Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been given this old raft, at least 10 years old, it's a 14' Campways bucket boat, made of hypalon. Still holds air quite well, lots of life left in it. The floor, however, is just riddled with holes and damage. There are numerous spots where a crease resulted in cracked rubber (or whatever that stuff is) andd visible threads, lots of places where the rubber coating has come off leaving nickel-sized holes with nothing but threadd underneath. At least a dozen existing patches, and the tape over the seams is just plain wearing out. Here's a pic:

I've circled existing patches (most but not all) in yellow, and most (butnot all) of the spots needing patched in red. And this is only half the bottom, the other half is just as bad. There are lots of similar spots on the inside of the bottom.
Should I be doing something other than patching here? This seems likes an awful lot of patches, and I"m wondering if there's some other approach I should be taking? I'm not interested in replacing the whole floor, so any other options?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I see that I wrote "at least 10 years old" that should have been at least 20 years old, and I blieve a great deal older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Large patches and wear strips! Good luck, you can use another bucket floor for large patch es! Have you done boat repair before? If not give a shout and I give you some info on how to go about the procedures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, bigdrop, but I think I've got the patching process down. I had to put a bunch of patches on the tubes, add wear strips where the oar frame had rubbed the tubes pretty badly, and reglue several d-rings and such. I don't mind doing the patching, just wanted to make sure that's the right approach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
There is like a paint that you can use. Pretty Spendy and adds a bit of weight to the boat. Call DownRiverEquipment in Denver to ask them about it. They also used to have a repair guy on staff there who was real good to talk to about repairs. Most every one there used to be pretty knowledgeable actually. Haven't been by there in a while but may be a good sounding board for you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I just applied 2 gallons of FLEX Tough that was purchased at AAA in Denver. I think it comes in 2 varities, one for PVC/Urethane and another for hypalon. It's $125 per gallon so it is not cheap.

Down River will want to do it and spray it on. AAA sez applying it with a 6" roller is the way to go. Call and chat with Judy.

Anyway, I have a 16' cat that messed with a cactus in it's first life. Had about 30 tiny air leaks. I also scraped in multiple grooves in Alaska draging a load that was way to heavy.

We patched everything first with external patches, cleaned the entire base with MEK, masked off with duct tape and started rolling. It looks like we added up to 1/8" of urethane to the bottom with extra coats to cover the patches. Looks like alagator skin. Down Rivers spray on looks very smooth, buit not as thick. They have a demo at the shop.

1st trip after from this weekend showed only minimal scuffs on the shiny surface. Nothing that sctrached in.

Added about 10-12# to the tubes, rolls up a little larger.

So far, extremely happy I added the layers. Should extend the life of the tubes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So, my picture above actually did NOT show some of the worst spots on the raft. I've been patching it, a couple patches a night, it's a tedious process, but I'm making progress. After reading the post about the Flexane-80 repair, I've decided to get some of that for some of the larger areas where the underlying fabric has completely lost its rubberized coating. I don't want to apply this stuff to the entire bottom just yet, because I still need to be able to roll this raft up and put it away in the winter time as there's just not enough storage space at my house.

Anyway, I found the Flexane products at this website but was a bit put off by the price of htis material. Then I discovered that they sell the 1lb can of this stuff with an expired shelf life date for $4, as opposed to $30 or $35. So I ordered the expired stuff and for $4 I'm willing to experiment. I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

·
Sponsoring Vendors
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
the same flextuff 50/90 urethane is applied to all types of boats. the difference is the primer and application procedures. rolling on is fine but spraying is better. put the 2 side to side and there is no comparison. the sample thwart i have at down river is just that. mainly it is showcasing the logos, look, feel, transitions and adhesion of properly applied urethane, not the thickness. it can be applied as thick as you want, wherever you want it. all jobs are totally custom and i work with the customer on each job to ensure they get what they want and know what they are getting. i usually pile it up thick on the very bottom and feather it out as you come up the tube. there is less wear in those areas, so all the material is piled up right where you need it. my urethane and repair services are offered through down river or direct at raftfix.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Will the Devcon putty work?

Will the putty work properly or do you need the liquid? Does anyone know?
It looks like the putty is obviously harder to work with, however, I'd do it given that price.

Did you order the liquid or the putty?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
rafterman, I ordered the putty because of the price, but also because I don't want to coat the entire surface, I just plan to repair the spots where the bottom has entirely lost its rubberized coating, and I've got fabric showing through.

The stuff should arrive today and I'll play with it over the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well, I have at least partial reports, but no pics.

The product arrived as promised. For $4 (+S&H) I received a one pound can of Flexane-80 putty. This comes with the two chemicals which get mixed together, one in a quart sized can, one in a small plastic bottle, a large plastic mixing cup, and a wood stick for stirring. The small plastic bottle is poured into the can and you mix for two minutes. At least that's what the directions said, the stuff became hard to stir pretty quickly, so I transferred it to the plastic mixing bucket where I was supposed to mix it for another two minutes, but had the same problem.

