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Old 23 June 2015, 19:40   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Simi Valley, California
Boat name: Inspearation
Make: Nautica
Length: 5m +
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Wear patches? tuff coat paint? What should I do?

I have a 1996 Nautica 18' Deluxe rib that I've been restoring (former Navy rib). I have it re-powered and everything is working great. I love it! The only persistent issue is the tubes and rub rail are not in the best condition. The tubes leak some air after a day and don't look very good either. There are lots of small patches as well and they have been casted from the inside with some improvement.

I can't replace the tubes (out of my price range) so I've thought about applying tuff coat paint and/or wear patches to get it looking better and maybe help with the many pinhole leaks.

I also should probably replace the rub rail as it looks terrible and the top 1 centimeter is pulling away. (It works fine though and isn't coming off any further after a year or so).

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you,

JohnClick image for larger version

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Old 25 June 2015, 14:55   #2
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Old 25 June 2015, 16:31   #3
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Country: USA
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The beads of sealant on the outside of the tube are not really proper...

Typically, wear in that section of the tube is caused by running the boat underinflated. Over time, it causes the fabric to crack and leak air like a sieve.

The only remedy is to slice a hole in the boat, patch it from the inside, then reinforce it from the outside. And usually afterwards, it will still need a treatment with latex to seal everything up.

I would latex it internally, see what leaks I have left, then patch those normally and call it a day.
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Old 25 June 2015, 17:32   #4
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Country: USA
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Thanks for the reply Richard. If you're referring to the white sealant on the outside, I think the inflatable boat shop put that on to reduce drag and resistance on the patches on the bottom. I agree, it was probably run too low on air and caused problems there. Thanks for the suggestions.

I've already had the tubes casted from the inside with latex and they improved a little. Another try at that would probably help.

That said, I'd like to get the boat looking good as well. I was wondering if large wear patches and/or tuff-coat paint would help it look better and hold air better. There are some areas where I see some fibers wearing through. Also, what should I start with first? Replace the rub rail, then add the wear patches, and then do the paint but leave the wear patches untouched?.

Should I paint over the existing patches?

When painting should I paint over seams?
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Old 26 June 2015, 03:24   #5
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Yep, nternal patch work covering leaking seams and then back your way out nice and tidy with contrasting cover patches on top. Add stripes or a logo if you want that can also cover worn areas or pinholes.

Not a big fan of Tuff Coat. It's just no where near as good as its marketed to be and there are some excellent alternatives that will last longer and provide better results.

At least your starting with a good base. I love a Nautica.
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