a new hypalon dinghy will cost over $4,000.

Get a paperback book on dinghy repair, and learn a new skill. Watch a couple of U tubes till you're ready. You can do this. It is just a different sort of work, that's all. All you really need to do is convince someone to let you use a little part of a shop, maybe even rent the space if you can't arrange some barter deal.

The very worst outcome is that you don't like your repair and are out the materials money you spent, and are annoyed that you worked for minimum wages. Sure, it's easier to throw money at it, but where's the fun in that?

If the tubes are shot, then I would try to either buy new or used.

Jim used to use masking tape to control the glue spread, and inexpensive acid brushes for applying the SC 4000. Great glue for hypalon. If your tubes are plastic (pvc), I'd use the 3M 4200 because it sets up faster than the 5200.

Consider the potential satisfaction of doing this one, you and your partner, working together.

Ann
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:57   #5
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Sounds like you have nothing to lose by fixing it. 5200 sticks to everything. All depends on your budget. When your needs a repair, do you fix it or buy a new one?
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:22   #6
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, Green Heaven, let me play devil's advocate here... We have done many, smaller repairs while cruising, and this one will take a few days.

Glue first: you need enough good glue. Probably a one liter can of Rema Tip Top SC 4000 will (plus catalyst) will be enough.

If the tubes are intact and hold air, you can do this repair. You only need a little air in the tubes. They should look sort of like you let the air out of a baby elephant. Do all the prep on the first day, then one side and the bow as the next day is warming up. Let it cure overnight. If it is going well and there are still at least 6 hrs. of warm, dry day, finish it in the first day. Otherwise stop for the day. The next day, finish it. Let that cure 24 hrs. Inflate, but not really tight, and use. The following day, finish inflating it. You'll want to arrange the use of a field, or somewhere it can be protected from theft for doing the work and temp storage. So, you need a marina, or the use of a paddle board or kayak for getting to and from the boat.

Paying $150 an hour for 2 people for perhaps what will add up to 3 five hour half days....Under $1200, whereas a new hypalon dinghy will cost over $4,000.

Get a paperback book on dinghy repair, and learn a new skill. Watch a couple of U tubes till you're ready. You can do this. It is just a different sort of work, that's all. All you really need to do is convince someone to let you use a little part of a shop, maybe even rent the space if you can't arrange some barter deal.

The very worst outcome is that you don't like your repair and are out the materials money you spent, and are annoyed that you worked for minimum wages. Sure, it's easier to throw money at it, but where's the fun in that?

If the tubes are shot, then I would try to either buy new or used.

Jim used to use masking tape to control the glue spread, and inexpensive acid brushes for applying the SC 4000. Great glue for hypalon. If your tubes are plastic (pvc), I'd use the 3M 4200 because it sets up faster than the 5200.

Consider the potential satisfaction of doing this one, you and your partner, working together.

Ann



Thank you so much for those words of encouragement. I am willing to try but I have heard stories of the repairs failing rapidly unless its done very carefully and perfect prep. Have you had years of success with the repair you did?


The dingy is actually a good dingy apart from the separation. Tubes hold air. I ruined one of the oars to make it fit in a donated dingy, but I could deal with that I think.


I also dont have deck space a t present. its a 2.3m digny and wieghs a ton to haul up. I would probably need to find a piece of land to do the repair on which is no small feat while on the hook!
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:46   #7
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenHeaven View Post
Thank you so much for those words of encouragement. I am willing to try but I have heard stories of the repairs failing rapidly unless its done very carefully and perfect prep. Have you had years of success with the repair you did?


The dingy is actually a good dingy apart from the separation. Tubes hold air. I ruined one of the oars to make it fit in a donated dingy, but I could deal with that I think.


I also dont have deck space a t present. its a 2.3m digny and wieghs a ton to haul up. I would probably need to find a piece of land to do the repair on which is no small feat while on the hook!
We have repaired our 3.6mt PVC dingy on deck, in a remote location (so no access to special glues). Several separate repairs were required: 1 foot long main tube seam separation (wouldn't hold air, you could put your hand through the opening), and the entire transom/hull joint was detached, including the critical corners. Other than that the bow eye pulled off (no, we were not towing) and most of the other glued on parts also fell off, plus there have been a few small holes.

If that sounds bad, remember, this is a Zodiac dingy, normal POS.

For the major repairs we used normal epoxy. We cleaned the fabric with a wire brush on a portable drill and then further cleaned with acetone. We clamped the parts together after applying epoxy with C-clamps and pieces of wood, and used tape and plastic film to protect the parts which we did not wish to have stuck. For the small repairs we used super glue and rubber or PVC patches. We've even used superglue on the high pressure air floor. All of this was done on the foredeck of our boat.

