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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Y'all!

I just bought a 2006 Puma that works great but could use some touching-up. I was looking at Gaco Flex as a PVC coating, and System 6, but they seem pretty expensive (key point in all this: I'm a grad student and I'm watching my pennies!). Are there other coatings for PVC boats anyone has tried and would recommend? Anything you can get at Home Depot or a marine repair shop that's not too expensive? What about a spray-on urethane/polyurethane (sorry, I'm studying stats and not chemistry) you can get at Home Depot?

Thanks!
 

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I did a lot of research last year to coat some Jacks tubes. The bottom line is that the only worth while coatings are the system six and others just like them. Spraying it requires a huge investment in respirator equipment so just apply it with a roller. It will work great AS LONG as you take the time to prep properly.

There is no inexpensive way to do this. Home Depot jobs will look like crap, peel, and won't achieve the abrasion resistance you need. Good luck.
 

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If you're looking for bottom chafe, just glue an entire strip of material on the bottom of the tubes. This will be cheaper... it will surely perform better than anything else on the bottom. Same can be said for frame wear spots. However, extra layers can create edges that shred knuckles, so deburring is a good idea.

AIRE PVC Raft Material at nrs.com
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting alternative?

Has anyone tried TotalBoat for something like this? It seems to get high praise for dinghy but I'm not sure how it would hold-up against the trials of river boating....
 

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I have an old jacks plastics cat 97 or so. I was thinking just as you are ... I called up and they explained to me that I should melt some of the repair fabric in solvent and paint it on the abrasions on the tubes. If you are interested I'd explain a,few things I would do differently if I were to do this again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been looking at another option: what about melting PVC in MEK to make a paint-able coating? Has anyone tried this? From what I gather enough MEK will melt PVC, but I'm also hearing that the "100% MEK" you buy off the shelf is not the same as it used to be since some component has been removed to prevent meth manufacture; would this modified MEK still do the job?
 

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stewart, I feel your pain, I fear that even if you spend the money for system 6, you wont be happy. I can't tell you how many times I thought about a similar repair. It only took one attempt of applying system 6 to realize that the job best be left to pros. The whole idea of a MEK and PVC mix is a nightmare waiting to happen.

With that said, Cascaide outfitters had the best deal on urethane that I have seen in a while. Good Luck

Gallon Urethane Kit | Cascade Outfitters
 

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If the bladders are good what does it matter what the pvc looks like assuming it's structurally sound?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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Hi Y'all!

I just bought a 2006 Puma that works great but could use some touching-up. I was looking at Gaco Flex as a PVC coating, and System 6, but they seem pretty expensive (key point in all this: I'm a grad student and I'm watching my pennies!). Are there other coatings for PVC boats anyone has tried and would recommend? Anything you can get at Home Depot or a marine repair shop that's not too expensive? What about a spray-on urethane/polyurethane (sorry, I'm studying stats and not chemistry) you can get at Home Depot?

Thanks!
What exactly do you mean by "touch up". Post a couple pics of what you think are the worst spots. Remember, the outer hull on an aire raft is not the air-tight fabric layer. It can get pretty hammered and function just fine. The entire outer hull is in essence a giant chafe strip since it is the inner urethane aire cell that holds the air.
 

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That UreCoat looks interesting. Never seen it before. I might get some and try it out. It is likely that it doesnt have the properties needed to stand up to the flex/stretch required to stay adhered, but it might be worth a test.

There are several reasons that system 6 and flextuff 50/90 are expensive. More than anything else, the raw material are expensive. The formulations took alot of developing, the manufacturing process is expensive, etc. The big difference between flextuff, system 6 and other coatings is the ability to stay adhered under elongation. When the boat is inflated or rolled the material flexes and stretches. The coating has to flex and stretch right along with it or the bond breaks. When the bond breaks you get delamination. Bottom line is, I have tried multiple products and the only two that perform time after time are flextuff 50/90 and system six. These coatings are specially formulated to have huge elongation properties and can hold the bond under stress. These coatings are also 10 times tougher and slicker when wet than PVC wishes it was.

As with any paint job, meticulous prep is the key to success.

As for melting PVC for a coating this would be crazy to do for big areas. You would use THF instead of MEK to melt the PVC off. You couldn't pay me enough to do this. You would end up with an inferioe product to urethane and would likely spend just as much in PVC and solvent to get it done. Not to mention THF is NASTY shit!!!!!! If you want to go the PVC route just glue strips on. Then you would get the added strength of the scrim.
 

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My cat is at Aire's repair shop, they're going to weld two big chafe strips on the bottoms. I think this would be a better option than gluing. Ryder and company are top notch, great customer service, honest upfront repair options and quotes. I shipped them usps from OK for $48, all in all I should only be into the repair a few hundred dollars. While it's true you can beat up an aire and it won't leak, but you can do damage to the weave material. If that starts to get water logged it'll deteriorate, eventually it'll get ugly and unrepairable.
 

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Zach ,out of curiosity ,roughly how much does it cost to have you urethane an IK? Do you encapsulate the whole boat or just bottom and tubes?Can a DIY project be as simple as cleaning and wiping down thoroughly with MEK and rolling on some two part system?As someone mentioned the work time for this mix is way short.I guess you mix small batches, finish a section ,and throw away the roller.Also my 94 'Lynx has some fraying on the webbing edges around the bailing holes,do you just trim the fray and apply the coating over that as well? thanx

I have patches over ten years old that seem as strong or stronger than the rest of the boat.One nice thing about Aires is that you can easily patch inside the tube or floor,so no raised edge to catch and cause peeling .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Zbaird, what do you think of this?

MDR Inflatable Boat Top Coat

I called Jamestown Distribution and they said they didn't know whether this was a good thing to put on whitewater boats, but were doubtful as to whether it would hold-up to bashing against rocks (they hadn't known someone who tried to put it on a white water boat before).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Zbaird, what do you think of this?

MDR Inflatable Boat Top Coat

I called Jamestown Distribution and they said they didn't know whether this was a good thing to put on whitewater boats, but were doubtful as to whether it would hold-up to bashing against rocks (they hadn't known someone who tried to put it on a white water boat before).
Sorry, not that I'm trying to be narcissistic by quoting mysef, but also would ANYONE think this is a good idea?
 

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I do urethane per sq ft with a 10 sq ft minimum. It is $22-25/ sq ft. depending on material. That covers basic prep, basic masking, application and materials. Multiple colors, custom designs, other repairs that have to be done first and or excessive prep are per hour on top of the sq ft price.

I can encapsulate or coat the bottom, your choice. Encapsulation gets pretty pricey but people do it. There isnt much wear inside the boat so I typically advise against it unless it is for frame wear like fishing floors, etc.

It can be that simple, in an ideal world, coating a new PVC boat. It is rarely the case.

Trim the fray and make sure you have a good solid substrate to bond to.




That MDR product looks like it is more of a cosmetic thing than an abrasion resistant coating. The fact that it is water clean up alway has me leery of a raft coating.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thinking outside the box?

I had an idea - I was looking at Seattle Fabrics online store and they had a urethane-coated nylon fabric that was near the strength of ballistics nylon. If I'm doing my math right, if I attached/glued the non-floor/bottom section of the boat it would add 5 pounds of weight (not including glue) but the cost would be about $80 for the material. Is this what is meant by encapsulation? Has anyone tried or heard of some trying this? Granted you'd have a layer glued over a good part of your boat, but it seems that it might be a lighter and even more durable solution than urethane paint? It "appears" to be more cost effective.

What do you all think of this?
 
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