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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The V tape on my raft is starting to leak. The bubble is getting very close to the grommets (1/2 inch) and I am worried about a blowout. I am hoping to get the floor through the season and then order a new one. What would you recommend? What are the general steps to fix it? Is there a temporary solution?

For now, I think I am just going to run it soft. Attached is a picture of the issue.
65353
 

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That looks spooky, I don't think I'd run it like that. My first thought is use a C clamp to press two pieces of wood into that bubble, push it back where it belongs. My other thought is go ahead and blow it out. Once it splits you then have access to get some glue in there and fix it proper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Deflate and stitch it back down where it belongs. Apply patch over the stitching to seal it back up.
What kind of thread would you recommend? Is there any harm in injecting it with glue as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That looks spooky, I don't think I'd run it like that. My first thought is use a C clamp to press two pieces of wood into that bubble, push it back where it belongs. My other thought is go ahead and blow it out. Once it splits you then have access to get some glue in there and fix it proper.
What's the "proper" way of fixing it?
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and say............a V tape repair needs to be done by a professional.

I helped a friend that use to work at AAA, fix my 16' Avon. Visualize this.

He cut the top layer of fabric from grommet hole to grommet hole......without cutting into the bottom layer.....far enough to work inside the boat (18" or so)......and separated the two pieces of fabric up to the blown V tape. He went in and glued in a new piece of V tape.....the same way you would do with a rip and inner patch. The V tape is what holds the air in and needs to be 100 percent leak proof.

From the moment he started cutting......I I knew there was no way I could have done it and not screwed up my boat.

My on river fix if it ever blows again is........ two pieces of 1x2×12" wood.....wood screws and Dewalt screw gun. Sandwich the fabric with wood top and bottom and screw it together. (Yes......I carry a Dewalt screw gun in my repair kit.)
 

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What's the "proper" way of fixing it?
I think it needs to done by somebody who has experience working with adhesives and inside repairs. It's not an elite level skill but it does require experience. This is like a class IV repair. You can give it a go but you'll probably mess it up and messed up repairs are even worse to deal with.

That said, there are good suggestions here. I personally like
Sandwich the fabric with wood top and bottom and screw it together.
This too requires skill but is in reach of an average fixer guy. For permanence, use plastic in place of wood. and bolts in place of screws. Cutting board plastic works good. The fasteners you use to hold the pieces together must not go thru the hypalon where the bubble is, so whatever you use must be rigid enough to span the bubble.
 

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What kind of thread would you recommend? Is there any harm in injecting it with glue as well?
Don’t take my suggestion as gospel. However, I do gather that you plan to replace the floor in a season or two, right?

That’s the perspective from which I view your situation - a temporary, but effective solution. Also from the perspective of someone who does industrial sewing and design professionally.

That said, heavy (#207 or 277) polyester thread is what I’d use. I suppose that injecting a little glue wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure it would help either.
 
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That floor is a great piece of patch material. I’ve sniffed a lot of glue but it’s beyond what I’d take on which means a professional repair is going to cost you 500-$1k. I can hear the time bomb ticking from here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don’t take my suggestion as gospel. However, I do gather that you plan to replace the floor in a season or two, right?

That’s the perspective from which I view your situation - a temporary, but effective solution. Also from the perspective of someone who does industrial sewing and design professionally.

That said, heavy (#207 or 277) polyester thread is what I’d use. I suppose that injecting a little glue wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure it would help either.
I guess I should have clarified, but yeah I am looking to get the floor just through this season and then put in an order or a new one. Because of this, I am trying to avoid expensive professional repairs.

I like your idea of just stitching it down to hold it for a summer.
 
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I guess I should have clarified, but yeah I am looking to get the floor just through this season and then put in an order or a new one. Because of this, I am trying to avoid expensive professional repairs.

I like your idea of just stitching it down to hold it for a summer.
That won’t help and there is a good chance you’ll end up stranded on a trip leaving the rest of your group to deal with it. I thing lasts forever. Good luck.
 

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That won’t help and there is a good chance you’ll end up stranded on a trip leaving the rest of your group to deal with it. I thing lasts forever. Good luck.
This makes me bristle. The idea that component failure equates stranding is apathetic and projecting such is condescending. Ugly fixes can be surprising. Many times they prove good for the life of the craft.

I've never blown a floor but I have dealt with ripped out floors, broken frames, bent oars, smashed locks and major chamber failures. A boat with a blown floor is still a boat. It still floats. It still rows. You grin and river on. If you can't grin, you river anyway. If you can't river then you hunt driftwood piles for splints and spare parts but as long as you have a boat, you do not "strand".
 
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