Sinking Ship: Repair Inflatable Boat: How to patch small holes and tears

If the inflatable boat has already spent one or two winters in the basement or in the attic, it is not uncommon for the materials to have become brittle over time - and weld seams to come loose.

Sinking Ship: Repair Inflatable Boat: How to patch small holes and tears

If the inflatable boat has already spent one or two winters in the basement or in the attic, it is not uncommon for the materials to have become brittle over time - and weld seams to come loose. But even a brand new model could definitely break during a paddling tour, for example due to sharp objects lying on the bottom or floating in the water. However, since only a few take the trouble to check a dinghy for possible holes in advance, these are only noticed on the way. And that can be really dangerous if the occupants are not (yet) able to swim or the nearest shore is far away. This makes it all the more important to take a repair kit on board in case of an emergency.

A classic repair kit for inflatable boats is primarily intended to mend small holes and tears in the material as quickly as possible - on land or on the water. It contains several components, such as an adhesive and various patches. It is important to know: Depending on the materials from which the inflatable ship was made, the repair kit should be chosen accordingly. In other words, for a PVC inflatable boat, for example, you need a PVC repair kit. Otherwise, the glue or patches may not stick to the material. It is also advisable to keep a pair of scissors in the repair kit to cut the patches.

If you have discovered a hole or tear in the material, you must repair the inflatable boat. Proceed step by step:

Another tip: Depending on the glue and materials, it may be necessary to roughen the hole with some emery or sandpaper. Pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions on the adhesive packaging.

If the inflatable boat is made of rubber and you don't have a repair kit handy (on land), you can use a simple trick - all you need is an old bicycle inner tube: Instead of gluing a patch to the leak, cut a piece out of the inner tube and fix it over the hole with a repair adhesive (there is a special liquid for PVC). Alternatively, you can use a patch from the bike repair kit if you have one. However, as always, pay attention to the material of the inflatable boat.

So that you don't have to repair your inflatable boat in the first place, you can take preventive measures such as:

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