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Old 29-04-2014, 16:32   #1
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Hypalon dinghy repair

I got duped into buying a 2001 Caribe with worn hypalon tubes. Has anyone used vehicle under coating as a fix for worn fabric... The dinghy's to big, just want it to hold air so I can sell as is. I have read stories where that has worked very well. Thanks for any advice.

Or another method of repair. It is a decent dinghy just to heavy for my needs. Its 10'
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Old 29-04-2014, 17:39   #2
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
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Re: Hypalon dinghy repair

If it is only the tubes where one steps and sits, buy enough of hypalon to cover, plus about 2inches (~5 cm), and a couple of liters of SC 4000 and catalyst, and totally cover the worn areas. It will, of course, make the dinghy heavier, but it will hold air.

If it is that the tube seams are falling apart, that's way much harder, and you'd have to rebuild from scratch. Such a repair would exceed my skill level. I have seen one filled with spray-in closed cell foam, but that's pretty dear, and of course is now a hard dinghy with a rubber ducky shape.

You may just have to take the hit. I am sorry you feel duped. Is there any advice on buying used dinghies you could pass on on? how we can avoid the same thing happening to us?

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 30-04-2014, 05:46   #3
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Re: Hypalon dinghy repair

National River Supply sells a lot of the material needed to repair Hypalon dinghies, including the correct glue, they specialize in kayaks, river running rubber boats and the like, where repairs are part of the joy of ownership. River rafting is a bit more rough on rubber boats than tooling around the anchorage.
I replaced the tubes on my RIB several years ago after some weasel tried to steal it but decided to trash it when he couldn't steal it.
The original manufacturer supplied the new tubes and I rebuilt it, not cheap but then again, new hypalon tubes on the RIB were $900.00 and made it like new, a new RIB that size was $2700.00.
The suggestion to recover the worn areas is a good one, try NRS for supplies.
A person with moderate to decent skills can do it, the prep is all important, once the glue is on it's do or die.
Buyer beware when it comes to used Hypalon, even worse if it's PVC.
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Old 30-04-2014, 16:50   #4
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Re: Hypalon dinghy repair

Depending on the nature of your leaks, Tuff-Coat works well. The base coat is toluene soluble, whereas the top coat is water soluble. I guess they work together somehow! It has to ship ground, but I got some sent across the US from Defender to Port Townsend, WA. I then found a local WA address on some of the instructions! I think it is a UK product.

Tuff-Coat Inflatable Boat Restoration Kit

On my RIB I had a number of seam leaks, there were some old lifting patches (replaced with correct glue and material) and the fabric was worn thin in places and generally tired-looking. In hindsight my prep was not really that good but nonetheless when I finished only one tube had a leak and that was so slow that the RIB was useable for at least a week. When I was doing it a few of the boatyard folks were skeptical of my attempts but then very complimentary on the finished job. It did out looking pretty nice. I did the entire RIB. Pic attached, sorry about being rotated. I only wanted it to be good enough to sell, and it did that. I showed the buyer where the slow leak was and gave him the leftover Tuff-Coat, and said that thorough prep was needed. He wasn't fazed at all, said he had a mate who was expert at it.
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