Originally Posted by bdf48
Is there a specific type of leak that means death of the boat like a ripped seam, blown baffles or something similar? Are there other types of leaks that are super easy to fix with the realm of of DIY?
Small punctures, rips, or tears (under 3") are easily patched on just about any kind of raft.
Repairing blown seams or baffles is extremely difficult. Paying an expert to do it will in most cases negate the bargain price on the raft.
Multiple pinholes or broad areas of air seepage indicate that the coating on the raft (probably neoprene or a neoprene/hypalon compound) has broken down. This is not repairable. It probably resulted from the raft having been left out in the sun or stored with moisture inside the tubes--probably both.
People try to fix the raft by re-coating the exterior. That is futile. The air pressure will simply make little balloons that will pop.
I have used a product (I think it's called "Raft Seal.") that goes inside the tubes, so that air pressure forces it through the fabric. It seems to work okay in the areas where the coating reaches, but it is impossible--or nearly so--to get the entire inside surface of the tubes coated. You have to keep turning and turning the raft in every direction until the liquid dries. If you stop too soon, it will puddle and form thick spots that will turn hard and crack. Have a team of raft jugglers handy, because it will take at least an hour, no matter what the instructions say.