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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 20 yr old Hyside 14' self bailing raft with lace in floor. I can't get the floor to hold air - slow leak(s) - I replaced the fill and pressure release valves, patched a few areas that did bubble soapy water. But, lots of areas with cracking material. I think the floor material is old and has areas of very slow leaks. A replacement floor is crazy expensive from Hyside - around $1500. Has anyone used one of those "fix it from the inside" repair products on a floor ? .. such as Flexseal, Toobseal, West Marine Inflatable Repair, etc .. The Q & A section on NRS site a few say it will not work on the I-beam style floors because it might be hard to move the material all around. I'm figuring that if the air can get all around, then the product will too - there must be perforations in material and such between tubes/I-beams - just keep rotating the floor around .... right?? Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
 

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I agree that is not the solution for an I-beam floor. The internal beams block the product from splashing around correctly and reaching the interior surface of the rubber
 

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Won't work on an I beam floor.

I tried the 2 part stuff NRS sells on an old raft. I used it on all 4 tube with 2 different attempts and only had barely marginal results. Was definitely not worth the money for the product. Other may have better luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Been looking more online, coming up with Inland Marine Sealant - recommended by Jacks Plastic Welding too. Manufacturer states this stuff flows around easier than water, super low viscosity, which should get through the baffles inside the floor. I'm still open to more info/suggestions though!
 

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I used the product from inland marine that Jack suggested, it worked out pretty well, I did have to treat one of my thwarts more then once, but it fixed the problem.
A bottle of the stuff for under $100, compared to $1500 for the new floor, doesn't sound like a terrible gamble to me, though the I beams may prevent it from working, as already stated.

There are products you can paint on the outside, though I have never used myself.

If you got desperate, and it was a new floor otherwise, wonder if you could take a hypodermic needle, fill each section of the floor, then aqua seal each of those tiny holes, in theory the sealing compound would help fix those tiny holes as well. Obviously a risk to that idea, but if your about to drop $1500 anyway?.........
 

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FWIW, I am not a big fan of the interior sealants and don't off them professionally.

It will be a real bitch to get the stuff to run between all the i beams and on the top and bottom of the floor. I imagine it could be done with a hell of a lot of patience if you have it.

Once material starts giving up it is typically like treating stage four cancer.

If the boat tubes are in great shape, the new floor may be worth it. There are other options that may work for less than a Hyside floor. For instance, you can get an RMR floor for about $800 and retro fit it in, if it fits fairly close.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, just checked with RMR, $850 for a new floor for their 14'er, which might fit my raft - its laced in with lots of grommets just like my Hyside. I'll try the sealant first for $55 plus shipping. If that doesn't work I'll check measurements for compatibility and probably go new. Even if I fix my old floor I bet that new one would add new life/ floatation/maneuverability, and I think they claim they are firm enough to stand on for fishing - if so I can remove deck boards and hardware .... very interesting. Thank you.
 

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Must have gone up this year.

They make a drop stitch as well that is a little more expensive but would definitely be stiff enough to fish from.

It will require you to add some grommets to the floor to match up some of the grommets in the front of your boat. Last time I put an RMR in a Hyside I think I added about 20 grommets to make it work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Zach for all the info. You've got an interesting website, and business. I'll give a call if I go with that floor and let you know what I run into .... and if I need advice..
 

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If you want to go dirt cheap you might consider a floor from Saturn. I talked with someone there last year about ordering a floor for retrofitting a bucket boat. I ended up waving a $2500 wand over the bucket boat and turning it into a 14' self bailer but as I recall a floor from Saturn would have been +/- three bills and he did tell me a couple of others had ordered from him for the same purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I used the Inland Marine Sealant. Washed the floor down beforehand with soapy water - a few slow leaks showed up, cracked material - the usual. Unscrewed the fill valve and took it out, poured the whole quart bottle into the floor, reassembled the valve, and put some air in but not too firm - just like instructions said. Then, yeah, I rolled and flipped and turned that sucker good - sometimes faster, sometimes slower. One of the bad spots is where the tubes meets the flange, all around the perimeter - cracking - slow leaks, so I rolled the floor slowly around on perimeter. and every other way. Did all of this for around one half hour, then a little every half hour, again just like instructions. 4 hours later pumped it up firm. Two days later it's holding well. It just might be functional and get me a few more years out of this old raft. So, right now, I say it worked.

The raft tubes don't leak at all. I'll do the spring cleaning, glue down whatever needs it and reassemble with frame. Fished the upper Madison one week ago out of a drift boat and it was fantastic - 16" to 20" rainbows galore. Gonna try that again in the raft and maybe the Big Hole in a few weeks before runoff starts in earnest.
 

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