Advice needed: how to spot delamination on old Hypalon Achilles S/B
Putting together a gear boat so my grandsons can join me on river expeditions, learn to love rafting and share some of the load as I get older. Looking at a 15 year old 15'-6" Achilles S/B - worried about glue failure & delamination. Underside seams are soft where fabric meets and scuffed/torn almost to the joint in places. Upper side seams - although tight where they meet the fabric - show striated bubbles along the inside as if the fabric sides somehow sheared one from the other. Can one patch over these issues or should I be more concerned about overall deterioration? A few scuff marks and some scratches but otherwise the raft is in pretty good shape, looks 303'd from time to time, not too faded from the UV. Was a rental for its 1st 10 years. Is $2,000 too much to pay for just the raft? Or should I pass on the Achilles & pop for that no worry 156R Aire that I really want and that with the Aire guarantee promises great boating till beyond my mid-70's? But OMG the Aire is 2 1/2 times the price before repairs with taxes & shipping. Raft is located 50 miles from home & I forgot my camera when I looked at it so no photos to show.
If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong.