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Old 28 October 2006, 11:57   #1
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Never again

....will I own an inflatable boat.

[Rant]

Some may remember my saga of tube problems earlier in the year, really irritating given its mere 300 hours of fairly light use over six years or so. Well, its been out of the water all winter, and I've used it a few times with no apparent bother since then. Today I put it back in the water, am now renting a space at the marina over the summer (invoiced in advance for the season) - went out for about 30 minutes for a run - and the f******g tubes have burst again its now too windy to recover it today but appears to have burst around the bottom of the tubes close to where it went last time (the seams at the back of the tube), at least judging by the location and quantity of bubbles when you sit on the tube.

I honestly don't know how anybody can be bothered with anything so damn unreliable. It might be fun (and it is when it works) but when it spends more time with problems than without, I just can't be bothered, I've got better things to do with my summer than spend it fixing boats. I'm beginning to understand why most boats aren't inflatable...

Today I feel like dropping a match in the fuel tank and walking away (and if it was insured, I probably would). Next boat I buy - if the bank balance recovers - will be a boat, not a plastic floor with stupidly fragile water wings attached which burst every other time they get wet. Hypalon - tough? The plastic bag containing a loaf of bread in my kitchen is probably stronger.

I suppose I will have to try and fix it or it will be worthless, but later in the summer I'll be selling it and I will never, ever touch anything with tubes again as long as I live...

I can only assume other RIB owners have a whole lot more patience than I do (or maybe spent a lot more money and can't bear to dump it)

[/Rant]

Right, now I am off to play with a nice reliable Land Rover. Ahhhh bliss

An extremely bitter and p***ed off Stephen
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Old 28 October 2006, 12:12   #2
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Don't tar them all with the same brush. There are plenty of Avon's around that have had 20 years of real abuse.

Could it have been a problem with the repair or is it in a different area? If it is somewhere else then I think you should speak to Humber pronto.
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Old 28 October 2006, 12:19   #3
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Sorry to hear it's happened again!
They are not all this bad, my old girl is 12 years old & has never had a leak!
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Old 28 October 2006, 12:31   #4
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my old girl is 12 years old & has never had a leak!
Mrs Hearne has certainly kept her youthful looks, but 12 yrs old must be a typo!
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Old 28 October 2006, 12:47   #5
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Old 28 October 2006, 13:07   #6
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Don't tar them all with the same brush. There are plenty of Avon's around that have had 20 years of real abuse.

Could it have been a problem with the repair or is it in a different area? If it is somewhere else then I think you should speak to Humber pronto.
The sad but honest truth is I don't really care what has even failed. All that matters to me now is that it is an unreliable POS which I will never trust again and I'll always be waiting for something else to go wrong, that totally ruins the fun, and when the whole point of having it is for fun then there's not much point in having it any more. Some things are like that, when you just lose confidence in them completely. I'm so tempted to just run it up on a rocky beach flat out to smash it to pieces, I just wish I could afford to... but the amount of money I've wasted on it, I need to get at least some of that back

I'd like to thank all the people on here who have helped me over the last eight months or so, with the catalogue of disasters that this thing has been, thanks for all the advice

Just wish I had held on a bit longer and then I might have got the Rigid Raider that I wanted in the first place
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Old 28 October 2006, 14:54   #7
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After the steam had stopped coming out of my ears I went down to the pontoon for another look.

It's worse than expected, in fact I'd say its finished without a major job, probably no ribbing for me this side of Christmas at best and maybe not all season. All the orange outer layer is peeling off the hypalon below the waterline, it looks like the fabric must be rotten right through in that area as it looks to be delaminating into its separate layers. The reason there's a big #kin leak is that the 2 patches I put on over the previous holes have gone and taken what they were glued to with them, so there's not even anything left to glue another patch on to, just the rough fabric that is underneath the orange surface layer which now has air pssn out through it.

The only vague possibility I can see is to saw about six inches off the back of the tubes, get some complete new cone ends from Humber and fit them in the shortened tubes, and hope that the dodgy fabric doesn't go too far back.... I've no idea how to do this, but I don't have anything to lose as it's no use with a gaping hole in it. I might well find I stick new cone ends in and the whole thing lets go again first time out but I suppose its worth a go if it isn't too expensive. I've already got 100 worth of glue and thinners that I bought for the wear patches so I suppose I'm half way there!

