Repairing Hypalon Thwarts - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-05-2013   #1
 
asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Repairing Hypalon Thwarts

Our raft has a small hole on the corner of a thwart. It's not terrible, but by the end of a day trip, the thwart is only 1/2 full.

We've done some patch repair on another part of the raft- but this is on such a weird/tough spot - I'm wondering if there is a better way?

I've heard about using Flex Seal, has anyone tried that? It's a 13.5 hyside, been around the block a few times and we want to repair it ourselves if we can.

Any advice you could give, would be very appreciated!

Thank you!

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Old 08-05-2013   #2
 
River City, Oregon
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Any chance you can post a picture of it? I would try putting on a patch that wraps around the corner of the thwart. After you place the patch really roll it out well with a roller tool so all of the glued area of the patch gets good contact. As long as the hole isn't up against a seem it should work well I'd think.

I've never tried flex seal.
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Old 08-06-2013   #3
 
asheville, North Carolina
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thanks!

It's on a corner/seam - I will take a picture & post it when I get a chance. thank you!
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Old 08-06-2013   #4
 
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Charleston, West Virginny
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I have a 30 yo Hyside that has the exact same issue on one thwart. An attempt at patching it was made before I took possession of the boat (I do not know how bad it originally was, but by the time it got to me it would hold air through a daytrip, but be pretty flacid when left overnight)...it's a pretty tricky spot as you have mentioned and I think the possibility of a "normal" patch failing is high.

I thought about flexseal myself after a friend of mine used it *pretty* successfully on his entire boat...however it has not gotten quite that bad for me. I feel a thwart is probably the best/easiest place to use the stuff.

Since I am lazy and this is a backup boat that sees little use, I just took some aqua seal and applied it over what I looked like the trouble spots and it slowed it down considerably (maybe fixed? I haven't really tested it)
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Old 08-06-2013   #5
 
River City, Oregon
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So is the problem that the hole is right next to the overlap of the seem (close to the spot where it steps up to the next layer of material) which doesn't give room to patch around it? The picture will clear this up.

How is the seam constructed? Some seams are made with just an overlap of material. Others are an overlap, then a wear strip on top of the overlap to protect the seam.

I had a repair that I had to make on a tube right next to a seam wear strip. Since the wear strip is only there to protect the seam I pulled up a small part of the wear strip near the hole with a hair drier and pliers to give me enough surface area for a conventional patch. Then I glued the wear strip back down over the patch in a second phase of gluing. That repair was still holding great 4 years later when I sold the boat.

If the seam is just a simple overlap with no wear strip I would be very hesitant to seperate it to gain more space.
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Old 08-06-2013   #6
 
asheville, North Carolina
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thwart

Wow - I'm just afraid a patch won't stay - since it's on a corner. I have been thinking about just aqua-sealing it for now, as a quick fix. It's so humid in the southeast, its' really hard to do raft repair.

Thanks for your help - I think it can be done, it'll just be hard.
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Old 08-06-2013   #7
 
asheville, North Carolina
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If you click on this - there is a picture of the hole.
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Old 08-06-2013   #8
 
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
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I had to go to your profile to see the pic. Wow! LOL. What did you do to that thwart? Drag it along the highway? Just kidding, but how did it get that kind of damage?

That looks like the type that has the protective wear strip above the overlap of the seam. I'd do what I've mentioned earlier and pull up a very small amount of the wear strip to give you clearance for a normal patch. Then glue the strip back down. Then maybe a larger wear patch (or patches) over that whole damaged area. But being humid, yeah you may want to just try to slow it down with some Tear Aid. Then fix it permanently when the Humidity is in your favor.

If the rest of the boat is in pretty decent shape you might consider calling the manufacture and see if they have a replacement thwart laying around. Maybe 200-250.

As a last resort maybe put some bubble gum over the leak and wrap some bailing wire around the thwart to hold the gum in place????
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Old 08-07-2013   #9
 
asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
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How did it happen? well... you might not believe this - but, it's a used boat from the US Whitewater Center in Charlotte... and the wear & tear, is from people coming rafting in jeans! Yes, rafting in denim - is very abrasive... and I imagine really uncomfortable.

Thanks for your help!
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