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Old 12-11-2015   #1
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Affordable coating for PVC boat

Hi Y'all!

I just bought a 2006 Puma that works great but could use some touching-up. I was looking at Gaco Flex as a PVC coating, and System 6, but they seem pretty expensive (key point in all this: I'm a grad student and I'm watching my pennies!). Are there other coatings for PVC boats anyone has tried and would recommend? Anything you can get at Home Depot or a marine repair shop that's not too expensive? What about a spray-on urethane/polyurethane (sorry, I'm studying stats and not chemistry) you can get at Home Depot?


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Old 12-13-2015   #2
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
I did a lot of research last year to coat some Jacks tubes. The bottom line is that the only worth while coatings are the system six and others just like them. Spraying it requires a huge investment in respirator equipment so just apply it with a roller. It will work great AS LONG as you take the time to prep properly.

There is no inexpensive way to do this. Home Depot jobs will look like crap, peel, and won't achieve the abrasion resistance you need. Good luck.

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Old 12-13-2015   #3
NIMBY, Oregon
Paddling Since: Womb
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 97
If you're looking for bottom chafe, just glue an entire strip of material on the bottom of the tubes. This will be cheaper... it will surely perform better than anything else on the bottom. Same can be said for frame wear spots. However, extra layers can create edges that shred knuckles, so deburring is a good idea.

AIRE PVC Raft Material at
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Old 12-31-2015   #4
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Interesting alternative?

Has anyone tried TotalBoat for something like this? It seems to get high praise for dinghy but I'm not sure how it would hold-up against the trials of river boating....
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Old 12-31-2015   #5
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
I've been eyeing this: UreCoat Flexible Urethane Coating from Smooth-On but I haven't tried it yet. The 8 min pot life could be a problem.

Your not going to find anything at home depot
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Old 01-01-2016   #6
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 157
I have an old jacks plastics cat 97 or so. I was thinking just as you are ... I called up and they explained to me that I should melt some of the repair fabric in solvent and paint it on the abrasions on the tubes. If you are interested I'd explain a,few things I would do differently if I were to do this again.
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Old 01-06-2016   #7
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 42
That sounds interesting! How well did it work?
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Old 02-01-2016   #8
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 42
I've been looking at another option: what about melting PVC in MEK to make a paint-able coating? Has anyone tried this? From what I gather enough MEK will melt PVC, but I'm also hearing that the "100% MEK" you buy off the shelf is not the same as it used to be since some component has been removed to prevent meth manufacture; would this modified MEK still do the job?
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Old 02-01-2016   #9
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
stewart, I feel your pain, I fear that even if you spend the money for system 6, you wont be happy. I can't tell you how many times I thought about a similar repair. It only took one attempt of applying system 6 to realize that the job best be left to pros. The whole idea of a MEK and PVC mix is a nightmare waiting to happen.

With that said, Cascaide outfitters had the best deal on urethane that I have seen in a while. Good Luck

Gallon Urethane Kit | Cascade Outfitters
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Old 02-01-2016   #10
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Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 17
It's an AIRE.. Just call the shop and ask them what they would recommend. Doubt anyone knows how to repair AIRE boats better than...AIRE. their customer service is awesome.

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