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Blog - patching inflatable boats

Making a repair to a puncture on your inflatable boat.

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Now that you have marked all the spots where you found leaks by using soapy water on your tubes I will tell you how to patch the boat. We recommend that you bring the boat to us for repair if possible but if not you can do it yourself. The first thing to do is to select a patch of the correct size for the puncture. It should be a good size larger than the hole. Lay the patch on top of the hole and trace around it with a pencil. Remove the patch and apply "blue" masking tape, found at Home Depot, around the pencil circle leaving the center uncovered. Once this is done you can prep the patch and the surface of the boat. If your boat is hypalon you will want to sand the area inside the tape. Rough it up good and clean the area with acetone or alcohol. Do the same with the patch. Use the correct type of two part hypalon glue. Do not use single part glue. Single part glue is for emergency patching. Mix some glue in a paper cup with some hardner that comes with the glue. We sell the glue at our shop. Use an inexpensive brush, cut off the end of the brush to leave a very short stubb of brush. Apply some glue to the patch and to the boat. Let the glue dry. Then apply a second coat of glue on the boat and the patch. Wait only a couple of minutes and you are now ready to stick the patch to the boat. Apply the patch and use a credit card to smooth it out. The tube should be inflated, if possible when applying the patch. After awhile you can remove the blue tape. The patch will take several days to dry completely. Keep the boat from the water for atleast a couple of days. Never glue near the ocean or when it's raining. If it's humid the glue won't dry. If your boat is a PVC boat then the process is a little different. No sanding of the tube is necessary or the patch. Follow the same process otherwise. Use the PVC two-part glue in this case. We have experienced repair personnel who can do a variety of repairs including, patching holes, repair seams, sealing water leaks, install new tubes etc. Bring your boat by the store for en evaluation.