SailNet Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We got a nice inflatable dingy with our recent boat purchase. Its probably an late 80's to early 90's model. Brought it home, pumped it up and it held air for about a week before it started deflating. Is this common? Is it past its life span? Does it just need patching? should I just use it as is and keep a manual pump handy? Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
My Caribe 9' RIB would hold pressure for a week or so before s-l-o-w-l-y losing ground. I got it used and abused from a dump of sorts,so no loss. Seems tthe seals in the valves were/are going South. The soapy suds ttes when fully inflated+ never showed a probllem. Since it is/was too big & heavy to deal withon the foredeck of the W27,I let it sit in the yard..

Me? I'd just givvit a pump once and a whileand call it good. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I think it's pretty normal to get a leak once in a while. I went through this last year. Our used West Marine 9' inflatable started losing air over the course of a few days. Yeah, you can just keep pumping it up, but that's no fun. Better to just find and fix the leak. Ours had both a hole and a leaky valve.

As deltaten said, you can drip or spray soapy water onto the suspected areas to find the leak(s). But first, I'd pump it up good and hard, and get down very close and listen for the hissing. If the leak isn't obvious, then apply the soapy water and look for the bubbles.

There are an abundance of products out there for patching inflatables. Just make sure you get the right type of patch kit for the material your boat is made of (synthetic rubber, PVC, etc), and follow the instructions. You can also buy replacement valves if that turns out to be the problem. I got everything I needed at West Marine.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
We got a nice inflatable dingy with our recent boat purchase. Its probably an late 80's to early 90's model. Brought it home, pumped it up and it held air for about a week before it started deflating. Is this common? Is it past its life span? Does it just need patching? should I just use it as is and keep a manual pump handy? Thanks for your input.
Do basic leakage checking process. Apply soap water on the possible areas of leakage and check if there is any leakage.

But still I strongly suggest to get it to some professional and get the patch work done. Also may be you will be unaware of its usage, so its better to avoid any chances for the sake of few bucks.
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
If it is a valve or hole worth a patch or a new seal in the valve.

If it is a seam the only thing that worked for me when I was a penniless cruiser was a product called Slime [green] which you pored into the tube then sloshed around. Bought from auto stores.

At the time the dink in question needed pumping before and during use. Post slime it would stay hard for a day or two. I got an extra 18 months use.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
Even with the best storage and treatment, 20-30 years is past the end of life. If the seams were glued, the glue is probably failing by now. If they were welded, that's better but the material itself is likely drying out (plasticizers evaporate, laminates delaminate) or failing.

At 30 years if it holds air, great, by all means keep using it. But if the material or seams are failing, you will be playing whack-a-mole, patching the patches and continually finding new ones to apply. If that gets too exciting...or if a little vigorous pumping results in a "Bang!" sound....it really is past end of life. Should still make a good wading pool though.
 

·
Shanachie, Bristol 30
Joined
·
70 Posts
It's not difficult to replace a leaky valve. Many of them are Halkey Roberts brand, and you can find a new one on the Internet for not much money. Use soapy water around the valve to find the slow leak.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
I've had excellent results with super glue on small patches. But the big thing is to get the area to be patched very, very clean and dry. Sanding the shine off the material and using lighter fluid or acetone as a final cleaning agent is important. I've never had good luck with the contact cement in the kits. Did a couple of lifting rings a year or so ago after the professional glue failed, (a 2 part, slow setting epoxy glue) and she's been hanging on the davits every night since, w/o any problems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimgo

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,488 Posts
I've had pretty good luck with patch kits, but I get OCD about following directions. Never tried to fix a seem, however. That would be doom in my book.

I have heard some that use 5200 as a last ditch patch glue. Anyone tried it? I'm not sure it dries fast enough, but one would think it would hold. It probably won't stretch either.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
Minne-
5200 eventually hardens up. On a flexible surface that's a problem, and I'd expect epoxy and superglue to fail for the same reason. If they can't flex, they will fight and tear at the bond, or crack, and fail. And I've got a vague memory that superglue is not designed to work when constantly wet or immersed in water.

