Repairing drop stitch floor pinhole - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-18-2016   #1
fishingraft's Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 261
Repairing drop stitch floor pinhole

Tiny little pin hole in the floor of my NRS Outlaw. Tried to patch on the river, but the patch job was worse than terrible. Now I have an ugly patch on a hole and it still leaks.

Advice on fixing this myself or taking to a shop? Called the place in Denver that NRS recommends and they're like 3 weeks out and I wanna raft again next weekend! Don't know who else to call.

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Old 07-18-2016   #2
summit, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 250
I don't know who NRS recommended, but I took a boat with a big floor leak to Zach at Whitewater Inflatable Repair in Sheridan last fall and he did a great job with pretty quick turnaround. I'm sure they're all busy this time of year, though. Here's his contact info in case he's not the guy you already tried....
Zach Sack
Whitewater Inflatable Repair
3133 W Hampden Ave
Sheridan, CO 80110
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Old 07-18-2016   #3
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 186
Its all about prep work.

Got a dremel tool? What about a heat gun?

Heat up that patch, and gently work it free by pulling up edges with a pair of channel locks. Next put a sanding wheel on your dremel tool (, turn the speed down to like 10,000 rpms and gently remove the old glue. The speed of the dremel should be slow enough that you can stop the sanding wheel if you press firmly, but fast enough that it still removes the old glue. I like to use small circles that randomly overlap. Don't remove so much material that you see the fabric threads, just the upper layer.

Next clean up the area with the appropriate cleaner. I think that's a pvc boat so I would use MEK (ace hardware carries this stuff).

Don't forget to also do the same process to the new patch material, rough it up with the dremel, prep with MEK.

Now take that patch, put it on the boat and use a ball point pen to draw the outline. This will help when you go to apply glue, and keep you from putting glue in areas you don't need it.

Once you've gotten both sides prepped its time to add some glue. I use acid flux brushes (also available at ace Alpha Fy® Acid Flux Brushes (51000) - Solder - Ace Hardware) to apply the glue to the boat and the patch. The key is to apply a thin coat.

Here is a video

Its all about prep work. Believe me, I once owned a boat named patches (I think I put on ~ 75 of them on the floor).
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Old 07-18-2016   #4
OTR, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 251
I pulled off the old patch with pliers (slowly and carefully). Cleaned the heck out of the area with alcohol, textured it and got rid of the rest of the glue with a curved rasp, mixed the accelerant & glue (just a tiny amount of accelerant) and applied a thin layer to the patch with an old bike spoke. Layer down the patch, covered it with wax paper and put a few heavy items of just the right shape on top to ensure a solid press while the glue cured. It's been a few days now and looks bomber. Still waiting to test it on the river.

Re: previous post: texturing the back of the patch would have been a good idea in retrospect.
Heat gun could be good to loosen old patch glue unless maybe you used a heat curing glue on the first patch?

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Old 07-23-2016   #5
fishingraft's Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 261
Since I didn't have any tools or supplies, I got Zach at raftfix to take care of it for me. Quick turnaround, excellent price, and overall good guy. It was a good excuse to pull out the drop stitched floor and clean it anyway. Thanks for all the advice folks!
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