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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a very used hypalon bucket boat that needs some work. Specifically, the V-tape has come unglued on one side of the boat, and the floor has partially separated from the tube between the thwarts.

I'm looking for suggestions as to how to go about regluing the floor to the tube, and also how to install new V-tape.

1. Should the boat be inflated while performing the repair?

2. I don't plan to completely separate the floor from the tube- instead I plan to remove the old glue, apply new glue in the crevice as best I can while the boat is inflated, and then make the bond. I then plan to deflate the boat and roll the glued part to help with bond strength. Any ideas if this will work?

3. The second part involves installing the seam tape. Should this be done in two stages? I was thinking to first glue the tape to the floor, and after that cures, glue the tape to the tube. Again, inflated or not??

4. Suggestions as to outer seam tape replacement? I don't want to remove the rub strake that goes around the boat, and each of the seams goes under this. Some are starting to come unglued, but the seams themselves seem OK. should I just leave as is, or is there a smart way to fix?

5. What to do about spots on the boat where the rubber coating is worn away exposing the fabric?

Finally, this is a Riken Pioneer 12' boat that has seen a lot of use, and was picked up on the cheap. The repairs don't necessarily have to last 20 years, but it would be great if they did. I'd prefer to do things the right way and have a lasting result, but the fact of the matter is that this is a $200 boat either way.

Thanks for any and all suggestions. There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum, I appreciate it!
 

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repairs......

1. Should the boat be inflated while performing the repair?
<<Yes, the new fabric should be applied "pre-stressed" in a FULLY inflated manner>>

2. I don't plan to completely separate the floor from the tube- instead I plan to remove the old glue, apply new glue in the crevice as best I can while the boat is inflated, and then make the bond. I then plan to deflate the boat and roll the glued part to help with bond strength. Any ideas if this will work?

<<Sounds good-just make sure it is inflated so its stretched fully, then after a few minutes deflate and press hard, then I would reinflate.>>

3. The second part involves installing the seam tape. Should this be done in two stages? I was thinking to first glue the tape to the floor, and after that cures, glue the tape to the tube. Again, inflated or not??

<<Yes, these are the proper stages--final glue should be done inflated as per above.>>

4. Suggestions as to outer seam tape replacement? I don't want to remove the rub strake that goes around the boat, and each of the seams goes under this. Some are starting to come unglued, but the seams themselves seem OK. should I just leave as is, or is there a smart way to fix?
<<Unless there is air loss, I would leave alone--or cleanup.>>

5. What to do about spots on the boat where the rubber coating is worn away exposing the fabric?
<<Patch these areas like normal or use a Urethane rubber coating like FLEXANE FL-80.>>

Finally, this is a Riken Pioneer 12' boat that has seen a lot of use, and was picked up on the cheap. The repairs don't necessarily have to last 20 years, but it would be great if they did. I'd prefer to do things the right way and have a lasting result, but the fact of the matter is that this is a $200 boat either way.

Thanks for any and all suggestions. There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum, I appreciate it![/quote]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Excellent, thanks for your quick response. I Think the only really big challenge will be keeping the floor separated from the tube while waiting for the cement to cure. I plan on enlisting several helpers for the task, either way it should be better off than it is currently.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pre-repair pics

Here are some pre-repair pics of the boat I picked up last weekend. It's pretty worn out in many spots, but it has only two patches and holds air well so far. The big problem is that V-tape that needs replacing, along with the floor separating from the tube.

What if anything should I do about these seams and bare spots?

I'm also planning on building a relatively simple wood oar frame, with the intent of setting this boat up for fly fishing and casual class I-II with the odd III day trips with the wife and dogs.

How the heck should I rig this thing? I'm most concerned about a floor and kick bar- Do I even need a kick bar for easy floats? I've never rowed a raft, as you may have guessed. I have experience with river canoes and fishing boats, but the soft bottom of a bucket boat has me wondering.

If I have a guy up front fishing, does he need something under his feet if he's sitting or is this unneccesary? I've searched the site pretty well and have seen the suspended floors for gear, should I try to rig something up front in a similar fashion? I plan on making a suspended floorboard to hang below the frame for gear/cooler.

Also, judging from the pics, is this boat salvageable for the $200 price? It seemed reasonable to me for a starter boat that will allow me to get a taste of the rafting world without having to make a significant $$ investment. Thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't mess with the seam tape at all except to reglue down the loose stuff. I'd add a wear strip or two if your frame rubs on any of them. We have several old Avons with the seam tape looking like yours. It comes from normal wear and tear of stacking and unstacking boats at rafting companies. If it's not leaking......don't mess with it.

The better you prep your surfaces.....the better chance your glue will stick. Only use Clifton adhesive if you can get it. I buy mine from NRS. Everyone around here wants to sell you shore adhesive or stabond. I've had trouble with both trying to glue on D rings. The ones I just put on with Cliftons look factory fresh and held up perfectly on it's recent Deso/Gray trip. You don't need to buy the excellerator for the Cliftons glue. It dries fast enough if your doing it at home and have time for it to set. Hope this helps.
 

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Prezki, your boat looks exactly like mine. Mine is an old Campways, but the similarities are so striking (opther than color), I suspect they were made in the same factory. I am in the same boat (hah!) with regards to not wanting to get too deep in the money on this boat, but wanting it to be a safe and reliable rig. In places where tape was still sound, but partially peeling, I simply glued it back down with Clifton's hypalon adhesive. The floor has lots of spots where the rubberized coating came off, I recently repaired those with Flexane-80, you can read more about it on my thread titled something like "Raft Repair Questions." I am sure you can turn this back into a highly useable boat, I know I already have with mine, though I'm still working on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been following your flexane thread and will probably go that route next after I fix the floor seam and V-tape. My floor has several wear spots as well, but I'm not sure if it leaks or not. I plan to get it in the water after the first round of repairs and see what kind of shape the floor is in. Do you feel that the primer is essential for the flexane on small wear spots? I'm a cheap bastard whenever possible, but try not to be pennywise/pound-foolish.
 

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I don't know yet about the primer. I have spots where I used and spots where I didn't. Guess I'll find out which ones peel, if either of them do. That said, the stuff seems to be very well adhered, I can't peel it off. I also had large areas where the hypalon was crazed (by which I mean it had lots and lots of small cracks. I figure the flexane should have worked into those cracks and created one heck of a mechanical bond. Even the spots where I didn't prime, I did clean with MEK and/or Toluene.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good to know. I going to order a couple cans of expired stuff and experiment. Good find by the way, and thanks for sharing. I'll post my results.
 

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I am looking at buying a boat in similar condition. The seam tape is unglued. Wondering how your repairs came out? Any advice?
 
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