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Old 03 August 2003, 10:00   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Virginia
Make: HBI, Inc.
Length: 4.4m
Engine: 30HP Outboard
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Tube construction?

Hello All,

I recently bought a used HBI 14'7" RIB, for use as a runabout, and some light diving/fishing/zooming around. It's built by Hard Bottom Inflatable Inc in Groton CT (1991), with a fiberglass deep-V hull w/ a fiberglass deck with some benches and a small center console. There is a 30HP Yamaha 2-stroke outboard.

I want to clean and paint the tubes, but don't know what they are made of. I was told by the seller that the actual tubes are inside of a cloth shell. This outer shell appears to be nylon or canvas. There are lots of stiched seams, and a moulded plastic bumper around the entire boat.

The strange part is that I don't see any zippers... and stranger still, if I shine a bright light thru the top of a tube at night, I can see the whole tube "glow" - so I wonder if there is anything inside this "cloth" cover at all - or if my tubes are clear - meaning that they are probably not Hypalon of PVC (I'm guessing here - maybe some other type of plastic "bladder").



Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Michael
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Old 03 August 2003, 10:16   #2
tue
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Engine: 150 Etec + 125 Merc
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Try contacting these peple they have the whole HBI range on there website

www.rodgersyachtsales.com/hbi

This is the HBI site but it seems to be under constrution so not much info.

www.ecys.com/hbi
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Old 04 August 2003, 08:17   #3
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Country: UK - England
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your quite right these tubes are a stitched nylon outer with either pu or pvc liners . i think the outers are held on by either clamping or a bolt rope
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Old 04 August 2003, 14:21   #4
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Country: USA
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Followup

Thank you both for the information.

I tracked down the manufacturer using one of those websites, and called them this morning. The current owners bought the company after my boat was built, and told me that there are several types of materials used on those earlier boats.

She thinks it's a canvas cover over vinyl bladders - and told me that a standard vinyl pool liner repair kit would work to repair any leaks. They do not have any new bladders left, but they do have new (old stock) covers - in case I wanted to replace mine. Trouble is that the cover costs nearly as much as I paid for the boat. (They are willing to bargain since the demand for these covers is not so high.)

She did mention that I may not want to pull off this cover - and just "leave well enough alone" since the bladders are holding air - which doesn't inspire much confidence, honestly.

There are several options, including a Hypalon retro-fit tube that they have. Before going that far, I'd still like to paint or coat the canvas cover to brighten it up and perhaps extend it's life (and my confidence).

Any advice on what I could use to do this? I have read that Hypalon paint is a suitable coating for "canvas rafts" - and may be just what I need to help maintain the boat.

Anyone with canvas experience? Any advice. Thank you all - this is a great resource.

Michael
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