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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:06 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
I've found a product that can quickly and easily salvage the leakiest inflatables!

Last month I bought an 8 year old used Pakboat Swift solo folding kayak that looked pristine until I discovered that the dual inflatable sponsons on both sides leaked so badly that they would deflate completely within minutes. I removed them from the skin (they are tied in and removable in Pakboats) and submersion tested them, finding a few leaks which I patched. with the usual vinyl adhesive and patch material. But they still collapsed. This is a frequent problem with sponsons, inflatable boats and flotation bags. And replacing sponsons is a costly thing, in some cases with older boats it can be impossible. Patching can work for small tears, seam blowouts or pinholes, but eventually the coatings on the inside of the material begin to degrade -- many boats and accessories get scrapped for this reason.

But I am stubborn and did some research and found a sealant made and sold by Inland Marine in Cape Coral, Florida. It works!! It's a non-toxic liquid coating that you squirt into the inflatable (it comes in a bottle with an applicator cap), swirl around inside and then allow to cure. It completely recoats the inside surface of the material, even filling in where the original water and air proof coating has failed or peeled off the substrate fabric. This stuff is amazing. A quart bottle was $63 ($49 plus $14 shipping). I only needed 8 ounces to do two 14' long dual sponsons so that is around $16 in cost to salvage the kayak.

This sealant is apparently used by commercial operators who use inflatables (like Zodiacs, yacht tenders and white water outfitters) and even the US military. I read a lot of user reviews before ordering it. The first sponson I renewed with the sealant has now stayed fully inflated for 20 hours. It works so well I plan to use it in all my boat's sponsons now, even the ones that have not leaked yet, as a prophylactic measure.

Here is a link to what the sponsons looked like after I had injected the coating and inflated them. You can see the milky liquid has penetrated and saturated places where the material had been slowly allowing air to pass through. There are even tiny spots where pin hole have been sealed and weak areas along the heatsealed seams that the sealant filled in. Once it dried by the next morning, the liquid was clear (like Elmer's glue when it dries). and flexible. In the shots I had only partially inflated them, but now that the coating has cured they are holding full pressure.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapdoodl ... 4461910673

This stuff is the bomb and should save a lot of boats and accessory gear and a lot of patching hassles. I plan to carry a few ounces in a small Nalgene bottle in my repair kit.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
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Interesting, thank you.
It might be overkill on my folbot deck. It also might not stick to the silicone I already sprayed on. But it's worth a try if the spray doesn't succeed.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:11 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 431
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Inland Marine also sells several colors of flexible surface coating paint for inflatable boats that ought to work on folding kayak skins. That might be a better bet for your Folbot deck. They are specialists in this kind of stuff so you might be able to get an answer on the silicone question by emailing them.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
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Thanks. Do you have a link or address for Inland Marine?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:33 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 431
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Yes, I did find it's hard to locate them since Google searches return so many listings for the topic "inland marine" relating to maritime law. Here is a link to their website. The sealant is listed in the tabs to the left. Their site is wonky and a little difficult to navigate (pardon the pun) but it was easy to place an order, they delivered quickly and have been very responsive with questions I have emailed to them. One important question they answered definitively is that the product is compatible with ALL types of inflatable materials and coatings, including TPU (which is what Pakboat uses for their coated fabrics). They had to certify broad spectrum compatibility to be approved for use by the US Navy, which has used the sealant since 1985.

http://www.shop.inlandmarine.us

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:37 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 431
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Here is a direct link to their paints, available in black, white, blue, gray, orange, red and yellow. The paints apparently seal the fabric as well as re-color. Might be a good option for overall hull reinforcement.

http://www.shop.inlandmarine.us/Topside ... 7008-9.htm

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 60
Thank you. I'll check it out.


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