Hot to repair an cheap inflatable boat?
July 22, 2008 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Inflatable boat repair: I bought this Coleman inflatable kayak. I tore about a 3" hole in the side. Any advice on repairing it?

You would think the internet would be full of helpful how-to advice for this, but no luck. And most of the patch kits I find online seemed designed either for pool liners of for more robust fabric type inflatables. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done this successfully (or unsuccessfully!). What repair kit did you use? And advice on the procedure? Thanks?
posted by LarryC to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
D'oh! "How to" not "Hot to."
posted by LarryC at 8:58 AM on July 22, 2008

It's PVC, which is repairable, although the size is a little large. You want a kit like this one. This one's good because the patches are clear. This means you can see where you've put glue, and how it's spreading.

The important thing is to get the canoe's PVC slightly (just slightly)warm, so it's a little more flexible than normal and then lay it so it's completely flat. You can warm it in the sunshine, or using a hair dryer, but remember, just warm - not hot. Do the same with the patch.

Cut the patch so you've got about an inch on all sides of the hole, and with round edges (so an oval about 5" x 2", or a little bigger, would suit). You need to get a good layer of PVC glue all around the hole - basically enough to get right to the edge of the patch. But try not to spread the glue right to the edge of the hole - stop 1/8" or 1/4" away.

Press the patch down and apply pressure so the glue spreads towards your hole, and right to the edge. You don't want that edge flapping, and you DO want an even layer of glue forming a barrier an inch wide all around your hole.

Wait a few minutes, and then VERY GENTLY inflate the canoe a little - not enough to really put pressure on your patch, but enough to lift it from the other side of the canoe. This stops your patch sticking internally, in case you've squidged glue through the hole.

Keep adding air as the patch dries, but very gently, and not so much that the PVC stretches and the canoe is going 'hard'. The idea here is to make sure that the patch dries with all the PVC material taut but not stretched, so that when it's inflated fully, it's more robust.

Wipe excess glue from around the edge of the patch, but you may have to put up with a little of it.

Wow. I'm a PVC repair nerd.
posted by dowcrag at 9:33 AM on July 22, 2008

The only thing I'd add to dowcrag is I'd add a half size patch on the inside with such a large gash. Doesn't have to be water tight it's more to help spread the stress of the repair.
posted by Mitheral at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2008

« Older How noisy is noisy in Toronto?   |   Stumped on Essay Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.