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Old 03-21-2013   #11
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 103
I saw this video. Pretty sweet. I feel like he's making it look really easy though. Soon or later I will be giving it a try. Might go with the filler for now though.

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Old 03-21-2013   #12
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
Every few months someone links to that LL plastic welding video as if it is the difinitive method for plastic welding. That is not the way to plastic weld. Putting that much heat into your boat and swirling all that crap around is just going to make a giant weak spot in your boat that is going to fail. Find someone with a real plastic welder with a speed tip, lay down a real bead of linear plastic, smooth it down with a scaper and go. See below on how plastic welding is really done.

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Old 03-21-2013   #13
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
for the Marinetex filler.
I'd strongly consider drilling the ends--so if it does crack there it won't want to crack longer. P-tex the holes.
I'd skip both of those materials and use the boat itself as the source of your welding sticks. Shave a little material from the underside of the cockpit rim instead. As a bonus, this will be a color match.
The full process of creekboat demolition through cracking begins not with the gouges but with the flexing and stretching that happens at the same time. The plastic only has so much allowance for flex, similar to a thin bar of steel, and when it is done it is done. Typically, a creekboat is good for 80-100 good Class V days before the plastic is worn out. The warning sign is the start of the oil canning, which is symptomatic of stretched plastic. The plastic would like to sprawl out past the bottom of the boat, but the sides prevent that, and therefore the pressure is forced to go vertical. Once at this stage, full cracks will form from seemingly minor hits (I had one go in the pool!). You can repair that crack, but another will inevitably form elsewhere, sometimes within another 10 laps. This cycle can continue as long as your patience to weld.

There are more dramatic ways to kill a boat faster, of course, such as sending it empty and full of water over a waterfall. This often results in a full shredding.

There may also be ways to extend the life, as research in the Northwest is showing, by foaming out the area below your seat. The theory is that you will prevent the boat from flexing through that half inch of movement every time you take a rock. It doesn't just help directly under the seat, it also limits the motion of the sides.

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