nor cal (frigid) member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: santa cruz
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crusty metzler juca inflatable holds air but...
i am a novice to boating and am getting into it to better enjoy my scuba diving in the monterey, california area. because i know so little about assessing the seaworthyness of an old (vintage) inflatable metzler juca i am turning to the experts here for guidance. essentially, i have located a woman who has stored her boat with a 15 hp evenrude motor (runs good, low hours) in a garage for 10 years, and she's asking $850, which seems reasonable based on prices i see elsewhere.
in general, the boat seems to be well preserved (it was stored indoors and partially inflated). but the boat has at least one area where the outter "skin" of the boat is severely cracked and peeling down to the inner "fabric" layer. (the owner tells me this cracking occurred because the line which suspended the boat from the ceiling slipped out of its protective pipe and dug into the side of the boat.) even with this cracking, however, the boat does hold air and i think the effected area (about 1.5 inches wide by 4 inches long) can be repaired. other repairs will be necessary as well: many of the seams are loose and most of the oar locks and similar anchor points need to be reglued to the boat.
tell me please if i am taking my life in my hands here by attempting to revive a vintage inflatable like this, or whether--given ample time, glue and patches--i will be able to restore this fine dingy to its former glory! if appropriate, please identify what kind of glue, patching material, marine paint or other "surface treatment" is recommended to help me rehabilitate this little gem. perhaps there is a FAQ on reconditioning inflatables somewhere? incidentally, i think the juca is made of hypalon, and i understand that metzler was bought out by zodiac many years ago.