How to repair seam weld? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-13-2016   #1
 
RDU, North Carolina
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How to repair seam weld?

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to fix a seam on a ducky? My Team River Runner chapter has a Tomcat Solo that has served us well for the last few years but recently developed a major leak in the floor bladder. There's a 1" split on the edge where it's welded. It's out of warranty (1 yr). AIRE says there isn't an effective repair and suggests an expensive replacement. Hoping that someone out there has an ingenious solution. TIA
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Old 06-20-2016   #2
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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What is the material? It looks like you may be able to put a patch over it.
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Old 06-20-2016   #3
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Very likely that a patch over it will not work under decent pressure. If it does, you're hired. It may work for awhile but will likely keep splitting.

How much do they want for a tomcat bladder? I would charge $160-200 for the repair. The quote would follow an explanation that the seam tear may or may not decide to spread and the repair would be risky. I would advise replacement. I have done several of the repairs on raft bladders that far exceed the repair cost so it made sense to take the risk. Most of them have worked fine. On a ducky bladder I would certainly try and talk you into replacement.

That is one of the most difficult repairs to make hold 100%. I have had pretty good success doing an inside V patch then an outside patch. That is the only real way to get that to hold. Your inside V patch is the key. It should extend at least 1.5 inches on either side of the tear. It needs to be super tight to the bottom and top layers eliminating the channel for air to escape. After you do your V patch, inflate the boat and see how much it leaks. If it doesnt bubble or barely bubbles under soap water put the outside patch on. If it is bubbling hard or hissing, start over. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2016   #4
 
RDU, North Carolina
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Thanks for the replies. They want $240 for a replacement bladder. (That's what I paid for the ducky used). The material looks like nylon cloth...it's definitely not PVC.

Zbaird, I'll try your suggestion, thanks.
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Old 06-21-2016   #5
 
Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyon22 View Post
Thanks for the replies. They want $240 for a replacement bladder. (That's what I paid for the ducky used). The material looks like nylon cloth...it's definitely not PVC.

Zbaird, I'll try your suggestion, thanks.
Tributary Tomcats have a vinyl bladder. The Aire branded duckies have a urethane bladder like their rafts.
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Old 06-21-2016   #6
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The floor bladders are different than the tube bladders. The floor bladder is a urethane coated nylon or polyester.
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Old 06-21-2016   #7
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
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Zbaird, could you pl expand a little on the V patch repair? What type of glue is used? I also have a Tomcat and would like to know this technique just in case.
Thanks very much.
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Old 06-21-2016   #8
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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zbaird is right on with the v patch and like he said it is one of the most difficult repairs to get to hold and the seem could keep peeling apart.

Essentially you need to get a patch on the inside that is about 3 times larger than the hole. Once the inside patch has set you can then apply an outside patch of equal or greater size. Unfortunately I have never had to repair vinyl just hyperlon and pvc.

Personally, $240 dollars for a new bladder is not that crazy all things considered. Plus you will have peace of mind!
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Old 06-21-2016   #9
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Another option is to get 2" minicell foam and cut it to make a foam floor insert like the older foam floor lynx. I replaced the foam in my older Lynx II with 2" minicell foam and it was about $120 which is more foam than you would need for a single tomcat.

This shows the old Aire manual with foam installation for Lynx I. Pretty similar to a Tomcat.
Take the approximate shape and 2 piece stacking method and adapt to your Tomcat. I would start by using your existing floor bladder as a template for the shape.
Aire Boat Owner's Manual (Page 7 of 20)

The minicell foam cuts well with a saws all with hacksaw blade.

You can actually cut the bottom shaped piece in half, the top spanning rectangular shaped piece keeps it rigid enough. That is actually how I have it done on my Lynx II.

You can buy the foam here:
http://www.foamforyou.com/minicell_foam.htm
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Old 06-21-2016   #10
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Not sure what you want me to expand on. Half the v is on the top half of the floor the other is on the bottom. The point of the v is at the seam weld that has failed. It needs to be pretty much perfect to work. Making things hold air from the inside forces things to be perfect. Air is a pesky devil, it will get out if you turn away for a milisecond, or leave the tiniest imperfection in the fence.

I'd use Stabond.

The foam is another option. It works great performance wise (assuming you do a good job of cutting it to fit) and you will never pop a hole in it again!
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