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Old 07-03-2013   #1
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Plastic welding...

So my lovely mank boat broke yet again yesterday on Bailey, and is sporting a giant hatchet wound in front of the seat along the bow pillar. In addition to welding this crack up, in thinking about adding in an additional layer of plastic.
My current plan is to use liquid nails to make the initial surface bond then weld down the edges to keep it from peeling up. I'm also tossing around the idea of using Herculiner (DIY truck bed liner) to coat the inside of the boat after welding.


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Old 07-03-2013   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Forget the liquid nails. Weld a plate of plastic on heating the plate and boat simultaneously and smushed down the plate. Forget the bed liner. Gorilla tape on the inside is good.

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Old 07-03-2013   #3
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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Posts: 577
I've done plenty of "traditional"welds in boats past, I've been thinking up new/different ideas to try on this beater boat.
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Old 07-04-2013   #4
Boulder, CO
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 41
Ecuador style is about as good as it gets. Weld it conventionally, such that it has a fairly smooth surface, then take a nice rectangular piece of donor material and weld it on top of the first weld.

That ought to last you for a while if you do your prep and stop drilling properly but if you're really gung ho about pulling out all the stops, you can go ahead and bitchathane the inside.
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Old 07-04-2013   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
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So have your traditional welds not been holding? My experience is that the welds tend to hold quite well. The problem is that when your creekboat cracks in one place (unless it was due to some specific catastrophic event), it generally means it's going to starting cracking elsewhere. Therefore I have a limit on how much time I'm willing to invest in fixing each crack. But it sounds like you want to do some experimentation - I say go for it and share the results.
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Old 07-04-2013   #6
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 160
I've been welding one of my boats for over a year. It has 4 welds in it right now and 2 of them have been welding multiple times. Be careful what you put in the inside. Bitchethane is great until you need to weld that same crack again, it's inevitable from my experience. Bitchethane won't come off easy and really is a bitch the deal with. A buddy taught me to line the inside with neoprene and contact cement. That way when the weld does crack again you won't sink and you can easily finish your run. The neoprene is easy to remove and leaves very little residue which is key for welding again.

As KSC mentioned once a boat starts to crack its highly likely to crack more. A couple weeks ago on a run I got 2 brand new cracks. I have a boat on order but won't see if do a month so my boat is now limping along with welds covered on both sides with bitchethane. Worked great last night, just hope she lives another month.

Welding is fun at first but soon a pain in the ass.
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Old 07-04-2013   #7
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Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
My traditional welds ( using a small rod of plastic and blending it into the crack to pull material in from both sides) have been holding/working very well. This boat was a freebie from someone that they had previously cracked a couple times. I welded those cracks up, and re cracked it in a new area. I have tried the aluminum tape and bitchuthane repairs with no welding with mixed success, the weld and tape, weld and bitchuthane. I'm just wondering if any of the methods I'm thinking about trying have been done before.

I do like this "Costa Rica" method, I will try that on one of these cracks for sure.

I do also have 2 other fully functional creek boats to use as well.
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Old 07-04-2013   #8
Glen Vegas, Florida
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 338
If this boat in question is my Old marble blue jefe grande with the tramp stamp? If it is, a plethora might be the better adjective to describe the number of cracks. Gotta be at least 30+ welds and plenty of screen stuck to the bottom of that boat. Sweet boat,still got the ice Jefe grande stashed in the east coast.
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Old 07-04-2013   #9
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
That's the exact boat in question Paul. I welded up the cracks it had when I got it from you, added an extra layer of tar under the seat and called it good. It now has a solid 8" gash along the bow pillar and a little crack under the seat.

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