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 Post subject: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:26 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:36 pm
Posts: 16
I have a Puffin Sacco and all 4 tubes have leaks! Two different issues. There are pin holes in the surface in two spots, and all 4 valves have leaks around the outer edge. For the latter issue, you can see that the material has frayed/separated when you bend the valve away from the the tube. Just to be clear, it is not the removable part of the valve that has an issue, it is with the part that is attached to the rest of the sponson, and has the female thread on the inside.

What do I do/need to fix these leaks. The glue I got with the boat dried up last year, and never really stuck well to the sponson in previous attempts to fix the pin holes. This is the first time I've noticed air leaking from around the outside of the valves.

thanks
Geoff


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:29 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:00 pm
Posts: 139
I had the same problem with a 2005 Sport. I tried aqua seal but it didn't work well. Pakboats would not replace them free so I ended buying new sponsons. I believe the leak was related to age because I never over inflated or left in the sun. After I received the sponsons, the inflatable seat began leaking air. However, I just used a different seat that I had.

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BernieM
Folbot Cooper, Pakboat Sport, Innova Sunny, Epic GPX, Oru Kayak, Wike Bicycle Trailer


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:35 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:36 pm
Posts: 16
That is discouraging. I'm not going to toss my sponsons because of a couple of pin holes. The leak around the valves is irritating, but slow, so I can add some air once a day when on an adventure. I hope to get hold of Alv (voicemail) for a glue recommendation and perhaps prep advice. I also thought I might talk to people at a marine supply store, or maybe an upscale sporting goods store that does a fair bit of inflatable business. it would help to know what the material is. PVC?


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:53 am 
paddler

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 1:54 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Oakland County, MI
I bought a role of Eternabond roofing tape, base on comments made by KerryOnKayaks.

I haven't used it for a repair, but I tested it on a small scrap of fabric from the repair kit for my Quest 150. I think it would work well for a pinhole leak, but it has a very permanent gooey adhesive. If it doesn't work you would have to apply a larger patch (of whatever Alv recommends) around the perimeter of the Eternabond patch.

Eternabond is expensive, and there are knock offs, so I bought it direct from the manufacturer.

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Oru Bay ST
Pakboat Quest 150


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:12 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
I'm dealing with TWO sets of leaking sponsons on a pair of barely used older Pakboat Swift 14's I bought from a couple in NY a few weeks ago. They are dual sponsons with a heat sealed seam down the middle and not only are those middle seams breached in all 4 sponsons, but they all go flat in short order once inflated. I suspect several reasons for failure -- initially I think the original owners overinflated and then left the boats in the sun and ruptured them (one had a 1" seam rupture). The other problem seems to be that once one of the heat sealed middle seams ruptures, the vinyl coating on the inside is pulled away from the fabric so that air can escape slowly through the material weave. My Feathercraft sponsons were solid vinyl, the same as most flotation bags, which I think is a better choice because you don't have that issue of the coating pulling away or otherwise failing and leaving the fabric substrate porous.

I did find something you guys might be interested in. I will be the guinea pig for it because it is pricey and report back on how it works. It's a liquid for recoating the inside of sponsons and inflatable boats for the marine industry. You pour it into a valve, inflate the sponson and then flip and turn and spin it to get the liquid to flow over the entire inside and re-coat it.

http://www.allboatproducts.com/Inflatab ... ealer.html

Read the tab in the product spec under "Usage Tips". It sounds like really great stuff and if it works as promised I will send the information to Pakboat -- it could save them a lot of grief since sponson failure seems to be a nagging issue for them.

There's a formula for calculating how much of the stuff you need. They say a 15' inflatable boat (like a Zodiac or whitewater inflatable) with 22" diameter tubes will only take 29 ounces of the liquid (it comes in quart bottles) so the much smaller Pakboat sponsons should take far less.

IF this does not work, I will probably just make my own sponsons from scratch using the directions in Chris Cunningham's "Building the Greenland Kayak" for making flotation bags. I figure I can cut out the valves from these blown out ones and glue them onto the new ones. I will make separate dual sponsons -- I think the twin ones with shared seam are a bad idea to begin with, and probably make nylon sleeves for them, like Feathercraft has always done in their boats.

Kind of pissed off that I have to put so much work and probably expense into boats I bought intending to resell them (I did get a good deal on the and they are otherwise in flawless like-new condition). I bought them packed down and just did a visual inspection -- should have thought to inflate the sponsons before taking them. Silly me.

I've sent repeated inquiries to Pakboat about buying replacement sponsons and they have failed to reply. Mike just told me to iron the blown seams, which I tried several times and it does not solve the problem, in fact ironing them long enough to rebond the seam just seems to cause more leakage through the fabric.

By the way, any type of vinyl patching glue will work for your valve patches. You can get it at most camping gear departments (air mattress patch kits). outdoor outfitters like REI and EMS, and even at Joann's Fabric stores in the "notions" department (go on line and get coupons -- Joann's almost always has half off coupons for most stuff they sell on any given week, though the stuff is less than $10 a tube.)

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:37 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Repairs to the sponson material are easy with patches and or aquaseal, but if the valve detaches from the sponson enough to leak, it cannot be repaired. I suggest using lower inflation pressures to prevent a recurrence

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Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:38 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
If I had leaks around a valve I would cut a patch that closely surrounded the valve perimeter and extended a good bit beyond it. If that didn't seem possible, I would buy a new valve (I believe that Seattle Fabrics sells them) and embed that onto a patch, cut out the leaking one from the sponson and cement the patch over the hole.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:26 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
Posts: 77
I feel stupid. The above is the obvious solution to fixing a leaking or damaged valve. Except that it will be better to have the valve prewelded to a fabric patch that can be glued to the inflatable tube. The solution will work equally well for both PVC and polyurethane tubes.

We will have some of those prepared this fall when we do our next production. Thank you very much for the suggestion!


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:11 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
That quart of inflatable boat leak sealant from Inland Marine just came in the mail today and I'm about to test it on one of those troublesome Swift sponsons. I'll let you know the outcome.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:27 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
First report on using the marine inflatables sealant liquid.

Following the directions, I partially inflated one of the leaky dual sponsons from the Pakboat Swift, after detaching it from the boat skin (you just have to untie the cords that fasten it at the gunwale gaps.)
Then I opened the Boston valves (the large relief caps) and squirted 4 ounces of the sealant into the tubes, half in each side. Since the central heat sealed seam between the two tubes in mine has ruptured, all the liquid could flow between them anyway. I then wiped any sealant from the threads on the Boston valves and began lifting, rotating and flipping the inflated sponson so the sealant could be distributed throughout the interior. Almost immediately I could see the whitish sealant liquid oozing through at multiple places all over the tubes! This indicates that these were all places where air was leaking, far more areas than I imagined, ranging from pinholes to areas of several inches where the original coating had obviously failed.

This was done 2 hours ago and since then I have been flipping and turning the still inflated tubes every half hour (per the directions) and also blotting off the excess that has seeped through. As it cures (which is supposed to be 3 to 4 hours) it should seal those areas. The hopeful news is that the sponson has now stayed inflated (though I only blew it up enough to maintain basic shape, not high as I would have when using the boat). Before I did this repair attempt, the sponson would go completely flat in 10 minutes. I will probably wait 4 or 5 hours before trying to inflate it to higher pressure.

I did take photos of the tubes and how the sealant oozes through the fabric but I can't post them on here because of the file size. I've posted them on Flickr in an album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapdoodl ... 4461910673

Question for Alv: you had said at one point that if the center dividing seam in the dual chambered sponson is breached that it would be unusable? Why is that?

My attempts to reseal this seam with the ironing technique seemed only to have made the leaking worse, as evidenced by the enormous amount of sealant leaking from the areas adjacent to that seam. So I don't see how I could restore the divider at this point, except perhaps by sewing it on my sewing machine and then sealing both sides of the seam with Aquaseal or vinyl patching glue. I hate to risk that, though.

But why would having the seam breached render the sponson unusable? After all, since it is installed between the kayak skin and the frame, that should constrain it quite a bit from expanding too much in that breached area. I probably will not inflate the sealant treated sponson to high pressure until I have it re-installed in the kayak because I think having the constraint of being sandwiched between the skin and frame will help keep it from blowing out the seam more. Maybe that contributed to the seam blowing out in the first place, when I inflated it to higher pressure after removing from the boat.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:18 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
It's been over 3 hours now and the tubes treated with the sealant are still holding air. But the liquid that oozed through the fabric in some areas is still tacky so I will let it cure overnight before testing higher pressure. So far, so good!

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:12 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
SUCCESS!!! No more leaky sponsons. The Swift dual sponson that I treated yesterday retained full firmness pressure overnight and the Inland Marine seems to be fully cured. I'm going to post a new thread in the general discussion forum to alert people to this stuff and how well it works.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:46 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
Posts: 77
Question for Alv: you had said at one point that if the center dividing seam in the dual chambered sponson is breached that it would be unusable? Why is that?

Unusable may be too strong, but I'd hesitate to recommend its use. We run two separate chambers on each side for improved security, and if you have air moving between the two chambers, you really are down to only one chamber.

I have not seen the ironing trick make the leak worse, but I suppose it would happen with enough heat to damage the woven fabric. There is a fairly narrow window between to hot and not hot enough. It is often possible to repair a weld by applying enough heat and pressure to melt the two layers of coating and fuse them back together. You can probably repair the seam between two air chambers with a sewing machine and apply seam sealer on both sides, but I don't think that will stop air from moving between air chambers.


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:33 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Since I treated the sponson, it seems to have stopped the breach between the tubes from extending any farther and it has remained only about a foot long. It is what it is and I will have to use it the way it remains if I want to be able to set up and paddle the boat. My Puffin does fine with single sponsons, as does my Feathercraft.

All the places that I tried ironing the seams ended up being very porous and where the most significant amount of the sealant oozed through. It is too hard to determine the right temperature and timing with the ironing method.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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 Post subject: Re: leaking sponson
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:08 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 537
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Update on the leaking sponsons adventure: even though the sponsons I treated with the internal "re-coating" liquid latex from Inland Marine held air nicely for 24 hours outside of the kayak, when I tied them back in and re-inflated them they gradually lost air over a couple of hours, indicating that they are not fully sealed or that handling them somehow dislodged some of the coating.

I did solve the mystery of why they leaked so horribly though -- there is good and bad aspect to this discovery. I was able to locate the serial numbers and it turns out both Swifts were apparently part of one batch that Pakboat received with defective material in the sponsons (2007, I think.) In fact, had I searched these archives better before buying these boats I would have found Alv's notification back then about the problem and the replacement program Pakboat did for owners with these bad sponsons. Unfortunately, the original owners of the Swifts were unaware of this "recall" and never did anything about it (I think the boats were a wedding gift and one they barely ever used, perhaps due to frustration with the flaccid sponsons.)

So the bad news is that these may not be repairable, though I am going to try a second application of the latex liquid this weekend, and perhaps a third after that. I have a whole quart of the stuff and it only takes a couple of ounces each. If I can't salvage the Swift tubes, I have already bought material and H-66 heat activated vinyl cement to make replacements of solid vinyl that will slip into nylon sleeves (like Feathercraft sponsons do).

The GOOD news is that I am no longer freaked out about potential sponson failure in my other Pakboats, now that I know that the problem with that one run of Swifts that I haplessly ended up with was a rare factory error involving defective material. I've discovered that the inflatable seats leak too, made of the same fabric. There are two kinds of TPU coating used to waterproof fabrics, one (polyester based) that has excellent hydrolysis resistance and one (polyETHER based) that has poor. Their vendor may have gotten a bad lot using the latter.

Alv (of Pakboat) has generously offered to try to obtain some of the old style inflatable seats for me -- I can probably make sponsons from scratch but the seats are too complicated, with multiple chambers. Their vendor no longer has the dies so it may not be possible but I appreciate his looking into it. The Swifts are too narrow to accommodate the newer "sling" style seats used in all the Pakboat kayaks now. I also think I could rig seats just using the deflated originals as a fabric platform to install in the boats and then cushion with aftermarket inflatable seat cushions. In fact I got several of such cushions at Aldi (of all places) this summer -- they were called "camping pillows" and were marked down to $4.99 each but they are actually multi-chamber squarish pads, with Boston valves, nylon covers and very nicely made. With a little peel and stick velcro on them they will probably suffice in the Swifts if "official" seats are not forthcoming.

I do plan to try the marine inflatables sealant on my otherwise sturdy Puffin 12's left sponson, which has developed a very slow leak (probably a pin hole). That way I can report how well the stuff performs with normal inflatable components so that it might benefit other folder users. I will post an update once that test is done.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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