But Goop is a family or urethane adhesives that are very much designed to stay flexible forever. That would be my #1 choice if a proper 2-part adhesive and primer wasn't available, or I didn't want to spend the big bucks on it. Sometimes, if you ask nicely, the Goop folks will send a free 1/2oz. sample tube out.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Minne-
5200 eventually hardens up. On a flexible surface that's a problem, and I'd expect epoxy and superglue to fail for the same reason. If they can't flex, they will fight and tear at the bond, or crack, and fail. And I've got a vague memory that superglue is not designed to work when constantly wet or immersed in water.
But Goop is a family or urethane adhesives that are very much designed to stay flexible forever. That would be my #1 choice if a proper 2-part adhesive and primer wasn't available, or I didn't want to spend the big bucks on it. Sometimes, if you ask nicely, the Goop folks will send a free 1/2oz. sample tube out.
If you will note in my post, I specifically said that super glue works very well on small patches. As super glue was found when researchers were trying to figure out how shell fish adhered to rocks in the surfline, I doubt seriously water will affect it and I have never had a super glue fail, for any reason, since super glue was invented.
The 2 part slow cure epoxy we used to reattach the lifting rings was put on an inflated dinghy so they cured to the curve of the hull. We never deflate, nor allow the dinghy to become soft (always like a basket ball), so the hull shape does not change significantly. If epoxy can hold the dink, motor, oars and full fuel tank on the davits for over a year, (in the sun, rain, wind and the considerable motion of poor anchorages; we never in marinas), I should think one would hesitate to criticize it as a repair adhesive.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
Capta-
Barnacles? Really? The stories I have heard about superglue have nothing to do with barnacles:

"Super Glue, also known as cyanoacrylate, was originally discovered in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover, who by the way died last month on March 26th, 2011. Coover was attempting to make clear plastic gun sights to be put on guns used by Allied soldiers in WWII. One particular formulation he came up with didn’t work well for gun sights, but worked fantastically as an extremely quick bonding adhesive. Surprisingly, despite the commercial potential of such a product, Coover abandoned that formulation completely as it obviously wasn’t suitable for his current project, being too sticky.

Nine years later, in 1951, now working at Eastman Kodak, Dr. Coover was the supervisor of a project looking at developing a heat resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies. Fred Joyner was working on that project and at one point used the rediscovered Super Glue and tested it by spreading ethyl cyanoacrylate between a pair of refractometer prisms. To his surprise, the prisms became stuck very solidly together. This time, Coover did not abandoned the cyanoacrylate (Super Glue), rather, he realized the great potential of a product that would quickly bond to a variety of materials and only needed a little water to activate, which generally is provided in the materials to be bonded themselves."
Super Glue was Invented by Accident, Twice

"Since its heralded beginning, the powerful adhesive known as Super Glue has enjoyed a rich history - including an imaginative element of mythology! Though urban legend describes the glue as an accidental solution to battle wounds during World War II, its actual evolution is a little different.

The original cyanoacrylates (the chemical name for the glue) were discovered in 1942 in a search for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for the war, and scientists stumbled upon a formulation that stuck to everything that it came in contact with. However, cyanoacrylates were quickly rejected by American researchers precisely because they stuck to everything!** In 1951, cyanoacrylates were rediscovered by Eastman Kodak researchers Harry Coover and Fred Joyner, who recognized its true commercial potential, and it was first sold as a commercial product in 1958."
History Of Super Glue | Super Glue Corporation

** A friend who was working in Rochester (home of Eastman) told me the backstory on that was that Eastman executives had brought samples to a board meeting and said for everyone to take it home and try it out and see what they could do with it. Someone's young daughter glued her fingers together, and that was why Eastman continued to make it--but had nothing to do with selling it to consumers.

Barnacle glue? Urban myth, AFAIK.

No, wait, that would be...littoral myth, wouldn't it? (G)

Loctite says about one of their varieties:
"Not Recommended For...Use in the dishwasher...
...Use on repairs needing high flexibility"
and while they also say it is "resistant to moisture" they do not say it is waterproof, or suitable for immersion. I've had it fail after extended exposure to warm water.

Maybe the brands are not all the same.

Superglue can be very weird stuff. I tried soaking the ends of a cotton sneakerlace where the aiglets had worn off, thinking it would make reasonable new ones. Funny thing, if you saturate cotton with superglue, it starts to smoke and then COMBUST if you are unlucky.

Superglue and shoelaces as a firestarter. Go figure, huh?
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Capta-
Barnacles? Really? The stories I have heard about superglue have nothing to do with barnacles:

"Super Glue, also known as cyanoacrylate, was originally discovered in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover
Wow, so much information. I bow to your superior knowledge. An interesting read.
Invented by accident twice? Fun. However I don't often put my inflatables in a dish or even clothes washer, so I guess that's why it worked so successfully for me.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
"However I don't often put my inflatables in a ...clothes washer,"

Oddly enough, the first time I was caught out in a good squall, that's exactly what I felt I had gone through. And my clothes were clean, all the way down to the skin!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
In the give and take between Capta and Hellosailor, one critical bit of info omitted. What material are you refering to? I know that the most highly recommended adhesives are different for PVC vs. Hypalon. Does CA work with both?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,954 Posts
If the valves are leaking slowly, try a little glycerin. Takes many months to dry up and helps narrow the search.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top