Has anybody ever tried putting new cones in the tubes? I'm happy with how to glue the stuff together now (surface preparation etc), what I can't get my head around is how you would go about clamping a round join together all the way round the cone end to make sure it stuck properly Is there some sort of special clamp that the tube builders use? I assume to make sure it's airtight, it has to be done in one go, and not in sections.

Positive things? Obviously nothing wrong with my hypalon gluing technique

Will post photos when I get it out of the water.
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Old 28 October 2006, 15:13   #8
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Sch*tt! Sorry to hear about this.

Are those the original tubes or had it already been retubed? What grade of hypalon are the tubes made of?
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Old 28 October 2006, 15:29   #9
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stephen what you need is a cone with a short length of tube already glued to it to overlap onto .if you open up the main seam under the rubbing strake it is quite possible to do the repair you need but bloody awkward .hard to explain on the forum but if you send me your email i will try to take photos of an old tube with instructions on how to do repair . ps i have just taught a guy from ireland how to fit his tubes via email
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Old 28 October 2006, 16:51   #10
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Sch*tt! Sorry to hear about this.

Are those the original tubes or had it already been retubed? What grade of hypalon are the tubes made of?
Original tubes as far as I know, its only 6 years old and a bit over 300 hours on the hour meter

Wouldn't have a clue about the grade, probably whatever was the standard type used by Humber in 2000.
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Old 28 October 2006, 16:55   #11
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stephen what you need is a cone with a short length of tube already glued to it to overlap onto .if you open up the main seam under the rubbing strake it is quite possible to do the repair you need but bloody awkward .hard to explain on the forum but if you send me your email i will try to take photos of an old tube with instructions on how to do repair . ps i have just taught a guy from ireland how to fit his tubes via email
Cool, I see what you mean, thanks Paul, will PM you with my email address in a moment. That sounds easier than trying to do it right at the cone. I'd have to peel the rubbing strake back quite a long way as it goes right to the cone, but I guess a hot air gun would do that ok and I suppose it'll re-stick alright.
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Old 28 October 2006, 16:57   #12
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Mrs Hearne has certainly kept her youthful looks, but 12 yrs old must be a typo!

Cheeky
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Old 28 October 2006, 20:45   #13
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Hypalon

Stephen,
I have never even heard or seen low qualiyt pvc or hypalon do this. Especially in only 6 years. It seems either the person who owned this boat before you introduced some sort of chemical inside of the tube, or you have a defective set of tubes. I would try to write to the highest level of humber you can contact and tell them your story. If they don't at least respond with some sort of assistance offer or repair offer, they are obviously a company built on a poor ethics, and should be dealt with accordingly. If you try and find that they are ass@#%, let us all know, and we shall haze them with hate mail, and tell them how much we think they suck. (I will at least)
Jimmy
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Old 28 October 2006, 23:34   #14
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It seems either the person who owned this boat before you introduced some sort of chemical inside of the tube, or you have a defective set of tubes. I would try to write to the highest level of humber you can contact and tell them your story. If they don't at least respond with some sort of assistance offer or repair offer, they are obviously a company built on a poor ethics, and should be dealt with accordingly. If you try and find that they are ass@#%, let us all know, and we shall haze them with hate mail, and tell them how much we think they suck. (I will at least)
With respect Jimmy, it hardly seems fair to unload on the manufacturer if, as you suggest, a prior owner might have done something to them... which I presume is pure speculation. The only Humber I have seen over here, was owned by a friend of mine. He ran the boat hard for three seasons as a dive charter boat before moving to a tug. To the best of my knowledge, he never had any problems with the tubes.

Stephen, as others have suggested, don't condemn all tubes! My boat gets a lot of use and it is 12 years old as well, and the tubes show no signs of deterioration....
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Old 29 October 2006, 03:59   #15
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Don't really think a previous owner would have put anything in to the tubes - when I got it there was no sign of any problems anyway, all this has appeared since March in about 30 odd hours running time.

