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Old 06-10-2009   #1
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
bituthene vs. welding

I've been doing some soul searching about age old question of what to do about a cracked boat and want to revisit the subject once again.

Recent old school fix seems to be to slap some bituthene on the inside and talk about how tough and sticky that sh-t is. Disadvantage seems to be that the crack can still propagate even by drilling out the holes and it can tear through the bituthene, but I've seen some people have success with smaller cracks.

Welding seems to be having a resurgence, but the results I've seen for welds underneath the seat have been questionable. They frequently re-crack, and I've heard another argument that the plastic around the weld tends to get stiffer and will cause the boat to crack right next to the repaired one. The advantage seems to be that you can fairly easily re-weld to the crack.

I'm looking for some accounts from personal experience. For cracks **under the seat** where you know you're going to take hard hits and major flex, has anyone had any long (er) term success with either of these methods? I'm especially interested in anyone that's done a weld **under the seat** and had it go for more than a few days of creeking under the seat.

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Old 06-10-2009   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787
I say weld both inside and outside, back the inside weld up with a bunch of bitch, reinforced with gorilla tape along the edges of the patch.

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Old 06-10-2009   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 157
I second the above recomendation. I have one boat that lasted an entire season that way. I just did the same repair to a newer boat and hope it lasts. Good for road side Poudre, not wilderness.
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Old 06-10-2009   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
I have had a good deal of success welding my boats. I agree with Chris that welding on the inside and the outside is the way o go for large cracks under the seat. If you do bitchuthane make sure that the inside weld is smooth because this makes for a better bond.
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