crusty metzler juca inflatable holds air but... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-22-2006
nor cal (frigid) member
 
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Arrow crusty metzler juca inflatable holds air but...

hello everyone,
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.

many thanks,
ben
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Old 06-22-2006
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Buy it, the outboard is worth almost that much. If you don't want it I'll take it. I had a Metzler about 10 years ago, it had seam leaks (a common problem with Metzlers) but it was light weight and tracked pretty well with the inflatable floor. I gave it away and wish I hadn't. But I was annoyed with the leaks. You could just put a patch over the worn spot.
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Old 06-22-2006
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Check on prices for the engine, that may be worth it alone, if it runs. Ten years sitting in a garage can be a problem.

An inflateable that old may be junk, once the seams start to let go they never stop. Cracks in the skin probably mean it is aging badly. Zodiac (and the French government) condemn inflatable life rafts once they are 10 or 12 years old in the belief that they simply cannot be relied on after that age--partly because of their experience with fabric rotting and seams opening. that is going to depend on how the seams were made (glued or welded/fused) what the material is, how it was stored, etc. Gasoline and exhaust in a garage might age it badly.

So...you've got a gamble. Figure you're buying an engine and the rest really depends on whether it will hold. I know someone who "fought" an old bargain 12' Achilles for nearly four years before he literally threw it out.

Seams can be glued, spots can be patched, but if you are going to take it out diving and RELY on it...Can you swim all the way back home?
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Old 06-23-2006
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Wink thanks for input!

i appreciate the feedback. i'm getting excited about the possibility of having a "starter" boat of my own, even more so now that i know the motor is worth something by itself (we did run it and it started fine--very clean looking under the hood, no corrosion, etc. but i think it'll need a tune up, maybe service at an outboard shop?)

i found an interesting thread about "dinks" with some tips on maintenance. if i can post links here, it's:
http://www.geocities.com/bill_dietri...Equipment.html

i still don't know if there is a way to paint the whole boat in some kind of marine paint once all the repairs are complete. any thoughts?

thanks so much,
ben
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Old 03-05-2007
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Did you buy this? Hows the boat?

I've got an old Metzler Maya that has the same delamination problem with the glued on accessories.
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Old 07-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akwormy
Did you buy this? Hows the boat?

I've got an old Metzler Maya that has the same delamination problem with the glued on accessories.
unfortunately, not well. see my recent thread "spray foam + inflatable boat"
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