We all know that rips and tears happen, but when they happen to the clear vinyl in your dodger or enclosure it’s a real bummer. Rips and tears often occur when something sharp or heavy hits the vinyl or falls on it. Don’t worry; it’s a common and fixable problem. We’re going to share with you two different methods for fixing your rip or tear, patching it and replacing the vinyl, so your clear vinyl will be good as new in no time.
Patching Clear Vinyl
The quickest and cheapest way to fix a rip or tear in your clear vinyl is to patch it. Ultimately, we prefer to replace the window but if you need a quick fix or just to make do until a bigger renovation a patch is a great option.
To patch the window, use Tear Aid Type B. These adhesive-backed patches can be used to repair holes and tears in any vinyl or vinyl-coated application so they’re great to have around your boat. Tear Aid patches are durable, flexible and puncture resistant to protect against abrasion, moisture, saltwater, UV rays and extreme temperatures. The patches are clear, but they won’t disappear completely on your clear vinyl.
How to Apply Tear Aid
- Cut the patch so that it is one inch bigger than the rip or tear on all sides.
- Then carefully peel back the paper liner and start to position the Tear Aid over the rip on the fabric.
- Slowly peel back the liner while carefully applying the patch, taking care to work out any air bubbles.
- Rub all the edges to seal the patch in place. If you can, we recommend patching both sides of the rip.
- Tear Aid Type B will need 24 hours to fully cure.
Getting the patch on without air bubbles can be tricky, so be sure to take your time. It helps to use a straight edge like the side of a credit card to smooth the patch down. If you do end up with air bubbles, you can carefully pop them with a pin and work them out flatter with your fingers.
Replacing Clear Vinyl
The only true way to fix the rip is to replace the window entirely. This can easily be done without having to completely dismantle your canvas work, too. Here we have a video that demonstrates the process of replacing the glass on a dodger window. You can use this same process on clear vinyl that has become wavy, creased or brittle as well.
How to Replace a Clear Vinyl Window
- If needed, rip the stitches so the window will lay flat.
- Cut a new piece of window material that will fit the window, using the current window as a pattern.
- Baste the new window to the old on the inside of the piece.
- Sew the new window material in place.
- Flip the piece over and carefully cut out the old window.
- If you ripped seams in Step 1, carefully sew that area back together
That’s all there is to it! You can find all the supplies you need at Sailrite.com.
Have you ever ripped your clear vinyl? How did you fix it? Share your experiences in the comments.