Repairing a PVC or Hypalon Dinghy

Inflatable dinghy

Rips happen, but you don’t have to let a rip in your inflatable dinghy get you down! Rips can easily be repaired with the right dinghy repair glue. Inflatable dinghies are commonly made from either a PVC or hypalon material and require a repair glue specifically designed for one or the other. Here are some quick tips on how to determine whether you need repair glue for PVC or hypalon:

Check your owner’s manual. Avon, Achilles, Seaworthy, Novurania, Bat Boat, Nissan, Sea Rover, Metzler, and Apex are common hypalon boats. If you do not have one of these models, check the dinghy’s owner’s manual to determine the material of your dinghy.

Examine the material. If you’ve misplaced the manual, take a closer look at the texture of the dinghy. PVC tends to have a rough, snake skin like texture, while Hypalon is usually smooth. This is not foolproof, however, and even experts admit that the difference is not always discernible to the eye.

Call the manufacturer. Get a definitive answer by calling the manufacturer of the dinghy.

When in doubt, go with PVC. If you end up totally stumped, go for the PVC glue. PVC glue will work on both PVC and Hypalon boats without any adverse reactions, the bond just won’t be as strong on the Hypalon.

The Patching Process

When you are ready to make your dinghy repairs, use a patch of the same material to cover the rip.

  1. Thoroughly clean the patch site with an appropriate cleaner (included in a dinghy glue kit). Hypalon boats will need to be pre-sanded with 60-grit sandpaper before gluing as well.
  2. Wipe down the patch to remove any finger oils.
  3. Mix up the glue with a catalysis according to instructions and stir well with a paintbrush.
  4. Paint a thin coating of the glue on both surfaces and let dry until tacky (10-15 min.).
  5. Repeat with a second coat of glue. If using PVC glue, you will then want to heat up the glue with a hair dryer.
  6. Affix patch to dinghy surface and press or roll out all of the air from underneath. The glue will be 100% set in 7 days.

Both PVC and Hypalon Glue Kits are available at www.sailrite.com. 

4 comments
  1. L Moore said:

    I am trying to apply velcro to honeycomb fabric on my Ultrafeed machine and either the thread breaks or jams. Do you have any suggestions on settings?

  2. Nikki said:

    We suggest using a V-69 thread with a #16 needle. Set the tension in two layers of the fabric. Once set, tension should hold when sewing the Velcro. Hope this helps, but if not we suggest calling in and opening a support case at Sailrite.

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