I-beam floor repair??? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-05-2010   #1
 
telluride, Moab, UT
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I-beam floor repair???

Just bought a 1987 15 ft riken SB with the two middle I beams blown up. No external leaks on the floor, tubes, or valves and the boat looks to be in exceptional shape except for the floor I beams (no pressure relief valve). I have alot of experience repairing hypalon boats as I have been boating since 1977, but never have seen the inside of a SB floor. I am thinking I may try and fix it myself instead of paying $500 or more. I suspect I can make an 8 ft long straight incision in the center bottom of floor to inspect the damage and then do the repair work. I cannot find any info on the web on I-beam repair and was looking for any tips to make this repair professional. thanks in advance.

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Old 04-05-2010   #2
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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I have not been boating for quite as long as you, but one of my friends has a boat with 3 blown I-beams. We have looked into doing the repairs ourselves, but the amount of glue and hypalon needed for that repair is $$$. Plus its a very difficult thing to do properaly, for that reason we are now looking for a new floor. Someone on the buzz suggested that I call AAA inflatables located in Denver, CO. You could try asking them what they suggest. If you find anything out let us know.

Good luck in your endeavor.
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Old 04-05-2010   #3
 
Golden, Colorado
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I needed the same repair done last year (didn't want to take it on myself). It was two adjacent I-beams on a floor for a 15' 6" raft. Total was about $750 (Inflatable Technologies here in Denver). Awesome repair job.

I think that 2 blown out I-beams is pretty much the limit. If you have 3 then a new floor is cheaper than repair. The repair is difficult enough that when the guys at the shop described what it entailed I made it about 20 seconds before I said, "OK, there is no way I'm doing that so you guys go for it."
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Old 04-05-2010   #4
 
telluride, Moab, UT
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
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thanks for the input. I have also wonder if I need the floor as the boat has 22" tubes and I calculated the linear length at about 33 feet. Not sure how pie are squared works out or means, but as far as flotation goes, I suspect it might compare to an 18ft cat with 24" tubes (as the cat ends always taper down). It has a 40 inch width and I can fit large boxes and coolers to fill the inside space. Has anyone run their large tubed raft floorless?? It has to effect the handling, lighter, less stiff, maybe spin better and flip less??
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Old 04-05-2010   #5
Yak Kaddy Yak
 
Glendale, Arizona
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How Fast Can You Fix It?

Seems to me that you had better get to fixing that floor as soon as possible!!
You just never know when and where you may be needing to use that raft!!

LB

Thanks Marcia!! You're the best!!!
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Old 04-05-2010   #6
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Nice idea mcmarcia. Thats actually what i told my friend to do, but she wants a paddle boat. I would think that it would possible effect that tracking (maybe make it better?), stiffness is in the frame so that shouldn't matter. You will have less surface area in contact with the water so you should be able to move faster. If you are hanging everything from your frame or dropnets i dont see a reason for it not working.

Seems like a great idea, but im no expert. Would you get a floor like on a cat?
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Old 04-05-2010   #7
 
telluride, Moab, UT
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I could put floors in the ends, wood or plastic, and a wood center frame hanging from the frame and supporting/balanced with the two aluminum capt. boxes. the mesh cat floors need to be tensioned by the lower frame floors and my frame would have to be modified. I can load it up and try a test run to see how deep it sinks and handles. I can always run the old floor and deflate the pressure some but I bet it would slow down the handling.
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Old 04-05-2010   #8
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Running soggy floors is never fun (except low water on the poudre). Thats a good point about the cat floors. I think drop nets would be better then putting wood in ends. Saves weight, bails water faster (though i dont think your going to be worried about that), possible less $, less time, softer in case of rock contact, easier to transport.

We talked about putting a wooden floor the full length of my friends boat, but that idea only lasted a few seconds.
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Old 04-05-2010   #9
 
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HSS, Colorado
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Don't know how the pro's do it, but I've repaired 3, with a 66% success rate. It's not a procedure for the beginning patcher, but someone with some skills should be able to knock it out on a Saturday afternoon with a good friend and a 12 pack. Procedure goes something like this, slit the floor open, clean and re tack I beams with glue. On the ones I've done, we stitched the I beam back to the floor material, then stitched the top and the bottom of the floor together trying to keep them a the given distance apart. (Much like a drop stitch floor). Follow that with an inside/ outside patch, making sure to cover all stitching, both sides of floor.
I think the failure we had was due to the wrong type of thread. Use a medium or even heavy weight nylon, or something rot resistant. We talked about getting the monofiliment out, but didn't try it.
And of course, install the pressure relief valve, and don't let your friends talk you into "testing it" at 6lbs. of pressure.

Good Luck
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Old 04-06-2010   #10
Yak Kaddy Yak
 
Glendale, Arizona
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Another Consideration

I don't know about anyone else but my #1 main concern with any decision on which way to go?
Would definately have to be, Exactly how hard and exactly which way that the wind is gonna blow!

I know this may sound kind of corny, but fortunately I am very sure that you know exactly what I'm talking about here. I have to admit that I'm just as concerned about taking a spin in the wind. as I am about being nailed by the wrong wave on the river.
If there's one single thing that I do know for sure. Is that there's no just way I can possibly deal with serious challanges from both at the same time!

I'm sure that with so many ways to catch both air & water on the river. There's just got to be some really great names involved with the possibilities . Something like "Wind-Waggin the Tounge" or "The Flying Crunchman"

Just a thought!!

LB
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