Manufacturer of SATURN Inflatables Since 1999

Inflatable Boats Repair Information

Videos from YouTube sources below, show general techniques for repair of various inflatable boats issues. Most PVC inflatable boats are hand glued in a process called “cold welding”. That means that glue used during boat assembly designed for melting of 2 layers of PVC being glued together, instead of creating glue layer in between them. The same way as inflatable boats are glued together at the factory, piece by piece during assembly, any type of damage to inflatable boat can be fixed with PVC glue for inflatable boats repair. Some issues are easier to fix, and some might require extra time.

It is however important to follow glue application instructions precisely. Videos below might show different techniques for glue repairs, but in general idea remain the same – parts to be glued must be first cleaned by Acetone or MEK at least several times, and glue must be applied in thin layers several times, with various intervals between several glue applications. Glue must be tacky at the time when both parts to be glued are joined together. It is important to provide appropriate pressure after glued parts being joined together, and let 24 hours to cure before re-inflating inflatable boat chambers.

It is very important to do any type of glue repairs in low humidity environment. If high humidity is outside, then take boat inside AC room, or wait until low humidity day. Do not slap glue all over the place in thick layers. Only apply glue in thin layer, and push it into the fabric.

Cut nice round patches when trying to cover holes. Do not use square patches, as sharp edges may start to peel off over time. If nice appearance is important, consider covering hole with D-ring instead of patch, and installing 2 nd D-ring in symmetrical location, so that it looks like it was suppose to be there. Always cover patch with paint tape in order to avoid glue sticking out all over patch.

When repairing open seams, first glue as much between seams as you can. It might be impossible to apply Acetone and glue at very edges of seams opening on both sides. Therefore, once glue is cured, either apply round patches over seams edges where glued was impossible to apply, or apply glue along repaired seam, so that to seal edges where glued was not placed between seams.

Use hair fan or heat gun if patch need to be removed or unglued. Clean glue remains with Acetone or MEK. In general, there is no need to sand PVC fabric being glued together. It is mostly done to Hypalon boats during repairs, not PVC.

If small leak impossible to reach and fix with PVC glue, then the last resort is to use inflatable boat sealant, which works in similar way to car flat tire sealant. Escaping air will direct sealant toward leak and will seal it permanently.

Keel repair in inflatable boat

Inflatable boat transom replacement

Inflatable boats transom repair

Replacing and repair of Valve in an inflatable boat

Patch installation on leaking inflatable boat

PVC glue removal from inflatable boats

Finding and repairing leaks in an inflatable boat

Using sealant to stop leaks inside inflatable boats chambers

Cleaning and repair of inflatable dinghy boat

Cleaning and protecting inflatable raft boat