Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

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Originally Posted by salttrip View Post
West Marine 310RIB, have a leak i can not find, no bubbles, have no idea where the air is going??? I patch the leak but now you can hear it inside as it leaks down. No sign as to where the air is going.
The official diagnostic test is to mix up a solution of very thick liquid soap an water and paint on the boat and look for bubbles.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

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I just use 3M 5200, no patch unless it's a long tear. Clean, rough it up, and apply a liberal coat of 5200. Only downside is that you have to wait about 24 hours before inflating. By the way, this is the ONLY thing I use 5200 for on the boat. Works on PVC and Hypalon.
This works great for PVC dinks that don't incorporate fabric. The extreme stretch tends to cause patches to fail but 5200 holds well.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

salttrip-
"have a leak i can not find, ...I patch the leak "

If you couldn't find the leak, you sure didn't patch it.

First you find it, then you patch it. Either you hold it under water and look for where the bubbles come out, or you coat it with soapy water and watch for where the bubbles blow. Ain't rocket science, just careful observation to find out where the leak is.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I just use 3M 5200, no patch unless it's a long tear. Clean, rough it up, and apply a liberal coat of 5200. Only downside is that you have to wait about 24 hours before inflating. By the way, this is the ONLY thing I use 5200 for on the boat. Works on PVC and Hypalon.
Agreed. We have a 12 year old hypalon RIB and use 5200 for the occasional fix as well as for attaching the running light mount. The quick cure 5200 eliminates some of the wait and associated runs... Tried some of the expensive two part glues in the past for attaching our number plates, but the 5200 works just as well and is quite a bit cheaper.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

I've used Seal All with good results. Especially so with pin holes and no patch at all. It comes in a yellow tube and is readily available at Lowes and Home Depot.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Patching a PVC inflatable, what works for you?

For the guy with the 310RIB

These have a partition separating the tube sections. A leak in the partition will only go from one tube to another. There is a leak in the outside some where.

Some small holes are hard to find. Inflate the raft.
Mix up a couple of big plastic bottles of 50% liquid soap (dish or laundry) and water. Try and not get a lot of foam on the raft. You just want clear soap and water, so you'll be able to see the bubbles. Have some one pick up the side of the raft and fill the air fill with soap. If you see bubbles it needs to be cleaned or replaced. Often just washing them out solves the problem or some silicone grease (get a small tube at pool or hardware stores). Do the same for the other fills. You can get new guts for about $30 each at West Marine if you can't get it to stop.

Flip the boat over Look specifically for wear or scrape marks to test. If no bubbles, pour and wipe this around the whole inflated part of the bottom. Look for bubbles flowing from a spot. There will be a telltale trail. Mark with a magic marker if you see any. If none flip it over and do the top sides.

If you find none it may be leaking inside underneath the tube. Stand the raft on its side and fill the slot between the tube and the bottom with soap. Try not to get a lot of foam. If you see a stream of bubbles there is your hole. After you locate it, You may have to deflate it a little to see where it is. Do the same for the other side and the front. If you find a leak here you may be able to patch it. Usually this type of hole is around the front from a sharp anchor. if you have an anchor locker it maybe in there.

Good luck
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