In some ways I think the only option I'd feel completely happy with is getting a whole new hull and tubes and transferring everything across, otherwise every time I go out I'll just be waiting for something else to break. I can't help feeling that this one now is a bit like working on a 20 year old brake system, you have a brake pipe that needs changing so you change it, and in the process the one next to it breaks, so you change that, and then the one next to that breaks, and after ages and lots of cursing you end up having spent twice as much money and time, and still changed the whole system, where it would have been easier and cheaper to have made that decision to start with, ripped everything out and started again from scratch! Maybe 2000 was a bad year for quality, maybe it was a Monday morning job, maybe a bad batch of fabric, maybe it has been exposed to some chemical, who knows.... its still falling to bits.

Even more annoying is the fact I wasted the best part of 500 (incl the freight) on ordering a jockey seat and the damn thing isn't even here yet, might as well have saved that if I was going to get rid of it anyway
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Old 29 October 2006, 11:37   #16
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Stephen,

I seem to remember you mentioning black marks on the tubes at the after ends, before you cleaned them. Could it be that the boat had been afloat in some polluted water containing nasty hypalon eating chemicals?

My boat is 2000 vintage, so if Humber had a bad batch of tube material (Orca on mine) then it's a bit of a worry. I must say that I'm a bit disappointed at the way my tubes deflate quite quickly. Needs pumping every week. No obvious leaks or lifted seams (though I've not tested it with bubbly detergent. Until it was stolen off my beach this summer, I had an Avon Redcrest which, at 15 years old, needed pumping just twice a year to keep it hard.

I think the Orca material is made in France. Always been a bit concerned about things French leaking more than they should. Seems I was right to be.

Sorry you're have such major problems. Cheers, Tony
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Old 29 October 2006, 13:38   #17
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Nothing wrong with the material - they nearly all use it. My boat has just needed some air in the tubes after a really hot summer where it obviously vented off as it should to avoid burst seams. First time I put air in it - needed about 15 pumps per chamber using a stirrup type pump.
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Old 29 October 2006, 14:35   #18
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stephen what colour is the inside surface of your tubes
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Old 29 October 2006, 19:23   #19
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stephen what colour is the inside surface of your tubes
Paul, I guess it's black on the inside of the tubes, the repair fabric I have which I think came with the boat is black on one side and orange on the outside, and the damaged bit where the patches came off and took the top layer of material with it, looks black underneath the fabric weave. Took it out of the water and the leak is in fact in the same location it was in before, just that there's not now anything left to glue it to between the two parallel cone seams.... I think the cone off job is going to be the only way, kill or cure as they say, its not a lot of use with the tube flapping in the breeze like it is at the moment

alystra, I doubt whether there have been any chemical spills here as its not the sort of thing that happens here. I think it was probably a bit of oil on the surface that made the marks, but my understanding was that Hypajunk is supposed to be oil and petrol resistant anyway?
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Old 31 October 2006, 15:13   #20
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Here is a photo of the failure.

You can see the original failure zone which has spread much more than before, and you can see where the patch used to be, now gone along with the orange layer it was glued to! I'm glad I didn't waste all that time putting the wear patches on as they would have all had to come off again now ... and would have just been covering up the bigger problem IMHO

You can also see (a couple of inches up towards my hand) along the zone of weakness where the outer layer is starting to split in a new place. Reinforces my original opinion that the original problem a few months ago was caused by the design of the two parallel seams close together which focuses all the flexing into a narrow area, plus the lack of wear patches .... and makes me even more damn sure it didn't go pop because I hit anything!

Reckon if I can saw the whole end off the tube and get a new one to stick, I might be in with a fighting chance... the fabric that the main part of the tube is made of appears to be ok [fingers crossed smiley]

Still don't think I should have to do this much work on a 300 hour leisure boat though just wish I could take it to Paul Tilley or Henshaws and say "fix it and send me the bill" but its a bit far for that did a quick estimate on sending it to Chile for repair the other day and even the freight there and back would have been three and a half grand that's before anybody even looks at it!
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