Hello everyone, I am looking at buying a surplus US navy Willard 730 rib. The inboard and I/O have already been stripped, and I would be putting a bracket and outboard. The only thing that is giving me pause is the condition of the tubes. I understand that these boats use polyurethane, most of the prior information I could find was about hypalon or PVC, not sure how much PU differs.
The rub rail and parts of the flap that attaches the tube to the boat (sorry, don't know the real name) have detached, and would need to be reglued. Is that asking for trouble, or is it doable?
Here is the link to the photo album.
The second picture shows an area of the tube that was unexposed to UV. The third, fourth, and fifth pictures show the worst areas of the tubes. As you can see, there is some discoloration and cracking.
How should these areas be addressed? The way I see it, my options are as follow:
- do nothing, use it as is
- use a uv protectant chemical to keep it from getting any worse
- use some sort of canvas cover laced over top to keep UV damage off
- reskin it by gluing large patches of new material over top
- retube (cost prohibitive now, but I would not be adverse to retubing it a couple years down the line if I really liked the boat)
Of course, which one of these I should go with depends on what I can expect out of the tubes, which is where the expert advice comes in. Thanks.