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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone -

I am looking a '99 Riken 14' - the rubber is in superb shape only catch it is has 2 blown baffles.... My question is does anyone have any experience with Baffle repair and how much it may cost?

Also, what would cause a baffle to fail?

thanks!
 

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Riken baffles usually fail in the worst way. I have done more riken baffles than any other brand hands down. The baffles themselves come apart. The seam tape that holds them together on one side gets air under it under heavy pressure and blows it out. When it blows the opposite side splits, usually pretty catastrophically. That in turn rips the seam tape instead of un gluing it on the side that originally had the weakness requiring a rebuild /reinstall. About $500 per.

Baffles blow for a few reasons the most common is topping off one chamber without inflating the others first.
 

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Thanks again zbaird! OK so is there any hope for an easier repair if the boat still holds air for days? or is there just no way to tell until you get into it?
 

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The boat can hold air great with all the baffles blown, until you get a leak.
It is pretty much certain the baffle repair will be major on a riken. I have done maybe one minor repair on a riken baffle ever. With 2 blown baffles you have to question the other 2. If one of those blows, its a one chamber boat. One good baffle does nothing.
There are a couple ways to tell if it is a major blowout. The first and most obvious is to see how fast it leaks. If you cant fill one chamber at all without filling both at the same rate it is badly blown and will be a major repair. The other is a little more technical but if you are observant you can check. Where the baffle is attached to the inside of the boat you can see and feel this material on the outside. If you can see/feel that material all the way around the tube the baffle itself has failed. If there is a spot (most likely on the top of the tube where the sun bakes the most) where you can't see or feel the baffle material it may have come loose. Typically this will allow you to fill one chamber at least partially before the other starts to fill but not always. This is a little tough to see/ feel on the baffles under the frame chafer but not impossible. Sometimes the material on one side of the baffle line/ chamber division line will be there ant the other won't. If you see this it is major. It means the seam tape on one side of the baffle has ripped and will not be a simple re attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again zbaird. Your detailed explanations are greatly appreciated and respected! Sounds like a no go on this deal .... not unless they give it away!
 

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I ran a 85 sotar for years with no baffles. One valve could inflate the boat. M.f salmon at 7 feet lochsa at 9 etc. Not ideal but if you can't get your funds together it works fine. Kinda like riding a bike with no helmet or a car without a seatbelt.Watch for rocks and sticks and you'll be fine.
 

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While you are at it, life jackets are only needed if you swim, so stay in the boat, dont flip and you could raft without those too. Mind your oars, you wont need a spare. Hell, work on your lung capacity and you dont even need a pump. Just make sure everything goes perfectly and you don't need any safety or back up gear at all. Im sure everything will be just fine. I mean hardly anyone ever puts holes in their boats. Oh wait... here is what has come in the last couple days minus what is under the boat on edge.
 

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While you are at it, life jackets are only needed if you swim, so stay in the boat, dont flip and you could raft without those too. Mind your oars, you wont need a spare. Hell, work on your lung capacity and you dont even need a pump. Just make sure everything goes perfectly and you don't need any safety or back up gear at all. Im sure everything will be just fine. I mean hardly anyone ever puts holes in their boats. Oh wait... here is what has come in the last couple days minus what is under the boat on edge.
Agreed, if my boat blew baffles I'd maybe run it for a roadside run but buy one no way! Couldn't imagine the mess of material a one chamber boat would turn into on a river if punctured.

Ohh I also learned about life jackets on my first ever whitewater trip. Swam holding my pfd think it did me any good? No way can you put one on in that water.

Better safe than sorry.

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