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Ok I am pretty green when it comes to making repairs so please bear with me. We have a older Riken miwok that overall is in great shape no patches and looks pretty new on top but Iam starting to notice areas of rubber checking and peeling on the bottom just below the rub strake. After our trip last weekend I am seeing small areas of material in these places and can take my finger rub the black rubber off really dry and flaky. What would be the best choice for repair? Should I try and patch over those spots or could I paint on some urathane coating? I hate to think its to late the rest of the boat is still like new!
 

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Are there any air leaks coming from these areas? Is the same problem evident on the floor or just the tubes? Is it a bucket boat or a self bailer?

I am not 100% sure about your boat, but as I recall the old rikens have a full wrap of protective material on the bottom that comes up to the rub strake. If it is just the protective material and not the air holding layer or the bucket floor then I would not worry too much about it.

System 6 urethane works good (you will need the hypalon primer), but it is expensive and requires a significant amout of prep work.

In my experience, signs of rubber degradation mean that a raft is approacing the end of its usable life. You can paint stuff on it, or try to cover spots up with patches, but without a sound substrate to bond to these things will be difficult. I have seen quality urethane products stick well to bare fabric for a few years, but you need to ask yourself if the investment is worth it.

Mabye you could post some pics? I am picturing some cracking on the protective wrap right where the boat folds when you roll it up. If this is the case and there is no air leakage, then I would say just let it be and be happy that you have an old hypalon boat that is still in pretty good shape.
 

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No there are no air leaks I can leave it pumped up for days and never loose air. And yes its a bucket boat. I was wondering if there was extra material up to the rub strake the black bottom does not look like the same material as the grey top. And yes you are correct right were it folds when rolled up. I just want to be careful when you see fabric showing and my wife asks me whats that as we leave on a 40 -90 mile float would be nice to cover it up make her feel better.
 

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Should I worry about a deep scratch on my older hypalon boat that doesn't show any fabric? Coat it, patch it, or just let it ride?
 
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