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How are rubber boats repaired?

High-quality service and timely repair work can significantly extend the life of rubber boats. On the expanses of the World Wide Web, you can find detailed instructions on how to repair punctures, tears and other injuries.

Most of the manipulations in the presence of the necessary materials, repair kits and relevant skills are performed independently at home.

How to identify a defect?

If the boat bleeds air, then initially it is necessary to determine the place of damage. In such situations, you will need to fully pump the product, creating sufficient pressure to detect a puncture or rupture. Equally effective would be to put the boat in the water.

Damaged places will reveal themselves by the formation of characteristic vesicles. If these are not detected in the normal position, it is necessary to turn the boat over, as punctures can be on the top of the cylinders. Defects found are outlined with a moisture-resistant marker or indicated in any other way.

Tools and materials for repair

After all the damages are found, care should be taken to ensure that everything necessary to eliminate the defects is present. It is worth noting that the issue of restoring the buoyancy of rubber boats, especially taking into account the cost of new products, is relevant for many of their owners, in connection with which new ideas constantly appear.

So, for example, in the network you can find instructions according to which old boats are reanimated by filling the cylinders with foam.

To carry out all repairs, it is required to prepare:

  • patches made of the same material as the boat itself;
  • adhesive tape for sizing joints;
  • fine sandpaper;
  • special glue and a clean brush for applying it;
  • any effective tool for high-quality degreasing of surfaces;
  • moisture resistant marker;
  • ruler and scissors;
  • spare parts for the valve, when it comes to its repair and replacement;
  • roller for rolling glued surfaces.

Particular attention is paid to the choice of glue, on which the quality of all work performed will depend. It’s quite difficult to unequivocally answer the question of which is the best glue. The market has more than a wide range of related products, including various types of sealant. When choosing glue, it is recommended to consider the following points:

  • too cheap options are better to ignore;
  • cyanoacrylate adhesive (superglue) is not the best choice;
  • one of the key criteria is heat resistance;
  • special glue will be more suitable than universal glue;
  • strength is inversely proportional to the stickiness of the adhesive.

As practice shows, the best option is rubber glue, which is included in the delivery package of the boat itself. Also, experienced owners and specialists recommend the use of "Radical" glue of black color, which allows you to repair almost any damage and glue the seams with high quality.

The main problems and their solution

Given the specifics of the operation of the described products, when trying to restore an old boat, you can encounter a number of damages. Their list includes:

  • punctures, the cause of which can be various mechanical influences;
  • cuts and tears, which are most often the consequences of the use of the boat by beginners, as well as the operation of the craft in unfamiliar bodies of water;
  • damage to the regular and inflatable bottom;
  • valve failure.

Many owners in order to fix the boat, successfully use the so-called liquid latki. A similar approach to repair managed to establish itself on an exclusively positive side. In this case, it is worth highlighting the following obvious advantages of the PVC latent, which effectively glues any damaged surfaces:

  • maximum freezing time;
  • deep penetration (patches literally merges with PVC layers);
  • providing increased reliability of the formed compounds;
  • resistance to humidity and ultraviolet radiation;
  • lack of negative impact on the boat material;
  • preservation of properties regardless of temperature conditions.

In addition to all of the above, it must be borne in mind that the liquid patch is made of the same material as the rubber boats themselves. It is characterized by increased resistance to mechanical stress. As a result, punctures, cuts, tears and microcracks can be repaired with maximum efficiency and with minimal time costs.


As already noted, any repair of an inflatable boat you need to start with the inspection. When detecting minor defects such as punctures that can be glued with your own hands, The following steps are required:

  • using a ruler determines the size of the patches;
  • the cut out patch is applied to the damaged place and is circled;
  • with sandpaper, both surfaces are cleaned;
  • processed elements are thoroughly cleaned of dust and degreased;
  • bonding is carried out directly.

There are two options available today. bonding rubber elements - it's cold and hot. The latter provides for the following manipulations:

  • glue is applied to the repaired place and patch;
  • after 15-20 minutes, a second layer is applied;
  • after 10-15 minutes, the adhesive is heated to a temperature of 50-60 degrees;
  • surfaces are connected and strongly pressed against each other;
  • air is removed by rolling the elements to be glued with a roller;
  • the place to be glued is clamped with a clamp or pressed with a heavy object for 24 hours.

