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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-24-2008
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Ruptured Dinghy Blues

My 2000 Zodiac CFR310 PVC dink had a catastophic (sp?) failure. The front tube ruptured with a 15" x 15" L-shaped tear. I believe the cause to be a combination of severe UV deterioration and rough weather while tied up in front of my boat...truth-be-told, the boat may have ridden up and down on the dink in a storm, adding insult to injury.

The good news is that the 6-hp Johnson seems to have survived. But the dink is toast - well, unless someone has some suggestions. The smallish repair materials in the kit just wont cut it for this situation.

Can you patch such a large rupture? If so, how? And using what materials?

Tried calling Zodiac's aprez-sales dept, so far with no call back.

Advice much appreciated. Thanks, all.
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Old 08-24-2008
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Here's repair advice..
How to repair an inflatable boat or raft.
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Old 08-24-2008
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Thank you, Camaraderie, but maybe I wasn't clear. This thing looks like a shark bit it. A big shark. There's a dog-ear flap as big as, well, a dog - not a chiwawa either. My 4-year-old can stand inside the gash. I'd need 10 of those kits and I'd still have to figure out how to hold the material such that I'd get a nice tight seal.

Other thoughts?
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Old 08-24-2008
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A new boat..

IF you need larger material ...Look to these guys

NRS - Kayaking Gear, Rafting Supplies and Boating Equipment
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Old 08-24-2008
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Thank you, Stillraining. Yep, new boat is probably the right answer, but us sailors is cheap!!! The 'by the foot' material is what I was looking for.
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Old 08-25-2008
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Pub, don't get discouraged, you CAN fix this!

It looks like you've already got the techno-savvy help finding the materials in the size and quantity you need to work beyond the normal puncture wound repair kits. All that's left now is a little patch work.

The size of the hole makes NO difference in the success or failure of the patch. Careful technique and using the materials as instructed will determine the adhesion quality, not the size or shape. I've patched many whitewater rafts made of PVC and, unless you have too, you can't imagine the size and shape of hole a newbie guide pinballing down a river trying to catch an eddy with a crew of fumbling executives learning to paddle can produce.

With large areas to patch, such as yours, I used to do TWO patches. One on the inside of the raft and one on the outside, in two separate sessions. The materials I used for PVC (this was over 10 years ago, mind you, so don't ask me for the exact name, please) created a chemical bond so no sanding was necessary. The tube of the raft must be COMPLETELY dry inside and out. This may take a while and may require being hung from the ceiling to drain all the water. Cut your patch material to shape and prep the inside of the tube just as you would if you were putting the patch on the outside. It is definitely harder and a little blind, but shouldn't be too bad in your case because you can open the raft right up and get to work. Make SURE the size of the patch is bigger than the outline of glue you apply!!! Otherwise, when you press the tube down on to the patch you may end up gluing it to the opposite side of the tube on the inside and never get your raft apart.

That's it. That's all the tricks you need. That inside patch will take a majority of the pressure exerted on the ripped area, leaving very little pressure to be taken by the normal outside patch. It will also put your raft back into one piece and allow you to apply an excellent outside patch without having to try and hold everything together while you are doing it. GOOD LUCK!!!

As a side note for a PVC raft: it has been my experience that the limiting factor in a PVC raft's life comes from sand. Yes, sand. Sand gets into the corners between tube and floor and grinds away, especially if you inflate and deflate your raft a lot. Sand will produce an infinity of pinhole seam leaks that are way harder to repair than even a 15" by 15" gash, impossible, really.
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Old 08-25-2008
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Nice, Soulesailor. Excellent. Just what I was looking for. The patch-the-inside-first approach makes a lot of sense. And I get what you mean about the risk of sticking the insides of the tube together. Would it be advisable to take some preventative steps on this possible problem such as coating the inside with a release agent (silicon spray) or wax paper - both of which would remain in the tube post-repair, indefinetly.?

The outter patch is going over some severly UV damaged materia which is showing threads through. My guess is that I should completely re-skin this area until the edge of the patch has some better quality pvc to adhere to, right?

Once again, thank you!!!
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Old 08-25-2008
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Thought some pics would be fun...
Attached Thumbnails
Ruptured Dinghy Blues-imag0009.jpg   Ruptured Dinghy Blues-imag0010.jpg   Ruptured Dinghy Blues-imag0011.jpg  
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Old 08-25-2008
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Pretty sure that's hypalon...

Tough spot to fix too.

Last edited by Stillraining; 08-25-2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-26-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Ouch... the kid could crawl into the tubes via that hole...
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