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Old 29-01-2017, 22:51   #1

Join Date: Nov 2015
Boat: 1984 Sovereign 28 CC
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What the rubber?

Just picked up this dinghy.. Pretty sure it's Hypalon but I need to investigate further. Most of the hardware (Handles, D-Rings, Oar Locks, bumper strip) are mounted poorly. Looks like they fell off a few times and 3 or 4 different adhesives were used to try and remount them.. ( I think this will be easy enough). My issue is what the flap jacks the grey coating on the top of the tubes is and how or if I should try to remove/recoat it. I believe it might be "Liquid Rubber" as I understand this typically only comes in grey. I'm worried about what I might find underneath or doing more damage than good when trying to remove the coating to achieve a better looking end result. Please help with your experienced recommendations on how to bring this thing back to life.

Thank you
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Old 30-01-2017, 00:57   #2
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Re: What the rubber?

It's a bit of a pita, but SailRite has s description of how to make chaps for the dinghy. That would allow you to cover it, perhaps in some high visibility color. If you already have a sewing machine aboard, I might go for that, rather than risk using something to remove the grey that just might dissolve the white. White, usually is pvc. Hypalon, usually light grey or medium grey.

If there's a chemist aboard, s/he might be able to suggest a suitable paint stripper, but bear in mind someone did have a reason to cover it with the medium grey paint--or whatever that coating is.

It is due to the unknown nature of the coating that I suggest making the chaps, or having them made.


PS. It depends on how big your boat bucks are, whether it is reasonable or expensive.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 30-01-2017, 04:17   #3
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Re: What the rubber?

Seams on hypalon boats are glued. They appear much flatter in profile than PVC boats. The seams are simply overlapped and glued. Check around the seams and you will most likely see traces of excess glue that has seeped out. Hypalon boat manufacturers use a 'contact cement' type of glue in their seams. PVCs are not glued.

Seams on PVC boats are heat welded. They are 'thicker' in profile than Hypalon boats. Often the seams are covered with a strip of material which makes it difficult to see the heat welded seam. But look around to other areas of the boat and you will most likely identify the heat welded seams. See photo below.

Find a small area on the boat that is hidden from view and apply a small amount of MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), Acetone, or Xylene on a rag; and rub the test area.
If area becomes sticky, if the top colour runs, or the surface of the material feels tacky, then the material is most likely PVC.
Hypalon will leave an oxidization and maybe some colour on the cloth; but the material will not be affected.

If you can see the inside of the tube (through the valve) - Hypalon is a dark grey or black on the inside. PVC is the same colour on both sides.

Lightly sand the material.
Hypalon will matt down and produce a dust.
PVC will just scratch. There will be no difference in colour.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 30-01-2017, 05:38   #4
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Re: What the rubber?

A friend of ours has an identical one. His is hypalon. His is painted over too. No idea why.

I have used stickiback insignia over the tubes of our older bombard and it worked fine.

There are special soft paints for this kind of jobs but many people use plain commercial pains.

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Old 30-01-2017, 05:42   #5
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Re: What the rubber?

People paint them when they get old and full of pin hole leaks.
I would find a better color and repaint it, forget trying to remove it
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