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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bear mauling... Need PVC fabric source?

I got a nice air floor inflatable, less than a year old for free! Way cool.. only catch was it got mauled by a bear. It isn't that bad and I think it should be repairable, but I am going to need some larger pieces of PVC than usually comes with the repair kits. Anyone got a good source? Searching for PVC fabric on the internet brings up a lot of non related stuff and all the PVC inflatable repair kits I can find only include a 14 x 6" patch. I think I am going to need more than that!
Also
Any recommendations on how to proceed are appreciated. I know a guy that glued an entire new floor on an inflatable so I know its possible!


 

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Last time I needed a large patch, I bought a PVC rain poncho from a sporting goods store. It was the same weight material, and very close to the correct color. Wasn't super cheap but was much cheaper than the only place I could find that carried the material.

with todays disposable mindset I've found it's often cheaper and easier to buy something to cut up than it is to find the material itself.

Ken.
 

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A PVC shower curtain or poncho won't have the same reinforcing fibers in it. It looks like your dink is not PVC, but cloth calendared (pressure coated) with PVC, which is stronger.

You might try contacting some of the makers and telling them you need a large piece of cloth for repairs, and see if they can sell it to you or recommend a source.
 

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I bought the special glue and the fabric from shipstore.com -Part of - ShipStore.com ™ to fix my inflatable. For a repair like you want to do you really need the right glue and fabric. If those tears are in the air floor they are going to need to be virtually perfect. Air floors are inflated to about 10 psi or more, and they have lots of strands that tie the top and bottom together, so they can take that pressure and become very ridgid. Unless you are very handy this isn't a repair for the faint of heart! Of course your only investment will be the repair materials, so what the hell!
 

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A friend of mine needed a large patch and called the local dingy store/repair shop. They gave him a piece from an old dink they had by the dumpster!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A friend of mine needed a large patch and called the local dingy store/repair shop. They gave him a piece from an old dink they had by the dumpster!
The guy I got it from was actually advertising it as scrap to use for repairs... I don't think it is that bad... He just didn't want to go through the hassle of fixing it. I have a west marine dry bag that is dark blue, but feels like the same weight material. I paid 50 bucks for it but if things get desperate: snip snip snip....
 

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MCmaster is a source of all possible things

McMaster-Carr, look for vinyl coated polyester

HH-66 is good one component glue, however proper way to fix it would be with 2-component adhesives, just to make it heat resistant.
You will need to put patches both inside and outside on big cuts, and sew edges together.
 

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A PVC shower curtain or poncho won't have the same reinforcing fibers in it. It looks like your dink is not PVC, but cloth calendared (pressure coated) with PVC, which is stronger.

You might try contacting some of the makers and telling them you need a large piece of cloth for repairs, and see if they can sell it to you or recommend a source.
You're thinking the $2. one-use cheapies you buy at walmart, many of the better sporting goods stores carry very nice heavy duty ponchos that are made with the same fabric as the dinghys.

Also, those free standing pools with the inflateable top ring have sides made of the same exact fabric. (easy set type, starting at $39. you'd get a roughly 30inch by 24ft length) bottom and ring are made the same as the walmart ponchos with no fabric, but the sides are very heavy duty with the fabric inside (able to hold 5000+ gallons of water!) Only real drawback is that they're only available in blue or white.

Like I say, I'm a big fan of buying things to cut up as material for a project. It's surprising how much more material you can get by purchasing a finished product than just buying the material.
(yeah I'm extremely frugal)

ken.
 

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Ken,
I've got the material for repairing my dinghy. No poncho in the world would be made of material that thick! I also have one of those pools you speak of for my grandson. Same deal, thicker than the poncho but no comparison to the dinghy fabric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That glue are you going to use?
What glue?

Unfortunately I don't get to choose. I can't get hazmat ground shipments. Wish I could. I have been dieing to get my hands on some Smith's Epoxy sealer. I miss that stuff. Git-rot isn't anywhere near as good.
But I digress..

I am getting whatever West Marine sells. Since they have a store here I can get anything ordered through them when their barge shipment comes in. Looks like it is going to be a 2 part "Poly Marine Ltd" product.


Hypalon product shown..
 

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I have no experience with that particular adhesive.
However most of PVC glues I worked with can be reactivated with a heat. It becomes handy when you need to tackle difficult task of applying a patch from inside.
Basically, you apply glue, wait until it is not tacky anymore, slide patch inside, align it, stich the edges, then, using hair fan, or any other heat gun, reactivate a glue and press the patch and damaged area together. A little 1 inch roller is very handy tool for applying a pressure.
 

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What are you doing sailing with bears in the first place....or did you store you food in the dinghy?

Dave
 

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Thoughts;

The air deck is under much higher pressure than the tubes of an inflatable. The tubes are designed to inflate to about 3.5 psi and the floor 10 psi.

I don't know how to do the math but I'm sure the floor psi goes up when 1-3 adults + gear are on top of it.

How will that pressure affect a glue repair? I'm not sure.

I do know that it is possible to order the air deck from most manufacturers.

Keep gas off the air deck, it will destroy it (don't ask). Mercury Marine also suggested (over the phone) that I keep the deck covered to protect it from UV.
 
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