Cold bonding from the described hot differs only in the absence of surface heating. Otherwise, the actions will be identical. This option is relevant in cases where it is not possible to warm up the latki and the surface of the boat.


As in the situation with punctures, ruptures of the cylinders and the bottom are repaired by applying patches having a round or oval shape. If the damage is extended, then the patch used must repeat its configuration. At the same time, its angles must be rounded, which minimizes the risk of tearing during the operation of the boat. The patch covers the gap at least 25-30 mm on each side.

In the process of repairing gaps, it is recommended to use materials included in spare parts or identical to those of which the product itself is made. When applying large patches, it is important to ensure that the longitudinal and transverse threads of the fabric base of the material of the product itself and the patches coincide. To maximize bonding Both surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with coarse-grained sandpaper and degreased.

At the final stage, immediately before applying glue, the patch and the damaged area of ​​the boat should be completely dried. In the future, it is advisable to avoid touching surfaces.

The glue is applied evenly on both elements with a clean brush.

Gluing the bottom

One of the most time-consuming and quite complex types of work is the repair of the bottom of a rubber boat. Often it has to be completely re-glued. A similar process can be divided into several main stages:

  • cylinders are fully filled with air, the location of the tapes is noted;
  • tapes are removed from the inside and out;
  • the location of the bottom itself is marked;
  • the bottom is removed;
  • all surfaces are cleaned and degreased accurately and efficiently;
  • the boat turns upside down;
  • the tape is glued on the inside, while the glue is applied in two layers with an interval of 15-20 minutes and only on half of the previously marked area;
  • the tape is glued starting from the bow of the boat 1/2 width.

Next step is gluing the bottom itself. To simplify the work, you can first connect the surface on the stern and bow, and then go to the sides. It is important to ensure that the left part of the tape is also glued to the bottom sheet. At the final stage, an external protective tape is glued.

Valve replacement

This part is an indispensable and indispensable part of any inflatable boat. Unfortunately, often the valve passes air, and in such situations it needs to be replaced in a timely manner. Some prefer to use the services of experienced professionals, however, such work can be done on their own.

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish the following types of valves.

  • Airy, characterized by the maximum simple design and principle of operation.
  • Petal, called by its appearance. In the process of filling the cylinders with air, the petals bend down, and when bleeding - up.
  • Rubber, also referred to as flaps. They differ in relatively low cost and are most often used by manufacturers of budget models.

To unscrew and tighten the valve, you will need a special key. In the absence of such a tool, it can be made at any time from a plastic pipe of the appropriate diameter. To dismantle the old valve, you will need:

  • let all the air out of the cylinders;
  • hand feel for the glass (base) of the valve and fix it;
  • install the key and carefully turn it clockwise.

A new part is installed quite simply using the same tool. Tighten the valve tightly, but do not overdo it. Otherwise, it can be damaged, and also during the next replacement there will be problems with dismantling. After installation It is recommended to check the tightness of the device.

Useful Tips

The repair process of any inflatable products has its own characteristics. To achieve the highest quality sealing of damage allows following certain rules. Experienced boat owners and experts advise:

  • particular attention should be paid to the preliminary processing of glued elements, in particular degreasing using appropriate means;
  • large cracks and tears must be tightened with strong kapron threads before repair;
  • the use of some of the available types of glue provides for additional drying, which can be achieved using a conventional or building hair dryer;
  • repairs should be carried out in a well-ventilated area or on the street;
  • it is necessary to take into account such a factor as air humidity, which should not exceed 60 percent.

As practice shows, ignoring the above rules can lead to extremely negative consequences. Particular attention should be paid to air temperature and cleanliness. So, performance of work in the sun at a temperature exceeding 16 degrees is unlikely to provide a positive result.

It is important to remember that it is impossible to touch dirty surfaces with already dirty hands.

See how to repair a rubber boat in the next video.

Watch the video: How To Repair Inflatable Boat DIY with simple tools (January 2020).


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