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Old 07 September 2018, 01:22   #1
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Knackered baffles - Options?

I've recently picked up a tired but solid tornado 6.4 that is currently having some much needed TLC.

The hull is in good condition but the tubes need some work. There are a few minor leaks but I can patch these easily. The bigger problem is that all the 5 chambers inflate and deflate together so the internal baffles must be shot. I suspect this is due to the tubes being stored deflated for a number of years stressing the joints.

Unfortunately there isn't enough in the budget to retube and as it will be used as a dive boat new tubes would just get scuffed up anyway.

So my question is what options do I have?

As far as I can see it they are as follows:

1. leave as is - accept the risk. Have spent many hours on ribs and never had a catastrophic puncture. Carry some clamseal temporary repairs and a high volume pump in the event of a problem.

2. Insert some emergency bags such as ones sold by henshaws. They seem to be only as a temporary repair though and not a permanent solution?

3. Try and get a tube specialist to cut into tubes and insert new baffles. Potentially could this be done in a new location to avoid peeling apart old seems?

Anyone else done something different or got any ideas on which is best way to go?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07 September 2018, 02:34   #2
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I don't know the answer however the dive club (assuming the boat is for a dive club) is currently not safe. Observation of life has thaugh me that serious incidents rarely are the result of a single factor but a chain of events which of themselves are small. E.g the rib is loaded with divers. Tube starts to leak. The boat now sits lower in the water and water enters the engine or electrical system as a result the battery I'd dead and now you have no vhf to summon help. I would class this as a very serious safety concern and would not use the boat until resolved.

Tsm
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Old 07 September 2018, 03:24   #3
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I don't know the answer however the dive club (assuming the boat is for a dive club) is currently not safe. Observation of life has thaugh me that serious incidents rarely are the result of a single factor but a chain of events which of themselves are small. E.g the rib is loaded with divers. Tube starts to leak. The boat now sits lower in the water and water enters the engine or electrical system as a result the battery I'd dead and now you have no vhf to summon help. I would class this as a very serious safety concern and would not use the boat until resolved.

Tsm
Nope not for a dive club. Purely personal use. And not currently in use so no issues (will have EPIRB on board once functional as well).

I agree regarding your comments regarding progressive failures however as with everything there is a risk based way to look at things. Would never argue functioning baffles are not safer but from a pragmatic view point how many RIB owners have suffered such tube issues I wonder.

Just looking for potential solutions that won't break the bank at the moment before I progress in whichever direction.
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Old 07 September 2018, 04:47   #4
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Just a quick look and something like this Rubber Bladders, Inflatables, Air Bag Manufacturers

may be an idea, well you you get my drift....

Happened to my tubes as kids used the tubes as trampoline diving in water. When eventually punctured and all fully deflated out in the Solent it was surprising perfectly ok. Looked stupid but the deck stayed totally normal and perfectly dry to get home. Thought then at the time....why have tubes at all. It was like a paddle board with an engine, great fun.
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Old 07 September 2018, 04:55   #5
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Knackered baffles - Options?

I have faced this recently - but on a 5M with only 2 baffles.

I opens up the nearest seam (heat gun and pull carefully ) then got head and shoulder into the tube and dealt with the mess - worst bit was someone had used some sort of sealant in the tubes - what a mess.

Long horrible job - and getting the seam back together had a few moments - but if you work carefully and are used to doing this sort of thing itís possible.Click image for larger version

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Old 07 September 2018, 04:57   #6
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Was just wondering how many people test whether the baffles are intact ?
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Old 07 September 2018, 06:05   #7
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Was just wondering how many people test whether the baffles are intact ?


