Structure of inflatable boards of Aqua-Storm Company’s boats allows them to stay afloat even when one (or few) airtight compartment is damaged and to keep carrying capacity in the same time. So if watercraft is damaged while boating there is nothing to worry about! Even though one might think that a boat is going down and the whole inflatable board is deflating, within few minutes damaged compartment stops releasing air due to slight difference in atmospheric and compartment’s pressure. Other compartments keep the air pressure unchanged.
What to do if boat damages while boating:
First it is crucial to find out a cause of deflating, kind of damage and to decide where and when it is better to repair a boat. If the damage is small, it can be temporarily shut with rubber plug or scotch tape and it is possible to continue boating until the place where the watercraft can be repaired.
If the damage is bigger, to stay afloat for example in a small rowing boat one should fold the damaged part inside the boat so that water stop filing cockpit. Compartments should be inflated if possible. It should be done with caution in order to keep valves in their places.
If there is a hole in bottom of a boat, to reduce amount of water the hole can be shut with inflatable seat or another appropriate thing. If requirements of payload of inflatable boat are complied, water level reaches only half of the board’s height and it is possible to get to the shore.
Only repair of small cuts and tears of inflatable boat should be done by its owner. For all large repairs it is recommended that the boat be taken to the specialized service center for PVC inflatable boats where the necessary equipment is and the qualified specialists work.
It is better to repair an inflatable boat at home. Prepare the area: surface where the repair is done must be flat, clean and should be periodically cleaned from glue. The repair should be done using materials from repair kit that is suitable for the boat’s make.
The repair of small cuts or tears can be done with a round patch. The patch should be 20-25 mm. bigger than the damaged area. Both the cut/tear and the patch should be cleaned from dust and dirt. It should be done with cleanser, pure gasoline, benzene or acetone. If the damage is big, the patch should be glued to the inside of the buoyancy tube and then to the outside.
If is advised to deflate the boat. Before laying adhesive one could encircle the patch on the damaged area to make the procedure easier.
Thin, even coat of adhesive should be applied to surface of boat and patch (inner side of the patch, where the adhesive is applied to, is more smooth and glossy side). Allow the adhesive to dry so that the most of solvent evaporates (membrane covers the surface and fingers do not adhere to the glue). Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for adhesive to dry. In conditions of high humidity or low temperature the time should be prolonged up to 15 minutes. Do not breathe on the glued surface it will not expedite drying but will worsen quality of gluing.
If the glue is overdried, use the hair drier (or other means) to heat it to 80°С — that will bring back properties of glue.
Apply the patch to the damager place tightly. Hard roller( or other tools such as metal or plastic spatula, tools’ handles) should be used to press patch onto boat’s surface. Start from the center and move to the outside edges gradually increasing the pressure. It is done to remove air bubbles between the surfaces.
After 5 to 7 minutes damaged compartment should be inflated to prevent buoyancy tube from adhering inside.
The time of polymerization of the adhesive is at least 2 to 4 hours depending on the temperature and humidity. If it is necessary the boat can be used for a short time. But in this case the patch is temporary as the strength of seam is weak immediately after gluing and it needs 24 hours to become durable.