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I got to West Water ranger station last friday and started to blow the tubes on my new NRS 16 ft CAT. I found a nasty curved rip in the tube. The opening is about 2 inches long but the rip/cut extends from the top wear patches for about 8 inches in a curve.

The problem:
1)The opening is less than a half inch from the extened wear patches (black patches that the frame rests on).
2)The rip opening is 2 inches, but the cut extends 8 inches.
3)I have never unglued a wear patch
4)I have never put on an internal patch


Should I extend the rip and put on an internal patch. I am concerned that I will fix the 2 inches and that will cause the rest of the cut to open
If so is the best technique to let the glue dry on the patch and inside of the boat and then use a heat gun to reactive the glue.
What will unglue the wear patch.

Advice would be great.
 

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Call Inflatable Technologies or Raft Fix (a Mountain Buzz advertiser)or any other reputable raft repair business and have the boat professionally repaired. For that kind of tear you'll be buying material, gloves, glue, accelerator, Toluene, probably a tool or too, not to mention the extra shipping fee for the hazardous glue in order to fix it. It could cost $100. And, in my opinion, that's too much to spend on a fix that might not work being your first attempt. A shop should charge you under $300 and will warranty their work. Get your boat in soon though, the wait can be months.
 

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Randaddy's advice is probably the most intelligent way to look at it, especially if your tubes are otherwise in very good shape. A professional patch will help retain the value of your tubes.

Having said that, if you decide to take this on yourself I would give you the following advice:

Peeling back the wear patch is the part where you risk damaging your boat the most. If I was going to try this I would heat the patch up and work slowly and carefully so as to not peel the underliying material off the fabric. I assume that your tubes are rubber (hypalon) and rubber can take a quite a bit of heat before the heat damages it, but the glue used on rubber doesn't always soften up like you want it to with heat. Just be very careful if you try this.

As far as the rip goes, You certainly need an inside patch. I would use stabond and let it dry compleatly and reactivate it with heat like you said. Look closely at the rip; Your inside patch should cover the entire area where the fabric(nylon) is compramised. Your outside patch should probably cover the entire area that the scratch is visable and at least 2 inches past any point where air may leak.

I am all for learning to fix things yourself, but make sure your have done plenty of research, take you time and stop if your think you are doing damage. I would say that well over half of the raft repair work I have done has been undoing someone else's shoddy work.
 

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Where is the tear? Can you get better inside access if you remove the madonna nose cones?

Contact Nrs and see what or who they recommend. They have the most experience with their boats, they may also have the cheapest repair price

One of the reasons i switched to Aire is in the instance like this, your cost of repair is the shipping charge to the factory and their repair is welded as strong as the original material

Trust me --- i han an NRS cat that tore on the MFS. You are lucky it happened at put in and not on the water. The ability to get inside the tubes with the zipper would have come in handy
 

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Mike, I have to disagree with the Stabond suggestion, as this repair will be holding a lot of air pressure. Wouldn't Clifton Hypalon Adhesive with its accelerator be the best choice for a rubber boat? If not, why would you choose StaBond for this, I'm curious.
 

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I got a similar gash on my 16' NRS tubes due to rambunctious, well-intentioned and unsupervised loading onto my trailer. Mine was solely on the bottom wear patch though. It was then that I realized the "wear patch" was really thin. I was able to patch the outside with a piece of fabric that extends 2 inches in all directions and it has held fine for two years now. Considering yours is so close to the wear patch, I would attempt to place an internal patch, as best as you can through the valve opening, focusing on that area. The actual tear can then be patched from the outside up to the wear patch.

I wouldn't be afraid to attempt a self-repair. Even if it eventually fails in the middle of a multi-day trip, remember you have three chambers per tube. I've run Supercat on two chambers, different trip and different tear, and it handled surprisingly well.
 

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Mike, I have to disagree with the Stabond suggestion, as this repair will be holding a lot of air pressure. Wouldn't Clifton Hypalon Adhesive with its accelerator be the best choice for a rubber boat? If not, why would you choose StaBond for this, I'm curious.
My reasoning for using stabond is that you can let it dry compleatly, insert the patch into the tube, and then reactivate the patch with heat. I admit I havent done too many rubber repairs with stabond, but as I understand, the sovents in stabond are comaptible with both rubber and plastic boats.

I don't recall what the clifton hypalon adhesive is like. I normally used shore or dib contact cement for hypalon. If the clifton hypalon adhesive is like other contact cements, then getting a tacky patch into the tube or reacticvating with tolulene and applying it correctly is a major PIA. Once you have done an inside patch with a urethane glue that can reactivate with heat it is hard to go back.
 

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Cut a huge access hole on the other side of the tube it makes the repair of the first hole a lot easier

Really call NRS and see what they suggest!!! Its their boat
 

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Baseball stitch works well on an aire as the outer shell just protects the bladder which holds air

On the MFS trip that my NRS cat tore, we didnt have the time or experience to attempt an inside patch. The tear extended about an inch from the bottom seam where the gray meets the black and were concerned we didnt have the recommended 2" around the tear.

We did have a doctor and his stitch kit with surgical string. He did a beautiful job but it wasnt perfect and wouldnt lay perfectly flat. We were able to get a good patch over it (with about 1" overlap) and it held. Note: We did a second patch that then spanned the patch to the black material as they were both at the same elevation after the first patch was applied

I doubt if someone without his skill could do as good a job
 

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My reasoning for using stabond is that you can let it dry compleatly, insert the patch into the tube, and then reactivate the patch with heat.
I thought you were getting at this. Interesting. I'd still use Clifton on the outside, but I might try this next time I fix a big tear. Hopefully that's a long time from now! I do like Stabond for gluing rub strakes back to the Hysides.
 

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I have had some success reactivating clifton with a heat gun while doing inside patches over larger holes, just let it dry until it is tacky, then keep checking it until it is no longer tacky and do it quick. It may not work well if you wait too long. and put some plastic or wax paper inside the tube, under the patch, with a string tied to it and running out the valve opening so you can pull it out-this will keep your tube from glueing together on the inside when you heat and roll it, unless you are a surgeon/ninja with your glue brush
 
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