Inflatable Boat Patch Kit – Repair Small Holes & Punctures in Any Fabric
Having a reliable inflatable boat patch kit handy may not cross your mind until that fateful moment when you discover a leak. Most kits contain good quality materials, but it is important to get the right kind for your boat or kayak.
Hypalon and PVC, the two types of inflatable boat fabric, use different glues and adhesive patches that cannot be interchanged.
Getting the Right Kit
Any Hypalon boat is sold with their own inflatable boat repair kit, but if you need to buy a new one, be sure to get something like the NRS Tear-Aid Type A Patch Kit, which is made especially to patch and repair holes in Hypalon fabric, fiberglass, nylon, rubber, and polyurethane. The kit contains a stretch elastomer patch that is resistant to tearing and holds a high strength bond even when under pressure from an inflated tube. It is a clear tape that can be used on all colors of fabric. Be sure to buy the TYPE A patch, which comes in rolls, or in the kit that includes different size patches and alcohol prep pads.
The Tear Aid Type B Repair Kit is for repair of vinyl or vinyl coated items only, as well as towables, pool toys, air mattresses, and more. Like the Type A patch, this TYPE B inflatable boat patch kit is also an easy peel-and-stick method that is waterproof and durable, as well as resistant to UV sunlight and extreme temperatures.
Inflatable Boat Patch & Repair Kits
For leaks that a patch can’t cover, such as a pinhole next to a valve or a slit on a seam, the solution is to use a small tube of commercial grade glue found in the Kwik-Tek Vinyl and Inflatable Repair kit or the Sevylor Vinyl Repair Kit. Since this type of glue is so versatile for vinyl repairs, it is a good idea to have a tube handy for rips to your car interior as well as items around the house and patio.
Repairs are Easy
Once you have the proper kit type, keep it handy for quick repairs. Each kit or bottle includes very easy instructions for repairing a tear or hole, but here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Follow directions carefully. Be sure the patch area is clean and dry before you start. A full inflatable boat patch kit for Hypalon fabric will also include a square of sand paper to “rough up” the surround area for a better bond.
- The patch material is easy to trim with scissors. In addition to rounding the corners into an oval shape, be sure to cut the patch leaving it large enough for plenty of overlap, at least 1- to 2 inches on all sides for the best seal.
- Apply glue (if applicable) with a small paint brush with the bristles cut short. This will allow you to get the glue on the spot where you need it and eliminate a messy application.
- Let the adhesive dry according to directions before you inflate the boat to full pressure and put it in the water.
When to Take it To a Pro
Small punctures are easy to repair, and having a handy inflatable boat patch kit will provide you with the right tools to make an emergency on-the-water fix. For large rips to Hypalon fabric that require minor surgery, you can do a temporary repair at the time, but you should take your boat to a professional technician who will apply both internal and external patches to the wounded air chamber. Be sure to inspect your inflatable boat or kayak after each use for problems, and follow proper maintenance procedures as well as using a product like 303 Fabric Guard to give your inflatable the like-new look.
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