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Old 07-24-2015   #1
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 340
Pig Repair, or Leaquilibrium

A couple of months ago I asked for advice on repairing a sizable cut in my old hypalon bucket boat, AKA the gear pig. She's a real poverty boater's poverty boat. Here's the original thread. Best Thread for Hypalon Timing's never been my strong suit and true to form I waited until a week before I needed her to attempt surgery. As promised, following is a report on the results. If you read on prepare to learn a little (primarily what NOT to do) and laugh a little.

Round one: I gathered all the accoutrements; beer, sand paper, roller, beer, hypalon adhesive, beer, Tolue...... "Oh crap. No Toluene! Oh well, I'll just use some of the M.E.K. I have on hand. Applied inside and outside patch and they both looked pretty good. Amazingly I placed the inside patch exactly where I wanted it which wasn't easy. Got a little off on the orientation of the outside patch, perhaps as a result of all the exposure to M.E.K., adhesive and beer? Who can say? Didn't matter anyway, because the next day when I inflated to check for leaks there were a couple and the patches didn't appear to be properly bonded. Apparently NRS is right and Toluene really IS important. D'oh! I pulled the little bastards off and resolved to source some Toluene immediately after work. Of course I had to order another can of adhesive, so if I'd just taken thirty minutes to go downtown to the old school hardware store in the first place there wouldn't have been a round two, but that's solvent under the bridge now.

Round two: I gathered all the accoutrements: beer, sand paper, roller, beer, respirator!, adhesive, beer, Toluene! This time I had an epiphany as I was pondering the best way to keep the tube propped open; red solo cups! So, with three red solo cups and a piece of wax paper in place (to catch drips) I set to work on the inner patching part deux. Once the surfaces were ready I gently worked the patch inside the tube and slowly and ever so steadily pressed the outer fabric onto it only to find the tube wasn't nearly flat enough in one spot. D'oh! After I removed the one remaining red solo cup (insert surgeon's wristwatch joke here) and separated the spots that had made contact I cleaned up and reapplied adhesive as necessary, reactivated it with Toluene and tried one more time. The patch orientation wasn't exactly ideal this time and the area now resembles a rhino's skin but I resolved to press on. The outer patches went much better, and when I inflated last night I discovered one tiny leak around the repair. I also discovered several other tiny unrelated leaks which didn't surprise me but I don't plan to address them. I had just enough adhesive to place one more patch over the tiny leak and as of 7:15 this morning the pig is still holding air nicely.

So, here's what I learned. 1. Inner patches are pretty tough to get right. I would have widened the hole for better access but the vertical portion of the cut stopped at a D ring patch. 2. Don't start the job unless you have EVERYTHING you need within arm's reach. 3. Don't be a cheapskate lest you end up spending four hours and forty dollars to save half an hour and twenty dollars. 4. Wear a respirator. They're not cheap, but see number three.

I plan to buy a brand spanking new self bailer this winter so it's unlikely I'll devote any more cash or brain cells to the pig. However, I think she'll oink along a little while longer. She's taking some people down the river tomorrow.

Thanks for all the advice.
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