Outdoors Information

How to Repair an Inflatable Boat


The owner can attempt small inflatable boat repair if factory-gluing instructions are followed closely. Rips and holes larger than one inch in the air chambers, or those within two inches of a seam, should be repaired with internal and external patches by a professional repair technician at a certified repair facility. A quick patch repair by the user may solve the problem for a short period of time, but it is recommended to have it redone by a professional.

It is also recommended that major inflatable boat repair, and the addition of large accessories such as oar locks, seating or towing rings, be done by a professional repair technician at a certified repair facility.

If the boat is still under warranty, and the user is experiencing a seam failure, or the wooden transom is separating from the molded transom flanges or tube set, or the fabric is turning yellow and sticky, it is recommended that the dealer be contacted immediately. Defective seams or sticky fabric may result in complete warranty coverage, and the user may receive a new boat free, or at a small-prorated fee.

Hypalon® is a brand name of DuPont. Its technical name is chlorosulfonated polyethylene, but the user may know it simply as synthetic rubber. It is one of the most popular types of materials used in inflatable boat manufacture. Hypalon® is more expensive than PVC, but lasts longer, being more resilient to UV damage, abrasions, gas and oil. It has an average life of 20-30 years. Hypalon® inflatable boats can be repaired and restored with adhesive.

Hypalon® adhesive is a product that performs inflatable boat repairs and restores the boat to its original condition. The adhesive has two parts, the Basecoat and the Topcoat, which are easily applied by simply painting it on, after properly cleaning with a primer like Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK). The adhesive comes in a variety of colors to suit the color of the boat.

Inflatable Boats Info provides detailed information on pontoon, rigid and fishing inflatable boats, as well as trailers, repairs, used inflatable boats and manufacturers. Inflatable Boats Info is the sister site of River Rafting Web.


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