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Old 22 March 2012, 11:58   #1
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Hi all, just looking for any last suggestions before I sell off my 2001 5.5m Prestige cat hull rib (130hp) with great disappointment
The hypalon glue keeps coming away and one repair just leads to another burst. According to the local rib shop it's a known problem with the brand and I'm looking at a AU$14,000 replacement cost for the tube alone.

I paid $7000 for the thing and it was a lot of fun for a while, but then it started to lose air too fast for the on board compressors to keep up with. The internal baffles are all gone and the main leak is the front right corner join, and when I opened it up to reglue the seam I found all the internal seam layers look like they're pulling away. So a safe repair is unlikely to be an option. I think the fact that the previous owner sprayed it black just before selling it to me probably sped up the glue deterioration.

I've been trying to work out the cheapest possible way to keep the hull afloat out to my dive sites. The following are ideas I've had and in most cases found some evidence of being done before, but want more feedback on:

A) Foam-fill the old tubes (but takes on water and makes it heavy, hard to fill evenly, can crack).
B) stuff the tubes full of pool-noodles or beanbag beans (but beans are pricey and it still needs to hold air).
C) replace the tubes with inflatable fenders or boat rollers end-to-end (my top pick currently).
D) fabricate some aluminium tubing (but likely pricey).
E) keep it on the plane and hang floats around it to stop it sinking at rest.
F) glass up the sides so it's no longer an inflatable (or just transfer engine/jockey/steering/A-frame to a runabout).
G) join round plastic chemical drums end to end all around.

Obviously I have no interest in making it look nice, it just has to be cheap and unsinkable. If anyone has any solutions or experience with any of the options, please speak up!

Cheers, Josh.

Perth, Western Australia.
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Old 22 March 2012, 12:03   #2
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I think you can get inner tubes made up?
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Old 22 March 2012, 12:07   #3
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Originally Posted by whisper
I think you can get inner tubes made up?
Yep but pricey. I stuffed an inflatable exercise ball in through the valve hole to test the idea, a perfect fit but hard to ram them down the end when inflated.
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Old 22 March 2012, 12:42   #4
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$14k sounds way over the top for new tubes, have you shopped about?
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Old 22 March 2012, 17:33   #5
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What about sticking fresh hypalon strips over all the seams. If its just the seams that are coming apart this might ok?
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Old 22 March 2012, 17:58   #6
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These people specialise in the inner tube idea and seem to have it well sorted, and pricing doesn't look too bad. And at least the exchange rates in your favour!

Inner tubes
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Old 22 March 2012, 18:17   #7
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These people specialise in the inner tube idea and seem to have it well sorted, and pricing doesn't look too bad. And at least the exchange rates in your favour!

Inner tubes
Hmmm.... Search them on here before thinking about it. They don't have a good reputation.
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Old 23 March 2012, 05:00   #8
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These people specialise in the inner tube idea and seem to have it well sorted, and pricing doesn't look too bad. And at least the exchange rates in your favour!

Inner tubes
They specialise in feck all!
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Old 23 March 2012, 08:17   #9
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JoshJ,

Certainly pay attention to the warnings above about that particular way of obtaining inner tubes. Their may be other people who could make you something similar though.
The approach seems to work OK as a bodge for fixing tubes - its just that the only supplier specifically marketing it is not well regarded. He has told a number of people that his is no longer trading although the website seems to still exist.

I also think your price for a retube is way OTT though. I'd have thought by shopping around you should be able to get it much cheaper than that. e.g. Barnet Marine Centre - Retubing service for ALL Makes of Rib will give you an idea of UK prices for retubing in polyurethane. From what I can see there is not a huge difference in cost compared to doing the same in hypalon. You would have no VAT to pay in the UK but you may have local import taxes etc. You would have shipping cost to pay, but those are fitted prices and since you don't seem scared of doing some work yourself could avoid that, which I guess would cancel out the shipping cost. So you could be looking less than $6000 aus. That is still alot of money but your boat would still have reasonable value whereas tubes filled with anything probably will not.

Your idea of replacing the tubes with some sort of 'fender/float' it probably sound on some craft where the tubes seem to have been added as an after thought - but it looks to me like they are fairly fundamental to keeping water outside your boat and it would be difficult to engineer some floats/fenders to do the same job.
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Old 23 March 2012, 09:02   #10
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I think I know where you got your quote from.i think you could get a much better price from a UK tube manufactuter. You will need to pay freight,gst,and a customs broker but you will be $1000s better off. I would contact henshaws or tilley for starters.
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