Inflatable Boats Repairs: Leaking Seams Indepth Boating Here ph
Aside from the overuse of cleaning solutions and the application of silicone protectant on inflatable boats, there is nothing else a boat owner can do to cause the boatâ€™s seams to leak. Almost all leaks on seams are caused by hitches in the manufacture and unless your boat is still under warranty you need to take your leaky inflatable to an appropriate repair shop. Wicking is the tendency of air in the inflatable to escape from the inflation chambers by following the thread from one end to the other. This dilemma is common to more expensive boats because the heavy fabrics are not completely soaked or coated with PVC or Hypalon or neoprene. Wicking is not really a problem but it can prove to be quite an annoyance and can become worse over time that you will need to have it repaired. Leaking fabrics become inevitable in old boats even if there is no large abrasion. A large abrasion usually can cause wicking too. To repair wicking and leaking fabrics, you can paint the exterior or seal the interior or do both. Inflatable Paints
It is not easy to detect wicking and leaking fabrics as it will remain undetected using the soap bubble solution method. Some wicking or leaking fabric might be evident if the boat needs to be pumped several times a day and still look limp at the end of day. You can fix and protect your boat by applying a couple of coats of inflatable paint. Yes, there are paints solely for repairing inflatable boats. Studies made by the US Army found that such paint can effectively stop leaks made by pinholes as large as 0.045 inch. However before you coat your boat, make sure that you patch up any visible holes and punctures. There are several credible brands that manufacture paints for inflatables. Some are made especially for Hypalon or PVC only while there are some brands that can be applied to both materials. They come in different colors of gray, white, black, red, blue, yellow and orange. You can also ask the seller to custom-mix for you. Water-based, this paint that can be used for both PVC and Hypalon that is also applicable to neoprene, vinyl and even for wooden floorboards as it is non-skid. Application is easy as you can coat the boat directly without using any primer. However you need to clean and dry the boat first away from direct sunlight. If your boat is PVC wash it entirely with MEK until it is no longer glossy. If your boat is Hypalon, wash it with acetone first. Use
masking tape to tape-off all areas that you donâ€™t want to be painted. Dilute the first coat with water then apply the first coat using a good brush. Make sure that you paint all the nooks and crannies that need to be painted. Check for drips and runs before drying the first coat. Apply the second coat full strength. Paint it on thick making sure it is even then let it dry for at least four hours. Note that if you change the color of your boat from dark to light you need 3 to 4 coats. Inflatable Sealant You need to patch from the inside if patching the exterior does not stop leaks. Internal sealant kits are in order for severe wicking, abrasion or excessive wear and tear of the floor-to-tube seam. Check the boat for leaks using the soap-bubble procedure. Mark the spot. Drain water from the tubes then inflate it to its usual pressure. Make sure you have the right valve as you insert the sealantâ€™s injection nozzle through it. Squeeze about an ounce of sealant into the tube then immediately remove the nozzle as you pump air into the tube. Turn the boat oriented to the marked spot and let gravity move the sealant to the leak. When the sealant starts to bubble through the leak, deflate leaving the tube barely with air. Let it dry for 3 to 4 hours. Treat each leak independently. Do not substitute tubeless-tire sealant . For more information about inflatable boats repairs: leaking seams please visit: http://inflatable-boats-kayaks-and-canoes.com/inflatable-boats-repairs-leaking-seams/default.ph p
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