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Old 30 July 2008, 09:10   #1
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Country: Germany
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Boat name: wicked weasel
Make: 3.6m Metzeler Maya S
Length: 3m +
Engine: 6hp
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Restoring, repairing, cleaning, and maintaining Hypalon boats

Well as expected the older boat (Hypalon) I picked up Monday while in overall good shape, has a slow leak in one of the tubes with no visible signs of a puncture. It takes about a day for it to show signs of air loss, but it is there.

I remember from many years ago using something like a acrylic Latex in my boat. I don't remember anymore where I got it at the time, but it wasn't from a inflatable store. I also had a friend who used to buy it really cheap, by the gallons, for theater & film mask making. It was about one hundredth the price of what the boat dealers wanted for their small little bottles, but was identical to their product in the chemical composition.

1. Do you guys know of readily available alternative to such products as “Sealflex”, and where can you find it?

I would also like to clean it up a bit.

2. What do you suggest I use for general cleaning?

Several patches exist where the previous owner applied way to much glue, and discolored the area around the patch leaving it with a brown color.

3. Could you use Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) solvent/cleaner for these areas, or will this affect the Hypalon negatively?

4. Any tips in general you could give me?
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Old 30 July 2008, 09:40   #2
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Country: Canada
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Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnappingTurtle View Post

1. Do you guys know of readily available alternative to such products as “Sealflex”, and where can you find it?

I would also like to clean it up a bit.

2. What do you suggest I use for general cleaning?

Several patches exist where the previous owner applied way to much glue, and discolored the area around the patch leaving it with a brown color.

3. Could you use Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) solvent/cleaner for these areas, or will this affect the Hypalon negatively?

4. Any tips in general you could give me?
1. I'd recommend "Tuffcoat" applied to the exterior surface instead.

http://www.synergy.ca/stuff.htm

But before doing that I'd dry to located the exact source of the leak by brushsing some dishsoapy water over the tubes.

2. Dishsoapy water. Some of the guys use Traffic Film Remover (called 'Bug Remover' in North America) for the tougher stains. I haven't used it myself.

3. You could wipe these areas with MEK or toluene (wear gloves!). Don't soak the fabric in the stuff.

4. Keep it out of the sun when not in use. Reduce the air pressure a bit from operating pressure if it is not going to be used for a couple of weeks or so. Keep it away from hot dry areas when being stored. If you inflate and deflate it frequently, leave some air in it and do not try to fold it up too tightly. For example, if you don't have a large car or truck, it may be worthwhile getting a tiny utility trailer (if you don't have space for a boat trailer) just big enough to fit the loosely folded boat & motor into, rather than stuffing a very tightly folded boat into the back of a car.

I've got an 31 year old 3.2m hypalon zodiac that will still hold air in it's main tubes but is otherwise past it's useable life (transom separating from tubes on one side). I suppose it could probably be made useable again with some enough skillful TLC but isn't not worth the time and effort for such a tiny boat. If I had followed the recommendations I made in #4 myself, it would probably still be in use today.
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Old 30 July 2008, 10:11   #3
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Country: Germany
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Boat name: wicked weasel
Make: 3.6m Metzeler Maya S
Length: 3m +
Engine: 6hp
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 50
Thanks for the tips "prairie tuber"!

The latex I was referring to is not to be confused with house paint. It was, or is a milky colored liquid latex you poured in side the tubes. You then rotated the tubes, spreading a thin film inside the tubes and it would fill the little pin holes and seems from the inside out. Sometimes you needed to do it several times, but it worked relative well.

I am heading out now to see what of the things you listed I can find locally.

I don't want to make things worse, and it is better to ask, then to guess. My motto is to do nothing, before I do the SIB harm.
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Old 30 July 2008, 10:15   #4
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I've tried that latex on the inside of the keel of the 3.2m zodiac and didn't find it very effective. It also tended to gum up the valve and valve threading, making that valve cap difficult to unscrew and causinf the vlave to stick in an open position. Definitely not my first choice.
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Old 30 July 2008, 11:23   #5
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think for a better job than trying to seal inside the tubes how about using hypalon flexi paint ,seals porous hypalon and small holes and makes the boat look like new, i used it on an old 40 year old avon and it sorted it out great ,on another boat a zodac that too was full of small pinprick size holes and it also bruoght the boat back to life with a new colour color ,its a bit expensive but you will get a good few years out of the boat .
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Old 30 July 2008, 12:15   #6
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Country: Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m chappelow View Post
think for a better job than trying to seal inside the tubes how about using hypalon flexi paint ,seals porous hypalon and small holes and makes the boat look like new, i used it on an old 40 year old avon and it sorted it out great ,on another boat a zodac that too was full of small pinprick size holes and it also bruoght the boat back to life with a new colour color ,its a bit expensive but you will get a good few years out of the boat .
Thats just it, I bought the boat from the original owner. A fireman who had always stored the boat inflated, in a dark section of the fire house. Other than a couple of non-critical sections it looks as new, as a boat this old, could be expected to look.

I thought about painting it, but it would decrease the value immensely on the market here. I watched auctions on E-Bay for months and anything painted went for pennies compared to those still in original, but rough condition.

As a last resort I will paint, but at this time I would rather not.

It seems to hold pressure for about 12 hours in a cool room with no sun, and then it needs a minute of pumping to bring it back to normal.

Perhaps I will just leave it this way if I can't find anything to fix.

P.S. I just restored a fiberglass boat, and I would prefer to enjoy the water before the next 9 month long rainy season begins, rather than start a month long (free time) restoration project. I also am in a apartment house in the middle of a city and anything I do outside upsets my sensible German neighbors. This makes any projects, like painting really difficult,
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Old 30 July 2008, 17:45   #7
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Country: Germany
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Anyone heard of, or tried the products from "Yachticon" for inflatables. I found Hypalon cleaner & a Hypalon UV protector from them today. Both are about 10Euros for 500ml.
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Old 02 August 2008, 18:03   #8
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Silicone free bumper dressing from car valeting specialists.
Really works well and is much cheaper than boat stuff.
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Old 02 August 2008, 20:32   #9
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Country: Germany
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Silicone free bumper dressing from car valeting specialists.
Really works well and is much cheaper than boat stuff.
Is "silicon" bad for Hypalon?

I have lots of automotive stuff in the basement, but I have been reluctant to use any of it for fear there would be some ingredient that would harm the material.
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Old 02 August 2008, 20:34   #10
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Country: Germany
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By the way, I found the slow leak, and I have now gone 48 hours with out any air lose. :-)
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