Latexing an inflatableSometimes leaks are elusive. Tiny bubbles will show in soapy wash
water from spots smaller than pinholes or near a seam where no patch
is possible. Some older boats have more porous fabric that will
"ooze" air from no place in particular.
You can try a procedure we call "latexing," [because in olden
times we actually used a liquid rubber, latex material.] We now
sell quart bottles of a more modern sealer that works as well if not
Instructions come with it. Basically you remove the valve core
from offending tube. Squirt in a measured amount of the liquid.
Replace valve, blow up the boat and then, with help, keep rotating in
all directions for about 10 minutes to distribute the sealer. Often
you can see the white juice oozing out holes you never knew existed.
Leave the boat blown up to shape for 24 hours, then test.
Sometimes it needs repeating. It has saved many boats from the dump!
The biggest drawback is that glue doesn't stick to it very well if
at all. If you ever get a large hole and need an inside patch, the
area will have to be cleaned. While this takes some work, you are
better off with a working boat until you put a large hole in it!
© 1998-2005 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 permission of Westport Marina.
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