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Inflatable Watercraft Rafts, pontoon boats, kickboats, etc.

Thread: Reparing pontoon tears... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-07-2006 12:31 PM
Todd Ripley TJ, without really knowing for sure, due to ignorance, I suspect that they are tubeless...they are 21" heavy duty whitewater pontoons, with fore and aft chambers that inflate separately, but they don't have any of the cheesy nylon covers or anything like that...just heavy inflatable material, blue.

How they are separated into two chambers, I don't know...but there doesn't seem to be any separate bladders and 'toon covers.

Repairs are continuing to move along...the big tear looks to be ironclad now, but like I said, the discovery of numerous little leaks is taking a while to firm up.

Fish on...

Todd
05-04-2006 05:54 PM
teflon_jones Do you have a tubeless pontoon or does it have bladders Todd?
05-04-2006 10:04 AM
Todd Ripley Dang! I've decided to compare checking your pontoons for leaks to hiring a private investigator to check out your spouse...don't do it unless you are truly willing to hear the truth!

After getting the major tear fixed (it's holding now...whew!), I decided to do a little peek around for others...and have now fixed six pinhole leaks on the same pontoon...with all the little patches on it, it's starting to look like a teenager shaving for the first time with a dull razor.

I think I'll wait to give the other pontoon the once over...

Fish on...

Todd
05-02-2006 12:25 PM
Todd Ripley Thanks, Juro...I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but it is a story that does what you said...makes us all aspire to do good.

Fish on...

Todd
05-02-2006 12:17 PM
juro Todd,

That was not in any form a shameless commercial spam attempt as we often see here, but instead a personal testimonial about the kind of man that makes outdoorsmen proud to be men of the water and woods... no beyond that, a testimonial that makes us proud to be men, period.

I would love to meet this man. I mean I try to live my life in a manner that benefits others and in doing so experience personal growth and self-worth, but from what you are describing I have a long way to go to meet the standards of what some others are doing.
05-02-2006 11:33 AM
Todd Ripley Juro, unfortunately the tear was long enough (about two inches) that I could fold up the patch, get it inside, line it up, apply glue through the tear, and get it on...

Third, and final, patch was applied this morning...all systems go, so far.

A little off topic, but I posted this on a different website, and wanted to share it here, too...this is a story that I think everyone should hear:

"...the frame was built by XStream Outdoors, which is about as local as you can get...about four miles from my house. Soos, the Cambodian gentleman who built it, is the dude who gave me the glue and patch material yesterday.

Side note: Soos is damn near broke. It's not because he doesn't make good stuff, because he makes some of the best 'toon frames, gear bags, fishing vests, and fishing accessories that you will ever see...and that's saying something coming from me, 'cuz I like to point out the deficiencies in all the junk out there intended to catch fishermen, rather than fish.

Soos is damn near broke because every nickle he makes goes into buying fire trucks for villages in Cambodia, and several other asian countries, and a few in S. American...villages that have the vile habit of burning to the ground every few years, with no firemen, no firefighting equipment, and no firefighting skills.

He buys used trucks, and then cons firemen to take their vacation time to travel with the trucks to these villages and instruct the villagers how to use them and all the gear that comes along with them.

These U.S. firemen donate all their vacation time to do it, and Soos buys the trucks and pays to have the whole shebang...trucks, gear, and firefighters...shipped over, set up, and classes to use use them.

His office is full of pictures of smiling villagers in full firefighter gear, with proud teachers among them, standing on and around their new trucks and hoses.

It is truly a sight to behold...one that has doubtless saved countless lives and property from the devestation of previously unfought fires.

If Soos manages to have two dimes left after these expenses, he spends them on desks and school equipment for the kids in those same villages.

So...that's the type of guy I deal with at XStream Outdoors. If anyone wants to go down and see what he has to sell, knowing that they will be paying top dollar for top quality gear, and that all the profits go to stuff like that, then ask me, and we'll go down together...you can never buy enough stuff from a guy like Soos.

Anyway...after looking at my 'toon yesterday, Soos shook his head and gave me the patch material and the glue, and showed me how to do it right. The final patch was put on this morning, and hopefully it will take better than my amateur attempt earlier in the week that ended up with my boat missing the last weekend of fishing on the Sauk."

Juro, I think I'll post that on the general board, too, but I realize that it is advertising for a non-sponsor, so I'll wait for the go ahead from you, and if you this post needs to be edited, go right ahead...I understand, seeing as how you have sponsors to take care of.

Fish on...

Todd
05-02-2006 08:51 AM
juro Todd,

Sounds like they steered you right. How do you get the inside patch in place?

Scott,

The most durable drysuits on the market are stitched under glue. IN fact I would argue that stitching under glue is far stronger than just glue, since stitching alone is strong (but not waterproof). My point was stitching thru glue creates holes and difficulty where glueing over stitch is a common and effective waterproof seal with strength. OS Systems seams are incredibly durable for instance and completely air and watertight.
05-02-2006 08:09 AM
teflon_jones
Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Sounds like you speak from experience!

