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Old 30 May 2012, 19:35   #21
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Another way to indentify the fabric type in this case is by looking at the seams on the tubes. I bet they are thermowelded. You can tell by the way the fabric has a hot melt edge around the areas where the seams were pressed together. If the tubes are thermowelded then the boat is PVC.
I have attached a couple of pics of some of the seams, are they thermo welded?
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Old 31 May 2012, 11:08   #22
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Your boat does not look like it is thermowelded. Those seams look to be lapped. You only have one edge visible. Thermowelded zodiacs usually have a top strip over the seams. You can see where the edges in the first photo below show signs of melting from the process. the second pic is of a top layer strip, it has a light thin hot melt edge from the thermowelding.

This doesn't mean your boat is not PVC. Zodiac went through a lot of iterations. Maybe it's a hand laid warm weather hypalon version? I doubt it.

If you are going to get some MEK then that is the most conclusive test. The results you got with acetone sure sound like PVC too. With acetone it just cleans off the PVC and you will get very little softening. The dulling you got on the black material seems consistent with hypalon, the surface gets abraded by the rubbing. With mek, if you let it sit, the PVC will get noticeably soft. Wiping the mek on hypalon just cleans it up, unless you rub hard and scrub the surface. Don't rub hard.

Regardless of material I have no problem making repairs on boats that have decent tube seams. Once the tubes start failing it isn't worth it to me. But my boat has a bunch of patches and reglued seams and it still handles blasting across white caps with ridiculous loads. Had a small speed tube leak after pounding across Lake Powell. All the work was worth it for sure!
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Old 31 May 2012, 11:27   #23
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Maybe you might try the sandpaper test? Hypalon does make rubber dust when sanded. That is the normal prep for hypalon surfaces to be glued(abrading). MEK has always worked for me to accurately determine the fabric type, but you do want to be sure.

http://www.polymarine.com/advice/pvc-or-hypalon
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Old 31 May 2012, 12:34   #24
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Looks like hypalon to me - which is a bit of a surprise as it seems like most were PVC. This is based on the glue and construction of the failed floor seam and the way the tube seams are lapped.
The boat looks likes its pretty far gone. Your time needs to be essentially valueless to make it a worthy project.
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Old 31 May 2012, 19:59   #25
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Those are not the same seams as my PVC boat. Very hard to see on an iPhone though. I would say it is hypalon fabric.

Is the black fabric at the transom soft and Pliable still?
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Old 31 May 2012, 20:18   #26
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Very hard to see on an iPhone though.
I know! I'll get the Nikon SLR out on the weekend and get the boat out in the natural light to take some MUCH BETTER QUALITY pics.

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Is the black fabric at the transom soft and Pliable still?
The fabric that makes the floor and then folds up around the back of the transom is quite stiff and brittle. I'm thinking I may need to:

1. Remove the old floor fabric from the tubes
2. Use it to make a template
3. Cut a brand new floor from new fabric

Your thoughts?
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Old 31 May 2012, 20:20   #27
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I love these comments....

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Your time needs to be essentially valueless to make it a worthy project.
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Old 01 June 2012, 04:51   #28
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My opinion is the boat is not worth fixing. Replacing a few small pieces is one thing, replacing an entire floor is a whole other. The rest of the boat isn't far behind, in needing to be replaced. Of course that is my opinion, yet I am one of the few who has completely removed the floor and transom of a Zodiac and reglued everything. My boat is still in use years later, but the fabric was in good shape to start with, since just the glue failed.
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Old 01 June 2012, 04:58   #29
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My opinion is the boat is not worth fixing. Replacing a few small pieces is one thing, replacing an entire floor is a whole other. The rest of the boat isn't far behind, in needing to be replaced. Of course that is my opinion, yet I am one of the few who has completely removed the floor and transom of a Zodiac and reglued everything. My boat is still in use years later, but the fabric was in good shape to start with, since just the glue failed.
Peter thanks for your opinion mate, after the work you put into your zodiac your well entitled to it!

The boat does needs work but I'm definitely not calling it quits yet! Thanks for your input.

Cheers.
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Old 03 June 2012, 03:37   #30
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Well today I made some good progress on the floor, removed all of the glue from the floor and started on removing the glue from the tubes.

When sanding the fabric a light, dry dust was produced and the sanded surface has a matt finish.

The floor is not as bad as first thought. After a little warmth/heat the fabric is not brittle and will definitely be serviceable as is.

Still a fair way to go in the prep work, plenty of sanding but it's coming along nicely. Couldn't get it outside for any pics because it rained ALL WEEKEND! Felt like I was in London...

Cheers.
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