Blown bladder on Puma Aire - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-02-2006   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 32
Blown bladder on Puma Aire

I was at the day pass area at #'s yesterday getting back in my van when I heard this semi loud "poooof" I knew right away that it was one of the bladders in the raft on top of my rack... I pay close attention to the pressure and had checked it earlier that AM and they were not any where near capacity... after we took it off the roof I checked the other one that was still inflated and it was still well below level ... After exposing the bladder it had a soft ball size blow out in it and the membrane was cloudy around it, kind of like it was worn or weakened some how...Any one know anything good or bad about these bladdders? I just bought this boat used about 3 months ago and I am beginning to wonder if this is typical...?

also anyone know of a good source for replacing it? (this is my only boat and I want to get back out next weekend)

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Old 07-02-2006   #2
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 508
If you are still in the ark valley try and find Eric Lang. Sorry I can't seem to find his number but he is based out of Salida and does raft repair.

If you ask around to some of the commercial companies they should be able to point you in his direction. (don't ask the guides they might not know him but the managers will)

From my understanding the concept of the bladder is that it is an easy repair if needed.

Good Luck
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Old 07-02-2006   #3
 
AndTheLab's Avatar
 
SLC, Utwah
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 134
Find your local Aire dealer. They can order you a replacment bladder. That's a cool thing about Aire boats.
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Old 07-02-2006   #4
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zbaird's Avatar
 
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one thing came to mind as i read this. uneven inflation. the old guys have always ridden my ass about inflating the tubes evenly. i have usually blown them off but i think in extreme cases it is valid and perhaps it is here. the guy you bought the boat from may have had a bad habit of pumping that partiicular tube up first everytime and pumping it hard before inflating the others at all. this puts more stress on the over inflated bladder and even once you pump the others the extra stress never comes off of the initial bladder, i.e. it stays convex and doesnt flatten. it seems like that urethane or whatever those bladders are could strech and weaken, like any plastic would if stretched, and seems like a bigger worry than on standard rafts. the fogginess of the plastic you mentioned leads me to believe this may be the case. take a grocery bag and push your finger through it. you mentioned the other one sogging up a bit and i think that happens anytime you lose a chamber. the bladder or diaphragm flexes and takes over the empty space to lesson pressure. if it sogged up big time when the other blew it may be you that overinflated a bladder. i.e. causing it to go from totally concave to convex is why it sogged so bad. other things i have wondered about those baldders is abrasion. it seems over time especially with desert boating and that sand will get in there between the skin and bladder and rub on those bladders which seem more vulnerable than hypalon or pvc. i wonder if they should get pulled out every year or two and get cleaned. what a pain in the ass!!!!!! anyone here actually do that? anyway, an inside patch and an outside patch should do the trick if you have the material. if you are in denver i may be open to help. i have fixed huge gashes in the field, including an 18" rip across 3 i beams. floated her out the next morning, held the rest of the trip without blowing any i beams. pm me if interested
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Old 07-02-2006   #5
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I have an aire (156) and second most of what Zach said, especially about overinflating the first chamber.

While it woud be nice to have the sand cleaned out of the inside periodically they do not recomend doing so. Seems wear on the zippers is a bigger issue. That being said, if yo open one up certainly rinse it out. Before unzipping spray lots of soapy water on it to lubricate the teeth.

I'm sure you can patch the bladder, but based on how it blew I'd be thinking replacement.

The only problem I have had with mine is the relief valve in the floor. Sand really plays havoc with it. They have a little mesh cover to put over it that probably helps. They recomend cleaning that valve with an alcohol laden q-tip.

Good luck, Dave
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Old 07-03-2006   #6
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RFV, CO
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E-mail Aire @ [email protected]. Let them know which Aire Cell bladder you blew and they will let you know about replacement costs or warranty. They are super helpful and friendly. I bought my S-puma used and still have 4 years left on warranty. I do not think that the bladder is covered, but you should be able to get a new one for less than $300 I would think.

