Inflatable kayak repairs tips and repairing information
You can easily repair your inflatable kayak and its minor punctures (1cm or less), be it either in Hypalon or in Strongan/PVC fabric. Read basic repair instructions below, but when performing simple repairs follow the instructions in your owner's manual. Always use safety equipment. Seek a professional repair station for complete details, instructions and materials.
For larger repairs, consult your authorized dealer.
To know the fabric of your inflatable kayak, check the buoyancy tube’s vertical seams or contact your local seller/dealer.
HAND-GLUED SEAMS = HYPALON FABRIC
Traditional assembly method for hypalon fabric. The 2 panels are glued, one covering the other. You will only see part of fabric that covers the other section.
THERMOBONDED SEAMS = STRONGAN FABRIC
Robotized hot assembly technique: two layers of fabric are welded between an exterior reinforcement band and an interior airtight band. What you see is the exterior band, with 2 borders.
- Hypalon fabric: rough the material with the pumice stone provided (never use solvent)
- Strongan fabric: Grease remover of the MEK or acetone type. Use safety equipment.
- Fabric patch (use correct fabric for your boat)
- Tube of special glue, ready for use: check with your dealer that you use the suitable glue
- Small paint brush
CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR A SUCCESSFUL REPAIR
- Relative humidity less that 60%
- Temperature between 18 and 25°C (64.4 and 77°F)
- Avoid carrying out repairs in direct sunlight or rain
- Check that the buoyancy tube is fully deflated and lies flat
- Cut out a round patch at least 5 cm larger than the hole or cut to be repaired
- Draw around the shape of the patch exactly where it will be applied on the boat
- Clean the damaged part of the boat and the corresponding side of the patch
- Strongan fabric: with a grease remover of the alcohol type
- Hypalon fabric: with the pumice stone only
- Allow to dry for 5 minutes
- Apply 3 thin layers of glue on both the patch and the roughened area on the boat and let dry for 5 to 10 minutes between each layer until tacky
PUTTING ON THE PATCH
- When the 3rd layer is dry, apply the patch without pressing and adjust the position if required
- Press out the air bubbles which may have formed under the patch
- Smooth the patch with a round object (ie: a spoon) starting from the center of the patch and working out
- Clean the excess glue with a solvent
USE OF BOAT AFTER REPAIR
- Do not expose the repair to sun or rain until cured
- Let dry and cure for 24 hours before inflating
When using the glue :
- Carefully replace the cap on the tube of glue. If properly sealed, it keeps well.
- Do not leave the tube in the sun or next to heat sources or direct flames.
- Check that the room is properly ventilated, avoid inhaling or ingesting the glue, and avoid its contact with your skin
NOTE: FOR MAJOR REPAIRS, TAKE YOUR KAYAK TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER WHO CAN PERFORM AFTER SALES SERVICE
About The Author:
T. Chevrier is a successful author and publisher of several online articles in the inflatable boat industry for www.inflatable-boats-kayaks-accessories.com