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Old 05-27-2009   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 32
Raft Repair Question

I've been given this old raft, at least 10 years old, it's a 14' Campways bucket boat, made of hypalon. Still holds air quite well, lots of life left in it. The floor, however, is just riddled with holes and damage. There are numerous spots where a crease resulted in cracked rubber (or whatever that stuff is) andd visible threads, lots of places where the rubber coating has come off leaving nickel-sized holes with nothing but threadd underneath. At least a dozen existing patches, and the tape over the seams is just plain wearing out. Here's a pic:

I've circled existing patches (most but not all) in yellow, and most (butnot all) of the spots needing patched in red. And this is only half the bottom, the other half is just as bad. There are lots of similar spots on the inside of the bottom.
Should I be doing something other than patching here? This seems likes an awful lot of patches, and I"m wondering if there's some other approach I should be taking? I'm not interested in replacing the whole floor, so any other options?

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Old 05-27-2009   #2
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 32
I see that I wrote "at least 10 years old" that should have been at least 20 years old, and I blieve a great deal older.

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Old 05-27-2009   #3
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 62
Large patches and wear strips! Good luck, you can use another bucket floor for large patch es! Have you done boat repair before? If not give a shout and I give you some info on how to go about the procedures.
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Old 05-27-2009   #4
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 32
Thanks, bigdrop, but I think I've got the patching process down. I had to put a bunch of patches on the tubes, add wear strips where the oar frame had rubbed the tubes pretty badly, and reglue several d-rings and such. I don't mind doing the patching, just wanted to make sure that's the right approach.
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Old 05-27-2009   #5
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
There is like a paint that you can use. Pretty Spendy and adds a bit of weight to the boat. Call DownRiverEquipment in Denver to ask them about it. They also used to have a repair guy on staff there who was real good to talk to about repairs. Most every one there used to be pretty knowledgeable actually. Haven't been by there in a while but may be a good sounding board for you
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Old 05-28-2009   #6
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
You can check out this thread: Flexane FL-80 (Brush-On Wearpads)...the whole scoop

He painted a coat of Flexane to re-seal his leaky bucket boat.
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Old 05-28-2009   #7
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6
I just applied 2 gallons of FLEX Tough that was purchased at AAA in Denver. I think it comes in 2 varities, one for PVC/Urethane and another for hypalon. It's $125 per gallon so it is not cheap.

Down River will want to do it and spray it on. AAA sez applying it with a 6" roller is the way to go. Call and chat with Judy.

Anyway, I have a 16' cat that messed with a cactus in it's first life. Had about 30 tiny air leaks. I also scraped in multiple grooves in Alaska draging a load that was way to heavy.

We patched everything first with external patches, cleaned the entire base with MEK, masked off with duct tape and started rolling. It looks like we added up to 1/8" of urethane to the bottom with extra coats to cover the patches. Looks like alagator skin. Down Rivers spray on looks very smooth, buit not as thick. They have a demo at the shop.

1st trip after from this weekend showed only minimal scuffs on the shiny surface. Nothing that sctrached in.

Added about 10-12# to the tubes, rolls up a little larger.

So far, extremely happy I added the layers. Should extend the life of the tubes.
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Old 06-02-2009   #8
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 32
So, my picture above actually did NOT show some of the worst spots on the raft. I've been patching it, a couple patches a night, it's a tedious process, but I'm making progress. After reading the post about the Flexane-80 repair, I've decided to get some of that for some of the larger areas where the underlying fabric has completely lost its rubberized coating. I don't want to apply this stuff to the entire bottom just yet, because I still need to be able to roll this raft up and put it away in the winter time as there's just not enough storage space at my house.

Anyway, I found the Flexane products at this website but was a bit put off by the price of htis material. Then I discovered that they sell the 1lb can of this stuff with an expired shelf life date for $4, as opposed to $30 or $35. So I ordered the expired stuff and for $4 I'm willing to experiment. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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Old 06-02-2009   #9
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
the same flextuff 50/90 urethane is applied to all types of boats. the difference is the primer and application procedures. rolling on is fine but spraying is better. put the 2 side to side and there is no comparison. the sample thwart i have at down river is just that. mainly it is showcasing the logos, look, feel, transitions and adhesion of properly applied urethane, not the thickness. it can be applied as thick as you want, wherever you want it. all jobs are totally custom and i work with the customer on each job to ensure they get what they want and know what they are getting. i usually pile it up thick on the very bottom and feather it out as you come up the tube. there is less wear in those areas, so all the material is piled up right where you need it. my urethane and repair services are offered through down river or direct at
zach baird
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Old 06-02-2009   #10
Rafter Town, California
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 63
Will the Devcon putty work?

Will the putty work properly or do you need the liquid? Does anyone know?
It looks like the putty is obviously harder to work with, however, I'd do it given that price.

Did you order the liquid or the putty?

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