At this point, the product turns black and takes on the consistency of creamy peanut butter, or maybe a bit more lqiuid than that. I used my first can to coat a half dozen holes on the bottom of the boat (which I primed in advance with Flexane-20 primer), and then used the excess to go over most of the seams on the bottom. I had a good bit of material left over but hadn't prepped any other areas to be covered. The end result was somewhat sloppy but it is a flexible, rubbery, shiny coating that I have every treason to believe will prevent water from migratting through my raft bottom.

I used my second can to address the interior floor of the raft. Here I had large areas where the rubber was crazed and flaking off. The two worst spots were under the thwarts. The prior owner of this raft rarely if ever removed the thwarts. As a reult, I think these spots stayed wet much longer than the rest of the bottom, leading to degradation. This time, I actually masked off the areas I wanted to coat, which were quite large, and I picked up a set of plastic putty knives at the Home Depot. These two stepos were critical for what I had in mind.

After cleaning adn priming the areas to be covered, I mixed my second (and last) can of "putty" and went to work. I used a small knife to scoop the material from the plastic can and plop it on the boat bottom. I used a large kife to spread the material as thinly as possible on the bottom of the boat. I was able to cover a total of about 10-12 square feet, but would have gotten more done if I had mixed the material better. AT the bottom of the can I found unmixed urethane that I did not want to try to apply.

I am extremely pleased with the results, though they havenot yet been river-tested.

Lessons learned: (1) the out of date $4 cans of putty are a GREAT deal; (2) be a man and mix that stuff aggressively, otherwise you end up wasting it; (3) be careful in your prep (cleaning, removing lose material, etc) and use masking tape, makes for a much neater job; (4) large putty knives are your friends, though I think you would NOT want to use drywall knives which are made with a slight bend; (5) the job is messy, wear gloves; (6) SOMEBODY needs to start seeling this stuff in smaller containers, perhaps even in a cartridge/syringe type application for fixing smaller problems. Indeed, if Devcon, the company that makes it, could make a fast-curing version in an easy to use cartridge, it would find a place in every inflatable boater's repair kit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Q's.........re: Urethane

Do you think the med-hard plastic applicators used for spreading on bondo would work well? They are about as big as two playing cards stuck side by side?
I am going to order some of this stuff to try out.
Cheers and thanks for the heads up on the materials!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Do you think the med-hard plastic applicators used for spreading on bondo would work well? They are about as big as two playing cards stuck side by side?
I am going to order some of this stuff to try out.
Cheers and thanks for the heads up on the materials!
Yes, I think those would work quite well, and actually better than the plastic putty knives I used, because they are stiffer. I actually went looking in my shop for a few of those before doing this job, but it's been 20 years since I did any body repair, and I couldn't find them. The stiffer blade will allow you to spread the material out thinner, if that's what you want, and I think that's what you would want if doing a large surface area like I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Does anyone know if flextuff (https://store.whitewatergear.com/flextuff-raft-coating.html) is the same as the flexane fl 80 (http://www.devcon.com/products/products.cfm?familyid=152) ? From all the reading I have done, it sounds like you can thin flextuff by adding small amounts of MEK. Just wondering if this is true of Flexane. If it is, you might be able to thin the Putty slightly before applying it. Where's an old test boat when you need one?

By the way, if you ever need to patch a cracked transmission case, the Devcon titanium putty works wonders. Been going on 4 years now since I patch a 6 inch crack in mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Does anyone know if flextuff (https://store.whitewatergear.com/flextuff-raft-coating.html) is the same as the flexane fl 80 (ITW Devcon | Two of the most recognized brands in all of industry; Devcon® and Permatex®.) ? From all the reading I have done, it sounds like you can thin flextuff by adding small amounts of MEK. Just wondering if this is true of Flexane. If it is, you might be able to thin the Putty slightly before applying it. Where's an old test boat when you need one?

By the way, if you ever need to patch a cracked transmission case, the Devcon titanium putty works wonders. Been going on 4 years now since I patch a 6 inch crack in mine.
I used the flexane to do some dry spots and delaminated areas on my advantage pro and it worked great I sugest masking the area you want to cover and prep it all well befor. it will go farter than it sugests if you use a trowel I got a plastic one from home depo in the paint section where they have the textured painting section. a bondo spreader would work ok but isn't as stiff as the plastic trowel and I do body work. It was dry in a day and I rolled it 3 days later for the deso. I had one of the patches peal up a little but I think it was because when I realized I had enough to do more area I quickly preped more sections before it got hard, by the end it was goopy but was able to spread it with the hard edge of the trowel. I dont think you could delute it with mek it was thick. I tried to use a trimed brush and realized it wouldn.t work. trowel is the bomb. I have some flex tuff to do the whole bottom. it is supposed to be like honey not fudge like the flexane. I plan on spraying the rest of the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Jamespio good job finding the deal

Jamespio,

Good job finding the deal. I have been thinking about doing some repairs to a hammered 14ft hyside I have. This is just the ticket. I ordered enough for the quantity discount and the order qualified for free shipping.

I think its the best option for fixing up the hyside.

Anyhow...thanks again for sharing this incredible deal. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I ordered two of the expired flexane last week, and when they arrived, one had a 2010 expiration date. The other was expired. Not sure if this means they're running out of the expired stuff or not but you may want to jump on it now just in case.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top