Yup
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Old 07 September 2018, 07:29   #8
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I personally wouldnít take a boat as you describe to sea - your description suggests the tubes are pretty shot ie several leaks and knackered baffles. Thereís a reason some boats are sold off cheap....
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Old 07 September 2018, 07:33   #9
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I personally wouldnít take a boat as you describe to sea - your description suggests the tubes are pretty shot ie several leaks and knackered baffles. Thereís a reason some boats are sold off cheap....
Maybe I should elaborate slightly. Leaks are very small in two localised positions. Tubes still stay well inflated for 3-4 days and the material is generally sound apart from some UV fading.
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Old 07 September 2018, 08:06   #10
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i think it's ribcraft sell bladders for emergency use i would be tempted to buy 2 or 3 and use them as baffles not saying it's the best way but better than it is now but i would fill with nitrogen not air can be done at the garage. medicine ball bladders might work too since they are bigger than most tubes just an idea
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Old 07 September 2018, 10:05   #11
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How quickly do the compartments leak into the adjoining compartments? Is it immediately or several hours or days? If its only slow migration into the adjoining compartment i think id probably be happy to use it. If it was likely a single puncture would cause immediate deflation of the entire tube then id likely be more cautious
Of course depending on the boat many dont rely on the tubes to float so could probably proceed totaly deflated
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Old 07 September 2018, 13:18   #12
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How quickly do the compartments leak into the adjoining compartments? Is it immediately or several hours or days? If its only slow migration into the adjoining compartment i think id probably be happy to use it. If it was likely a single puncture would cause immediate deflation of the entire tube then id likely be more cautious
Of course depending on the boat many dont rely on the tubes to float so could probably proceed totaly deflated
It is immediate unfortunately. I suspect it would be fine lightly loaded but with a decent amount of dive kit would probably need the tubes at rest.
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Old 07 September 2018, 17:26   #13
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It is immediate unfortunately. I suspect it would be fine lightly loaded but with a decent amount of dive kit would probably need the tubes at rest.
Probably time to start saving for a retube I guess
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Old 08 September 2018, 04:35   #14
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It is immediate unfortunately. I suspect it would be fine lightly loaded but with a decent amount of dive kit would probably need the tubes at rest.

You presumably have old polyurethane tubes on it - finding a repairer willing to try repairing the baffles will be hard work, likely come with no long term guarantees and cost a good chunk of the cost of replacement tubes.

A clamshell and a pump would help if one of your divers is clumsy with his knife but not it one of the old seams gave way. I think you have to consider that a realistic possibility and Sodís law it will probably be more likely when you have a bunch of heavy divers sitting or climbing over them so the boat is heavily laden. If you are on the plane at the time and itís not too choppy you can probably get back ashore (although the temptation to stop and investigate may trip you up). The boat is not just a delivery mechanism though - itís a safety tool for the divers who pop up 1/4 of a mile from their dive site - if the boat has swamped whilst they are down below you will be no use to them.
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Old 08 September 2018, 07:17   #15
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To add to what Poly said, our sailing club had a bow seam fail on a polyeurothane boat and it went from holding air to a 300mm long gash where the seam let go within seconds so a clamshell wont be much good there
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Old 08 September 2018, 07:26   #16
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Thanks all. Good food for thought. Am down at SBS next week so think I will try and pick the brains of the tube repairers there to get an idea of costs of repair vs retube.
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Old 08 September 2018, 13:48   #17
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Thanks all. Good food for thought. Am down at SBS next week so think I will try and pick the brains of the tube repairers there to get an idea of costs of repair vs retube.


Ribshop have a stand there I think - well worth a chat
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Old 08 September 2018, 14:41   #18
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noticed recently acouple of companies quoting prices online ,,, XS ribs prices are listed online ,and also ibs in essex are advertising fit yourself portugese manufactured tubes in pvc 5.8 metre about £3200 if they have the patterns
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Old 08 September 2018, 15:30   #19
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A clamshell and a pump would help if one of your divers is clumsy with his knife.....

I actually put a chisel through a RC585 tube (not mine) 20nm offshore. We completed the dive & came home. 4 divers+kit+ cox
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Old 08 September 2018, 16:07   #20
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Would never argue functioning baffles are not safer but from a pragmatic view point how many RIB owners have suffered such tube issues I wonder...
I've had a quick read over this thread and your comment above seems to be the nub of it. The answer is, I know of a worrying number of boats that have had tube punctures/massive failures. They all had baffles and made it home. Your scow won't if the worst happens. IMO, all that wishful thinking about pumps and clamshells is pie in the sky. Baffles exist for a reason. Even a SIB tender has three compartments. You need a retube. Sorry.
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