These repairs have been effective. The dingy is again usable although a new one is on the agenda, (some day). Total cost, about $20. This was done several years ago. The dingy is used about 4 months per year and is kept deflated and covered when not in use.

Don't be afraid to attempt this, just have patience and persistence and expect to re-do some of the repairs if they don't hold air in or water out.
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Old 05-08-2021, 13:50   #8
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

I agree that as long as the tubes are holding air you should re-glue them to the bottom. You also should make a set of "chaps" to protect the fabric from the sun if you haven't done so already. Or at least keep it covered with a tarp when not in use.

There are two common fabrics used in inflatable dinghies: Hypalon and PVC. Hypalon is the premium one, and is much more expensive, while PVC is the less expensive and less durable one. They are very different to work on - and require differrent glues. They are both laminates with a fabric (polyester or nylon) in the middle.

Hypalon is usually polyester fabric in the middle, although Avon has used nylon. The fabric is coated on both sides with neoprene rubber. The outside is then coated with a thin protective layer of Hypalon, and sometimes the inside as well. In order to glue the Hypalon is usually removed by abrasion and a neoprene glue is used. The best glue is two part.

PVC is a common plastic which coats the fabric. The ideal way to glue is to soften the PVC carefully with a very small amount of MEK (wipe with a thin coat that evaporates in seconds). Using too much MEK risks dissolving the PVC and ruining the fabric. Then paint both sides of the join with PVC glue, let it dry for 3-10 minutes, if possible warm the glue with a hair dryer (or very carefully with a heat gun on lowest setting) which will soften the glue, then finally assemble and use a roller to put pressure on the join. This is a bit of a PITA but simpler techniques don't hold up - PVC is famous for resisting glues. Softening the PVC with MEK is what allows a good bond. Heating is optional but helps the contact cement to bond. The glue I have for my new PVC RIB is a one-part (HH-66), specific for vinyl (PVC). It is important that all of the MEK and glue solvent evaporate before assembly: trapped solvent can dissolve the PVC later. Also be careful with MEK as it is toxic: wear a respirator and don't get it on your skin (most gloves do not protect against it). I am currently beginning to glue registration numbers, and other items, to my PVC dinghy so it is top of mind.

Greg
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Old 05-08-2021, 15:51   #9
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

First I need to know what sort of tubes they are, whether PVC or Hypalon. Different glues required for each type.
.
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Old 05-08-2021, 18:03   #10
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Hi, Green Heaven:

Yes, adequate success.* Our first hypalon dinghy's floor was trashed. We cut out a "sister" floor, from a pvc fabric called Herculon, and bonded it with 3M 5200. Some friends let us do it in their living room! (Thanks, John & Kathy!) A 13 foot dinghy takes up a lot of floor space in a living room. This was in 1986. The sister floor kept water out from then till we sold the dinghy in 1991. This is only 5 yrs. of course, and I don't know, but the intention of the guy that bought it was to acquire a new factory floor for it "some time."

Other patches, we glued with SC 2000, also good under water, but product changed slightly to SC 4000, which was also good for years.

We had exclusively hypalon dinghies until our present RIB needed its third set of tubes, and we chose Chinese tubes made of German pvc, about 5 yrs. ago. This dinghy has no patches, as yet (touch wood), and we made chaps for it in the 2nd week we owned the new tubes. (Wrote about that project in the Sewing Group, under the Community button.)

However, we've only done mending, we've never replaced tubes ourselves, gave the work to professionals all of the times, because it is a hard job, and we could afford it. But if we couldn't, we'd have given it a go. See, it is that the dinghy, as is, is "broken". It requires repair or replace. If replace isn't an option, then you really have little (comparatively) to lose by giving it a go. The trickiest part is getting the alignment correct, without accidentally sticking something down before you want it stuck. Really hear how Fred (wingssail) made sure to not let that happen. With the SC 2000 and hypalon, one can use common wax paper to keep the two sides from attaching, while you get just a small edge started. It is only when the two sides of glue touch that the adherence begins, and if it is wrong, you won't be able to get it apart for love nor money. The SC2000/4000 is conveyor belt adhesive, used in the food industry, and also for coal loaders. It is serious stuff. Post #3 by Gord May in this linked thread will show you how to tell whether yours is pvc or hypalon: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...on-102753.html

Ann

*And one that was not successful all that long. We had a large home made eye for a waterline placed snubber, and one time the Achilles (a little roll up one) got under it when the boat was pitching, and it tore a 8" long hole right in the bow. We were in Taiohae in the Marquesas. It was 1986 or 1990, sorry I don't remember. We had Bostik hypalon glue we'd bought at Downwind Marine just before we went to Mexico, so it was still only about 6 months old. We didn't know yet about how it sets up in the can. Well, Jim's book said to first place a patch on the inside, bonding the two sides together, with a minimum of 2" overlap. Well, it was imperfect, but okay, and then we put another big patch over the outside, per the instructions. This patch lasted about 5 yrs. When it burst open on shore in the sun (we'd left it in the shade, gone for a walk with friends, and came back to a sad, sad sight). Our friends had a small hard dinghy, and patiently rowed us back to the mother boat and brought the poor little thing back to it, too. (Thanks, Terry & Janine!) By then, we had learned (in Gladstone, Qld., Oz) about the then SC2000, and so that was fixed permanently, and was sold with that patch in place, with our previous boat in 2013. So, I don't know how long it lasted, either.
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Old 05-08-2021, 19:31   #11
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

I had a Mercury PVC rib that the tubes had separated from the transom. I let part of the air out, used WestC-flex epoxy (flexible) on the area to be glued, while the epoxy was wet, inflated the tubes and ratchet strapped around the area to pull the tubes into the transom. That was a year ago and it has been used constantly since with no problems. Masking tape any areas you do not want epoxy on as it turns yellow and shows so try to keep the bond lines small. Have used the same glue to replace a floor on a hypalon dingy and it worked fine.
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Old 05-08-2021, 20:39   #12
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, Green Heaven, let me play devil's advocate here... We have done many, smaller repairs while cruising, and this one will take a few days.

Glue first: you need enough good glue. Probably a one liter can of Rema Tip Top SC 4000 will (plus catalyst) will be enough.

If the tubes are intact and hold air, you can do this repair. You only need a little air in the tubes. They should look sort of like you let the air out of a baby elephant. Do all the prep on the first day, then one side and the bow as the next day is warming up. Let it cure overnight. If it is going well and there are still at least 6 hrs. of warm, dry day, finish it in the first day. Otherwise stop for the day. The next day, finish it. Let that cure 24 hrs. Inflate, but not really tight, and use. The following day, finish inflating it. You'll want to arrange the use of a field, or somewhere it can be protected from theft for doing the work and temp storage. So, you need a marina, or the use of a paddle board or kayak for getting to and from the boat.

Paying $150 an hour for 2 people for perhaps what will add up to 3 five hour half days....Under $1200, whereas a new hypalon dinghy will cost over $4,000.

Get a paperback book on dinghy repair, and learn a new skill. Watch a couple of U tubes till you're ready. You can do this. It is just a different sort of work, that's all. All you really need to do is convince someone to let you use a little part of a shop, maybe even rent the space if you can't arrange some barter deal.

The very worst outcome is that you don't like your repair and are out the materials money you spent, and are annoyed that you worked for minimum wages. Sure, it's easier to throw money at it, but where's the fun in that?

If the tubes are shot, then I would try to either buy new or used.

Jim used to use masking tape to control the glue spread, and inexpensive acid brushes for applying the SC 4000. Great glue for hypalon. If your tubes are plastic (pvc), I'd use the 3M 4200 because it sets up faster than the 5200.

Consider the potential satisfaction of doing this one, you and your partner, working together.

Ann
Like your style Anne - Jim's a lucky fellow .
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Old 06-08-2021, 04:58   #13
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

GreenHeaven, you must have set a record for lengthy supportive posts.

David B, you are not the first to conclude that Jim Cate married far above his station.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:46   #14
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

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You've summed it up, and are facing the decision. Repair is going to be expensive in time and money, and is very difficult while cruising. Replacement is expensive, maybe beyond your current resources. Choose replacement, and pursue it until you get to the "can I or can't I" moment of handing over the funds. If it's "I can't," then you are stuck with repair. Pursue that one until the job is done or you have the resources to change back to replacement.

I could draw you a diagram of this decision process. The vertical axis is resistance and difficulty. The horizontal is closeness to one decision or the other, at the two sides. You are sitting on top of the center of a "W". Going one way seems easy (attractive, down hill) and then gets difficult (up hill), you switch to the other and it seems easy and then difficult, you switch back, and so on.

You're stuck with the decision. Someone may be able to say "I tried to glue it, and don't bother," pushing you toward replacement, but no one on the forum can quantify the difficulties of repair or finance that you face. If you do go the repair route, I hope you'll post regarding your experience with it.
Very well summed up. But for the record, I tried twice and both times it worked only for a short period. Only one advice: clean, clean as much as you can before repair.
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:50   #15
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Re: Re gluing plastic rib to rubber tubes

Its a Zodiac Bombard so I think its Hypalon (how can you definitively tell?)


I asked a local marine shop guy and he said forget it. Hypalon will never stay repaired.
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