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Zodiac Inflatable Boat Fabric Glue and Repair Instructions

Glue Procedures for Zodiac
Inflatables: Strongan (PVC type)

Be sure to follow the general instructions to the letter.

Preferred Zodiac solvent: MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). It is often available at hardware, paint or plumbing stores, sold as a cleaner for PVC pipes or lacquer thinner. For non-critical bonds you might substitute acetone. The Weaver Glue Kit below comes with a small can of MEK.

Glue: Zodiac #7097 Universal Glue; Polymarine Urethane (PVC) Glue or Weaver PVCKIT. Do not use Avon Adhesive (one or two part) or Bostik® or other Hypalon or rubber glues. They simply will not work on synthetic materials. The Weaver Glue Kit below can be shipped, Zodia 7097 cannot.

Mission Critical:

1. Atmosphere: Humidity much less than 70%; not in direct sunlight; Temp. 64° to 77°F.

2. Preparation: Gather rags, glue brush; solvent; timer with second hand or stop watch; clean off old glue; pre-cut patch, position noted and marked.

3. Mix accelerator and glue thoroughly either now or while waiting between the solvent washes below. Accelerator is toxic; keep off skin. Keep mixed glue covered (foil or wax paper) when not using.

Pot life is about 1 hour. It may still look liquid, but will have lost effectiveness.

Solvent Washes (3 times)

4. Scrub both sides (boat and patch or accessory) with MEK on a rag to clean surface. Wait five minutes (time it)
Mix glue and accelerator while waiting, if not done already.

5. Apply two more solvent washes with 5 minute waiting time (time each one) between them.
(You are preparing the fabric for glue adhesion. Abrading these fabrics is not recommended or necessary.)

Glue coating (3 thin layers)

6. Apply thin glue layer with stiff brush to both sides.
Aggressively work it in with brush. If it looks too thin, it is probably correct!

7. Wait five minutes (timed) If glue still looks wet, wait longer.

8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 (total of 3 layers with 5 minute open time between)

9. Wait 10 minutes after third layer of glue.

10. Join the surfaces during the next 10 minutes.

If over 10 minutes or if glue has spots of white haze the glue has picked up moisture and you should try to "reactivate" it. With a clean rag wet the glue surface with MEK but do not rub the glue off (one quick swipe). Then assemble immediately. Press hard. For accessory installation on an inflated boat you can rub it down vigorously with a damp MEK rag. Press out all air bubbles and wrinkles from the center to the edges. For patches on a deflated boat rub as hard as possible with smooth tool, e.g. the back of a large metal spoon or ladle. For davits and hard based accessories, deflate boat after getting them in place and press through from other side to make sure of adhesion. Wipe off excess glue with solvent.

11. Wait at least 48 hours before use or removal from the climate controlled space.

The chemical bond will continue to strengthen over next 7 days. Don't be tempted to shorten the process. We don't release repaired boats to customers for 48 hours to be sure. Don't cut this short: your patch could peel off like a Post-It® note!
12. Pressure test if you want to be sure. Blow it up to full pressure. Leave it overnight.

13. Enjoy!

We are not trying to sound difficult. These steps are what we really do in the shop every day. We are aware some glue kits have abbreviated the steps. When we asked the manufacturer why? Was their glue different? We were told "no" but the public doesn't want to go through that much work. Believe us, we do not enjoy grinding off dried glue from a botched job. You won't either!

© 1998-2009 Westport Marina, Inc. These instructions may be copied by private individuals for use in repairing personally owned boats. They may not copied or published in any media including the internet for any commercial purpose or to accompany any product without advance permission of Westport Marina.

E-Mail with any questions.

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