I belive that the area in question was subjected to some sort of previous punishment. It sound like it got really hot at some point and then was ?overinflated? on your roof.(maybe a hot pan was placed on that area) I know a slight diffrence in outdoor temp makes a huge diffrence in boat pressure. I bleed mine pretty well and leave it covered on a trailer most of the summer. It is very squishy at night and can get rock hard in the middle of the day. I try to trailer it well inflated, but have found that it can vary as I drive, especially when loaded for an overnighter.
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Old 07-03-2006   #7
 
West of Boulder, CO
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 110
I'll echo the praises of Aire. I borrowed an old Lynx I for a long desert trip and *poof* during one hot lunch a bladder had blown (yes, I have learned my lesson). It had the same problem described by VayaConDios: big cloudy contusion with a rip in the middle. After snipping away the excess, a successful field patch was installed.

On returning home, I informed my friend of the misfortune and proceeded to order him up a new bladder. After sending it to me, the folks at Aire called to say they would credit the amount back to my card because there were still a couple of months left on the 10-year warranty!
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Old 07-03-2006   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Contact Aire ASAP. Let them know what happened and how long you've owned the boat. If it's under warranty they'll fix or give you a new bladder.
We've been running 10 so so Aire Superpumas and 14' as well as Tomcats in Moab for the last 4 years. Hundreds of trips and we've seen not one issue with sand wearing the bladders. Haven't had the slighest leak. Even the one we pinned on the Dolores that rubbed on sandstone for 72 hours only got pinholes in the bladder.
The boats are bomber and the boys in Idaho are great.
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Old 07-06-2006   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Huge fan of AIRE, sounds like there was a defect of some sort,in which case AIRE'S warranty will replace it {they have an excellent reputation for honest costomer service},or the aforementioned uneven heating. I doubt it's from overinflation,though possible,the inner tube can be inflated to a far larger size than the outer tube that contains it.Maybe there was a small object that pnctured it when the pressure increased and it got blown aside in the explosion,elevation gain can also increase pressure.
As far as cleaning the insides of the zippered compartments,yeah I do that at least once a year on my Lynx and Force,it is not that big of a hassle at all. Those inner tubes are extremely tough Uerathane {sp},the fucking baggage monkeys from Delta stacked something sharp and heavy on my boat bag and sliced thru the PVC it left a score mark on the inner tube but still didnt puncture it.The zippers are of good quality but thats a good suggestion to lubricate them.It is common to have alittle sand or gravel between the tubes they can take it for the most part,pin hole leaks are usually caused by really sharp small objects that also pierce the outer tube ,like barb wire prongs od big goatshead stickers,the floor bladder is even more durable.
John at INFLATABLE TECHNOLOGIES in se Denver could instantly determine the cause of the problem and if it's under warranty,he is the absolute master of raft repair and costumization and ahell of a nice guy.AAA in downtown Denver is also good,nice folks.






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Old 04-28-2008   #10
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 99
Airecell replacement

Today's replacement price for an airecell that fits a Super Puma was about $204. Unfortunately, the warranty expired a couple years ago so I had to pay for it. However, I'd only blown one other bladder in the 12 years I've owned this boat and Aire replaced that one for free. Luckily it blew in Idaho near their factory, but I did have to pay a lot in S&H to get the boat shipped back to New Mexico. In both cases, they've blown up at the put-in due to overinflation by overzealous airpump users. I recommend getting an air pressure gauge and not inflating it more than 2 psi........

Stuntman Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by brendodendo View Post
E-mail Aire @ [email protected]. Let them know which Aire Cell bladder you blew and they will let you know about replacement costs or warranty. They are super helpful and friendly. I bought my S-puma used and still have 4 years left on warranty. I do not think that the bladder is covered, but you should be able to get a new one for less than $300 I would think.

I belive that the area in question was subjected to some sort of previous punishment. It sound like it got really hot at some point and then was ?overinflated? on your roof.(maybe a hot pan was placed on that area) I know a slight diffrence in outdoor temp makes a huge diffrence in boat pressure. I bleed mine pretty well and leave it covered on a trailer most of the summer. It is very squishy at night and can get rock hard in the middle of the day. I try to trailer it well inflated, but have found that it can vary as I drive, especially when loaded for an overnighter.
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