Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wilmington, DE
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I understand that you have a 1 inch tear or separation at the seam on your Achilles dinghy and that previous attempts to repair this with the manufacturer supplied repair kit were unsuccessful.
Through my experience with tears, large and small, and pinholes in my Achilles dinghy, events that occurred more frequently than I had hoped, I spoke with a lot of people about the best way to make these repairs. Like everything else, the answers were diverse, however, there were some common components.
First, the one-part glue supplied with your kit is ok for pinholes but will not hold up to your one-inch hole. You need to buy a two-part glue made especially for hypalon dinghies – I am assuming that your Achilles, like mine, is made of hypalon - and mix carefully according to directions. The glue for PVC will not work for hypalon dinghies. This stuff is caustic so wear a mask if you can and make sure you have proper ventilation. Read and follow the directions for skin and eye protection.
Both surfaces need to thoroughly cleaned. I remember using acetone to clean the surfaces but there is probably a better solvent for this purpose – that’s what I had. The new patch is probably pretty clean but the area in question on the dinghy is probably in bad shape. Take the time to remove the old glue and any dirt or residue in the entire area. You can use the sandpaper supplied with the repair kit to rough up both surfaces.
If your tear is located at the bumper, you must peel this back and place the patch under the bumper. If the tear is at a seam, you must peel the seam back and get the patch under the top seam and over the tear. I would apply glue to the top side of the patch that will meet the top seam. The patch should be 2 inches larger than the tear. When this patch is dried, you have more work to do. Apply a second patch, much larger that the initial one, at least two inches beyond the ends of the initial patch.
As I mentioned in my first response, I had a 5 inch tear, at the bumper, which ultimately required an inside patch, through the hole – that was fun – an outside patch and a top patch that was quite large. It took more than one experiment to get it right, but, with a little perseverance, this leak was successfully patched. I don’t know if you can get an inside patch through a 1 inch hole. I think you’ll be ok without one, however, if you’re not successful with the methods I suggested, you may have to try using an inside patch.
I hope this helps.
Last edited by Sialia; 05-10-2006 at 03:26 PM.