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While I was running the shuttle this weekend, the others we're breaking down the raft/gear at the takeout and opened the valves on my Aire SB while the raft was still half in the water. By the time I got back, the raft was deflated with two of the valves (floor and one tube) submerged. The two bladders took on a significant amount of water and I am stuck as to what I should do. I tried getting what I could out by just draining it out the valves but there is still a large amount of water in them. I have researched quite a bit on this and it seems like the most common fix is to inflate/evaporate/deflate/repeat, but I don't see too many warm days in the near future here in Montana. Does anyone have any other ideas/fixes for this problem? Also, being that the bladders on Aire's are welded PVC, would it be a huge deal if I waited for the next warm stretch of weather (could be an over a month) to try the evaporation method. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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"Just Read and Run Baby!"
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I loaned a Tomcat duckie to some friends last year and they managed to get a lot of water in my tubes. The standard "inflate/evaporate/deflate/repeat" is the process. The best thing you can do is remove the bladders from the boat and let gravity do it's work. You can also use a wet/dry shop vac to suck out the water than blow the tubes up repeatedly and let them deflate. It took me four hours to dry out my tubes. I won't be loaning out my boat to that group again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys...I am renting a shop vac after work today and will try to get as much out as possible. I'm planning on letting the water evaporate, but givin the colder/rainy weather we have been having (and probably will for awhile), I foresee that some residual water will be left in the tubes. Do you think it will be a huge issue if that water is there for up to a month?
 

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I used my old hair dryer to aid in drying out a wet tube once. I inflated it with warm air (lowest setting) and deflated it with the shop vac.
 

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you can also take out the valve if you have a tool for this. Not sure the geometry of your floor if its serpentine you will have a harder time getting the floor to drain.

humidity should be low enough inside your house to eventually get the water to dry out. I wonder if you could inflate with warm air from your hairdryer?
 

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you can also take out the valve if you have a tool for this. Not sure the geometry of your floor if its serpentine you will have a harder time getting the floor to drain.

humidity should be low enough inside your house to eventually get the water to dry out. I wonder if you could inflate with warm air from your hairdryer?
If you end up taking apart the valve (not hard to do & relatively easy to re-install), I might even suggest dropping a desiccant on a string inside the bladder.
Homemade Desiccant Packs | eHow.com

Get a bunch of silica gel from Hobby Lobby, put it in a sheer stocking and let it absorb the moisture inside the bladder. You could even replace the valve & leave the desiccant inside the bladder until later in the season. It won't hurt the bladder to have it rolling around in there...

I'd do this after a couple of wet vac inflation/deflation cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, I was thinking about trying the silica gel method once I get the majority out. And I completely agree with letting the rocket scientists take care of it, but they don't live in town, and after this incident I wouldn't trust them with the task of peeling a banana. But, I can promise they won't be coming rafting with me again :)
 

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Take out the valve and the relief valve. Find a hose small enough to fit in the hole with plenty of room around it ( a garden hose worked for me) . Feed the hose all the way to the other end of the floor and duct tape it up to a leaf blower or shopvac set on blow. The air will blow from the far end and escape through the valve hole around the hose taking the moisture with it. It will probably take all day.
 

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I bought this Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vac - BH0100 at The Home Depot at HomeDepot, it works great for volume inflation of the rafts. For $20 it's much cheaper to use this than NRS pumps. It also works as a vacuum, so you inflate and deflate with it. It will go a lot faster than letting it deflate on its own.

I can inflate my 16 footer in about 6 minutes. Hope this helps.

Alex
 

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So this is NOT the Aire floor that is designed to get water in it?

Nice job LSB, that's exactly what I was thinking and I came upon your post. However it sounds like you're talking about the floor with two valve openings, but describe a method that will work for one opening (as a tube chamber has) One other thing, make sure to do it when it is warmer and dry out (not raining) so you're using dry air, not saturated. I wouldn't worry so much about using heated air, constant ventilation with dry air will do the trick, it will just take a bit longer.
 

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I bought this Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vac - BH0100 at The Home Depot at HomeDepot, it works great for volume inflation of the rafts. For $20 it's much cheaper to use this than NRS pumps. It also works as a vacuum, so you inflate and deflate with it. It will go a lot faster than letting it deflate on its own.

I can inflate my 16 footer in about 6 minutes. Hope this helps.

Alex
My ghetto inflater is a $35 home depot leaf blower with a Kraft BBQ sauce bottle jammed on the end and a hose stuck in the top... works great but noisy as hell
 

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Drying

What I've done in the past is take off the valve in the chamber that is effected and take a shop vac and use the setting that blows air out. Insert the end of the vac into the hole and blow air into the tube for several hours, this partially inflates the tube and circulates air effectively, works like a charm.

While I was running the shuttle this weekend, the others we're breaking down the raft/gear at the takeout and opened the valves on my Aire SB while the raft was still half in the water. By the time I got back, the raft was deflated with two of the valves (floor and one tube) submerged. The two bladders took on a significant amount of water and I am stuck as to what I should do. I tried getting what I could out by just draining it out the valves but there is still a large amount of water in them. I have researched quite a bit on this and it seems like the most common fix is to inflate/evaporate/deflate/repeat, but I don't see too many warm days in the near future here in Montana. Does anyone have any other ideas/fixes for this problem? Also, being that the bladders on Aire's are welded PVC, would it be a huge deal if I waited for the next warm stretch of weather (could be an over a month) to try the evaporation method. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Aire says that some water left in the urathane bladder will not cause any problems. Check ther web site for maintance & repair. they have some useful vidieos. All I have ever done is to suck the air out with my home built high speed inflater/deflater. It has a 12' hose from a central vac system,I just went to the hardware store & bought a pvc male adapter thet fits the C7 valves
 

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deflate it, find the chambers ends, get a friend to help and lift the boat from either end of the chamber and let gravity take the water to the valve. dont worry, if there is any water left it wont hurt anything if there isn't any glue-i.e. patches. I've got water in my puma thats been there since last summer!
 

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LSB has the correct answer. It might take several days but it will work, I know this from experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I just bought the Home Depot shop vac that kazak mentioned and I will start the process tonight. I shuffled some stuff around in my house this morning and am going to try and let the tubes dry out in there. I did talk to the Aire people and they said that some water in the tubes wouldn't cause any major problems, but mold and mildew will be issues. I am a firm believer that quality gear will last a long time if it's taken care of well. So I'm not even gonna chance it, plus I don't want a boat that smells like an old loaf of bread!
 

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Smell for mildew first. If found, it's probably from moisture that's been in the boat for some time. If you want to remove it, id try a mild bleach water solution added to the bladder. Close the valve, slosh around and let sit for about 15 min. Drain floor and flush with water. Then attempt your blower vacuum treatment
 
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