BTW I would think if bladderless, the sealing should occur after the stitching.
My instructions only applied to doing a fix on a pontoon with a bladder. They also work well on float tubes.

If it's bladderless, then you can't really sew the patch on since you'd be creating lots of potential leak points with all of the holes you're putting in it. Also, you can't use a sewing machine since you can't open up the pontoon like you can with one that's just a cover with a separate bladder and has a big zipper on it. If it's bladderless, I'd do it this way. This is how I've repaired rips in inflatable boats.
1. Take a piece of patch material that's about 2" longer and wider than the tear and apply a very thin coating of Aquaseal to it, staying at least 1/2" away from each edge. If you're lucky enough to have a rubber bladder instead of a PVC bladder, buy a bike tube patch kit and use that for the patch and glue.
2. Place the patch inside the tube at the spot of the tear and center it under the tear.
3. Use a spoon to smooth out any air bubbles and to compress the patch and tube together. This is where it's extremely important that a) you applied a thin coating of glue to it and b) left a 1/2" gap around the edges. If you didn't, when you smooth it out you'll squeeze glue out and in the next step you'll glue the two side of the bladder together! The patch doesn't need to be glued right up to the edge. The purpose of patching from the inside is to provide a good air seal since an external patch will always be fighting the air pressure. The internal patch will be pressed against the tear by air pressure, sealing it more tightly.
4. Place a couple of phone books or similar heavy objects over the patch and allow it to dry overnight, then remove them and allow it to dry for another day. Since the interior patch isn't really exposed to the air, you need to allow plenty of drying time. If you can cycle air into and out of the bladder via the inflation valve, that will help a lot.
5. Cut a patch for the outside that's 2" longer and wider than the tear and glue it on using Aquaseal, an all purpose epoxy, or better yet an industrial strength fabric glue. They sell some of these at craft stores, though they can be tough to find. You really want to use something that's designed for fabric.
05-02-2006 01:25 AM
Todd Ripley Thanks for the tips, guys...

I visited Soos at XStream (the guy who built my pontoon frames) and he hooked me up with the proper glue, and the proper patch material, and gave me a little primer on how to do it right...his technique didn't require any sewing, for which I am grateful, so long as it works.

A small inside and a small outside patch were applied tonight...a larger outside patch will be applied tomorrow...and hopefully I'll be back in business by Thursday for Friday's fishing day...

Thanks, again...I'll keep you updated.

Fish on...

Todd
05-01-2006 09:39 PM
juro Sounds like you speak from experience!

BTW I would think if bladderless, the sealing should occur after the stitching.
05-01-2006 09:25 PM
teflon_jones You really need a sewing machine with a quilting foot on it to do it well, though you could do it by hand if you've got a lot of patience.

1. Take a piece of fabric patch material that's 2" longer and 2" wider than the hole.
2. Fold over each edge so there's a 1/2" overlap on each side. You can use some pins or paper clips to hold the material folded and then iron them to set the fold. Once you've got it pretty well folded over, remove whatever you're holding it with and iron it one last time. Use a piece of cloth in between the patch material and the iron since you'll probably end up using nylon for the patch and the iron can melt it pretty easily!
3. Apply Aquaseal liberally to both the patch and pontoon and then squeeze them together. Use a large metal spoon to smooth out the excess Aquaseal and any air bubbles.
4. Place a couple of phone books or something else similarly heavy on top of the pieces and let them dry overnight.
5. Sew the two pieces together with double rows of stitching around the outside. Make sure you go through both pieces of the doubled over patch on both rows of stitching.
05-01-2006 04:54 PM
juro I believe the sewing machines used for hypalon are the type that could sew a quarter panel back on to a pickup truck after a bad night of four wheeling. I would get some quotes from pontoon makers maybe the originator first, then one of the small pontoon makers in OR for instance. If you get sticker shock and decide to go for it maybe a good tent stitcher with kevlar thread and aquaseal applied liberally would get you through several seasons (?) Aquaseal patches usually outlast the general fabric of my waders.

My pontoon boat has an internal bladder... making it a structural problem verses and airtight challenge. Not sure what yours has but obviously one poses a greater challenge than the other. Good luck with it!
05-01-2006 11:55 AM
Todd Ripley
Reparing pontoon tears...

After a brutal spring (brutal on my 'toon, not on me or the fishing, both of of which came out A-OK!), I've got a little repair job to do on one of my pontoons.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's a little job...a seam in one of my 'toons has a two inch tear in it, and my first attempt at patching it didn't hold.

Anyone have any experience or advice with regards to fixing this? It's a twelve foot, 21 inch, heavy duty whitewater pontoon...the tear is right on the seam where the bottom skids hit the blue material on the side...not a good spot, I'm assuming.

Thanks!

Fish on...

Todd

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