Old rubber restoration - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-28-2020   #1
idk8750
 
Norwood, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Old rubber restoration

Since it is project time, I am looking to try and restore my old (198 NRS Micro-Cat. The tubes hold air, but slowly leak from many pinholes. I thought a urethane coating would do the trick, so I sent it out to Inflatable Technologies in Denver, but Zach wouldn't work on it because he couldn't find replacements for the nose cones, which were showing some cracking where they met the Hypalon.

Has anyone used the flexane product from Man O Rubber? I'm thinking of coating the cones to give protection and support, but don't want to play with the nasty chemicals if it won't really help my cause.

Any advice on doing this kind of work would be welcome. I've done lots of patches, but never done this kind of coating.

Thanks!

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Old 03-28-2020   #2
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Both IT and myself are not shy about talking people out of doing work. If he didn't want to coat your boat its because he didn't see the value in it for you. There is a good chance that you will see failure in the near future so I would advise not dumping a bunch of money in the tubes. Putting a band aid coating over the top of the cones is likely not going to solve the problem or he would have suggested it. Urethaning over a leaky boat is not a good idea. It's best applied with the boat inflated and leaks will blow bubbles in the wet urethane leaving a crater when the bubble pops and the boat will still leak. Urethane is for abrasion resistance not to make a boat hold air.

Obviously I haven't seen the boat and have no idea how bad it is. But, since you have done a bunch of patching, you might consider doing a wrap of hypalon to bridge the cracking hypalon/nose cone transition. That would stiffen it up and provide a little protection from UV and abrasion. If the patch peels right off with a bunch of degraded nosecone material on it, you are hosed. If not, patch the worst of the pin holes and take a pump for a couple top offs a day. That would get you a little more life out of the tubes while you figure out your next plan. Not trying to piss in your wheaties, just hate to see you throw good money at dying rubber.
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Old 03-28-2020   #3
idk8750
 
Norwood, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Thanks Zach. I get that I'm looking to polish the turd, but I don't have the cash to buy new tubes, so that's why I was looking at any other options before cutting it up for scrap. I have done a wrap on one of the cones already, so I'll try it on the other that is showing wear. I was looking at the flexane for the wear on the bottom since it says to apply deflated. If I can get enough life out of it to teach my daughter (10 y/o) to row on some mellow local runs then the boat will have created four generations of rafters and run 5,000+ miles. Not a bad life!
Thanks again.
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Old 03-28-2020   #4
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The flexane will probably take care of wear on the bottom. That was one of the first products I used as a kid! We put a layer of it on my buddies dads snout tubes when we were in high school. It held up fine until he sold it several years and dozens of trips later. Good luck.
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