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Old 11 September 2018, 21:41   #1
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Country: USA
Town: California
Make: AMPAC
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
Old AMPAC SW-126 Restoration

Hello All,

I am new to RIBnet, so please let me know if this is an out-of-line thread.

I recently purchased an old AMPAC inflatable boat (Model SW-126). Other than the brochure, I have zero information on this boat. It is well used, but I think it would be a fun restoration project. A little info about the boat: It is 12' 6", made of Hypalon, has an aluminum floor, is rated for a 45HP outboard (according to the tag on the transom) and it's from 1982.

Once I figure out how to insert photos, I will.

The boat will hold air, but all chambers lose some pressure over a 24 hour period (maybe a third deflated, but not flat). There is extensive sun fading on the top, but the bottom is good. The material is still very flexible. The transom is in good shape, and there is nothing rotting or or any major damage.

Does anyone have any information on this boat? (or any AMPAC boat?)

My plan to restore this boat includes the following steps:
1 - wash the boat (it is dirty with some cobwebs, I figure dish-washing liquid, water, and a sponge)
2 - Spray the clean, inflated boat to see if I can id the source of any leaks (same solution as above).
3 - Patch any leaks that I discover (if they can be patched)
4 - seal the tubes with tube sealant (I don't know which one is best for this task, plus I live in California and I don't know what is available).
5 - Install new umbrella valves (they look like old Zodiac brass military spec valves, and I think I can find the umbrellas. Should I do this before or after I seal the tubes?)
6 - Clean the rubber components (like the fender and the name patches. Again, I don't know what is best for this, and available in California).
7 - Re-glue any gaps in the rubber components (the fender is peeling in one spot. Glue is another suggestion I could use)
8 - Reinforce the seams with Hypalon strips glued over them.
9 - Base-coat the whole boat except the floor (with something like Tuff Coat, but I am open to suggestions too)
10 - Top-coat the boat (both red and black, again using Tuff Coat, other suggestions would be good too).

Then I need to find an acceptable motor (no trailer will be used, and I really don't know what HP I should get. I will be using this mostly for abalone diving with two or three people total. But I may scuba with another person too).

Sorry for the long post, but any information or suggestions would be great.

I'm thinking I can document the restoration progress on this thread, but I'm not sure anyone would want to see that.

Thanks
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Old 11 September 2018, 22:32   #2
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Country: USA
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Here are some photos from the guy I bought it from. I'll have more soon.
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Old 16 September 2018, 21:46   #3
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Country: USA
Town: California
Make: AMPAC
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Today I washed the boat and then searched for leaks. I only found leaks at the valves (so I will need to get new inserts and seals). I did not find any other leaks (so that's good). I then coated the boat with 303.
Here are some photos of how the boat looks today:
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Old 17 September 2018, 08:08   #4
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Country: UK - Scotland
Make: HumberOceanOffshore
Length: 8m +
Engine: Volvo KAD300/DPX
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 5,370
It's in remarkably good condition for a boat of that age. Red pigments are never stable in bright light so it's not surprising it's faded. It's interesting too that it was made in Taiwan. We tend to think of the eastern countries as fairly new to the inflatable boat game - obviously they're not!

25 or 30 horse would be about right for you IMHO, and engines of that size you could lift without too much effort. Generally a 40hp is a big lump to lift. The tubes extend well to the stern so it should carry stern weight well.
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Old 17 September 2018, 08:12   #5
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Country: UK - England
Town: Retford
Boat name: Spy-sea-one
Make: Excel 435
Length: 4m +
Engine: Suzuki Outboard/25/4
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,491
i would get the valves done before anything else you might have no leaks at all and no need for an internal coating.
over here we have a company called poly marine with info on restoration bringing tubes back etc might be worth a google for some tips, looks like the makings of a decent boat
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