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Old 23 April 2012, 14:11   #1
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Country: USA
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Nautica's seam has come apart

I recently purchased a Nautica that needs some patch work. I had first planned on placing an inside patch, but due to its location it seems impossible to access the inside thoroughly. Now that I have examined it further, is it possible to glue the seam back together and just place an outside patch over it?

The seam that has come apart is at the bottom of the tube where the tube and cone meet. I have included some pics of the boat and the seam.

The front and other side also have a somewhat slow leak. I have been over the whole boat very slow and methodically with soapy water and I have not seen anything other than leaky valves in which I have already repaired. Is it possible the chambers have an inside leak, meaning they are leaking into the already deflated rear tube?

Any help would be appreciated. This is my first RIB and I have exhausted my search efforts on these subjects.

Thanks,
Curt
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Old 23 April 2012, 15:52   #2
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It looks like your Tube is built in Hypalon which is easier to repair. You'll need to start with the repair to the cone area before looking for other leaks.
Have you shipped any water in to the tube? You'll need to get this all out first and thoroughly dry.
From the looks of it you don't have a tape which creates a leading edge on the tube to cone join so you'll need to do the repair and leave it over night at least.
Do a search for Hypalon repair on here there's some good guides, if it is damp/humid where you are then try using a heat gun to keep the repair area dry and warm, a good job comes from well prepared surfaces and thin coats of adhesive with firm pressure rolling after.
I'm not sure where the seam is on these boats, it will either be behind the Strake or at the bottom where the tube sits on to the hull, have a look inside before you do the repair with a torch.
When you've done the repair check it's not leaking and see if you still lose pressure in the other chambers. If you don't then the chances are the bulkheads are leaking, this is not really an issue on older boats if it is slow, it's only when you can inflate the whole tube on one valve that you know you've got a problem!
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Old 23 April 2012, 15:58   #3
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If it is still leaking on the other chambers then it is more than likely coming from a seam somewhere, this can be a pain to find and cure.
If the seam is on the tube to hull position (at the bottom of the tube you can poor a liquid into it which will set and hopefully cover any leaks.
Good luck
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Old 24 April 2012, 11:42   #4
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Are you sure it's hypalon? The light colored fabric inside the tube would indicate otherwise, unless there's a different type of hypalon that I haven't seen (which wouldn't surprise me much.)

The procedure for gluing PVC (if that's what they are) isn't a whole lot different; consumables change, but the steps involved are pretty much the same.

With any type of fabric, preparation and environment (temp, humidity) is key to getting a good bond. You can do a repair in less than optimal conditions, and it may work, but expect to have to redo it at some point (and usually sooner than later.)

You can get repair instructions for either type (plus Urethane, I think) here:
Inflatable Boat Repair Guides at NRSweb.com Googling "gluing [fabric type] boat" should get you a few more guides.

With careful work, the repair should be pretty close to factory strong. An outside patch may give a bit of insurance, but is likely not required.

jky
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Old 24 April 2012, 14:21   #5
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Thanks for the info,

Yes, it is a hypalon boat. I have already ordered the glue from Weaver. 1/4-Liter 2-Part Weaver Hypalon Glue for Hypalon Inflatable Boats, does anyone here have any experience with this particular product? Are all 2 part hypalon glues created equal or is there a glue that is favored?

I have tested the glue on a scrap piece of hypalon just to get a feel for how it works. It seems it will be very hard to insert the patch inside of the seam without it contacting the glue where I do not want it to. Does anyone have any tips for inserting the patch successfully?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 25 April 2012, 11:26   #6
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I've used the Weaver glue. Good stuff. If you're doing a big area, have some foil handy to mostly-cover the glue pot to mitigate solvent evaporation.

No advice on the inside patch, sorry.

jky
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Old 29 April 2012, 16:17   #7
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If you want to make a patch for the inside, prep the surfaces as mentioned, coat with glue on the inside of the tube and the patch and leave for a few hours.
Put the patch inside the tube, brush over with a small amount of Toluene on the surfaces either with some stockinette or a brush which will re-activate the bond and glue together.
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