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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had enough Sotars to know this is just a thing that comes with these boats. But does anyone have a good solution for sealing them?

In my case, a 14 raft has 3 thwarts -- that's 24 welded 6" d-rings, and every single one leaks around the edge of the dring.

Will liquid lex be up to the job? thinned aquaseal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They do. all 24, though the ones on top are worse than those down by the floor.

This is true on my welded sotar IKs, too. The welded d-rings for the seat leak, and the welded d-rings in the stern for holding gear leak.

On the raft floor, even the footcups leak around the edges!

Sotar will remove and re-weld d-rings in, but I think the problem is that the weld is so bomber the force on the d-rings results in small scale delam under the d-ring, which is what leads to the leaks.

at least, that's my theory.

So I'm debating the best way to seal the edges of the d rings. overlay a large patch of tear aid? aquaseal the edges? liquid lex?

Anyone ever dealt with this?
 

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So all of the items utilizing "patches" (d rings, foot cups, etc) leak? Are said components welded onto the outside of the boat, or are they part of the structure of the boat itself? I guess I don't understand how they are all leaking so readily...if the boat itself is delaminating that is a major bummer
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Zbaird -- 1" thick donut enough? I'd love to buy 24 red donuts from ya rather than try to hand cut them! how thick material do you use?

Rafterman: My experience with sotars is the 6" welded d-rings are just too small a contact area, they all leak if any load is placed on those d-rings.

All the seams on the boat are fine, save a small leak in the bow that looks like it came from the factory. All the large carry handle d-rings and frame strap drings are fine.

There is no delamination. There are no patches on the boat. There are some small areas of pinhole leaks on the floor where the thwarts rub. Also small leaks along the floor seam tape.

but those 24 6" welded d-rings all leak.
 

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...so the force on the small patch creates an air leak in the tube on which the patch is welded? and the air passes out through the edge of the patch?
Am I getting that right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Correct. The tube loses air through a d-ring welded on the tube. Seems crazy right? no force needed, I can blow up an unrigged boat and soap the small round d-rings and see many leaks.

all my sotars do it.

Zbaird points out the small d-rings are closer to 4" than 6" .... no doubt part of the problem.

zbaird -- thanks for the PM. I think I can handcut thin PVC ok -- great suggestion for material.
 

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I hope someone from Sotar jumps in on this thread cause what I'm hearing is unfathomable from any quality control standpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am curious too if Sotar has recommended action for this. I do not consider this a failing of Sotar, though I know some folks who do.

I would prefer glued d-rings that would fail at the glue layer rather than leak, but that is not something sotar will do. If they must be welded, it does seem they need to be bigger d-ring patches.

This is an issue only with the very small welded round d rings, and only if they've really been loaded forcefully.

I consider it basic maintenance.

I'm glad zbaird has experienced this cuz it's not in my head! If anyone else soaps their thwart d rings, I'd be very curious to hear what you find.
 

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Their thwart attachment system leaves a lot to be desired...
Definitely time for an updated method from Sotar.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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Knowing how tough their fabric is, it's difficult to grasp how this could be the case.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not inclined to blame the welding process, because larger welded d rings and seams are fine. It seems like only the small welded d-rings exhibit this.

the raft was for 10 years a commercial paddle raft -- that's a lot of hours of stress on those thwart d-rings.

my IK routinely hauls 80lbs of overnight gear.
 

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Ten years is a decent amount of time. I have almost destroyed a cat in four seasons by dragging it during solo boating. Luckily its been under warranty during my learning process
 

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OK 10 year old commercial boat is a little different. Still weird but I'll stand down the level of over-reaction to a 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, for how hard the boats have been used they are holding up great. No seam issues, no delam, just these leaky d rings, and then, only the small ones.

being lazy I'm really hoping someone will say they've solved this with aquaseal or liquid lex.
 

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You might try urethane. Not sure if liquid lexatron is urethane or not but I goop on some maravia 2 part urethane when my boats have issues. It's nasty stuff and can be tricky to learn. It's very toxic and my applications look like hell but if you nail the pigment it can look pretty good. I use no pigment and the finished urethane turns brownish grey
 
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