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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:08 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
Okinawa is my favorite place to paddle, but there are hazards such as shallow waters over coral reefs, the stray steel rebar that would secure a fishing net, stingrays and a species of fish, about 30-60cm long that have a sharp bill and they will skim across the water at 30-40 km/hr either chasing or being chased. I have dragged a folder or 2 across the coral and rebar, startled a few rays and had one of those fish leap across my deck, clearing it by millimeters.
Would a puncture cause a major tear,like a blowout on a bike tire? How could one repair a big rip? If a chamber got punctured in deep water I figure it would be time to swim.
Anyone here had an at sea emergency in an inflatable?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:11 pm 
Longhaul and Klepper will lose some stability and lean to the deflated side, but you likely won't have to swim. It is possible to fix the skin puncture on water, but I don't think you can fix the external puncture in sponson on water - air pressure will blow off any self-adhesive patch or tape.

Small puncture in skin (not in sponson) will only result in you shipping more water, which can be bailed out, and you should be able to continue the trip without bailing it out, it depends on weather. Sponson puncture is worse because it distorts the shape of the boat and there is some risk to lose frame integrity.
Though... I recall Tom Yost tried deflating 1 and 2 (and may be 3?) out of 4 sponsons in his 4-sponson hybrid. I was skeptical about stability of his narrow rib-less boat if sponosns fail, so he did the test, and was satisfied that it didn't sink. You can do the same - deflate one sponson in shallow water and see what happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:15 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
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Location: Coastal New Jersey
I don't think that there is enough air pressure in an inflatable to cause a blow out. Might be able to effect an emergency fix with good quality duct tape or a blob of seam seal smaered over the puncture.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:40 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
I have dealt with small holes in my folders and it is not a big deal. A tear can be sewn and sealed inside and out in a folder and a tiny bit of water seepage is not really an issue. My question is specific to inflatables.

What got me thinking about this is I had 2 very small holes in my Helios ( they are now patched and no air leak). During a launch from a dock, the boat slipped under and got the puntures. I noticed the starboard side getting soft during a paddle. I like to play out what if scenarios in my mind and was wondering how I could deal with a sudden deflation at sea and how I could repair in the field

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:18 pm 
Tsunami, go ahead and play this scenario then :wink:

If one soft side allows you paddle to shore, then this is what you will have to do. On-water permanent repairs are tricky not only because of air pressure. Most likely the puncture will be outside and very low, where it's hard to reach, not to mention that the surface needs to be clean and dry before applying any glue. Even when it's above the waterline, it will submerge when you lean to this side trying to repair it. At the very best, you could attach some sticky tape - can't say which one, it should stick to wet surface, strength doesn't matter as it's only temporary to reach the shore.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Alm wrote:
Tsunami, go ahead and play this scenario then :wink:

If one soft side allows you paddle to shore, then this is what you will have to do. On-water permanent repairs are tricky not only because of air pressure. Most likely the puncture will be outside and very low, where it's hard to reach, not to mention that the surface needs to be clean and dry before applying any glue. Even when it's above the waterline, it will submerge when you lean to this side trying to repair it. At the very best, you could attach some sticky tape - can't say which one, it should stick to wet surface, strength doesn't matter as it's only temporary to reach the shore.


I am hoping to get a reply from someone who has actual experience.. guess I will need to find some clean water and test it myself by deflating a chamber off shore.

The small punctures were hard to find, but easily and quickly sealed with a bike tube patches. I covered those with Aquaseal and a urethane patch.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:58 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
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Location: Vancouver BC
I've dealt with two on water punctures this season. The first was in my Sunny and I believe it was an old abrasion that gave way. Over the course of a 3 hour paddle I had to stop and inflate once. By the time I hit my camping area the left hand tube was seriously soft, but the boat still floated fine.

My last trip a few weeks back in the Seaker I got a pinhole leak in the interior of the boat, not sure how it happened but it may have been caused by a sharp piece of gear. We could clearly hear the leak but not see it until I got home and put soap on it. Still the tube held with no real effect on paddling for a four hour trip in roughish conditions.

Finally a couple of years back I had a blowout of a side tube on the seam of my helios 1. It went with a bit of a "whoomp" and deflated quickly. Not a violent blowout with a bang. The boat still floated okay.

So in my opinion an on water blowout or leak, as long as it's in one tube, will not be catastrophic. I am finding that Tear Aid repair tape is pretty invaluable for quickly patching things up in the field. I have switched to using seam grip instead of aqua seal as it's a bit thinner, and painting over scratches with a thin coat is easier. The hole in my sunny simply took a paint over of seam grip to fix the leak. I always have some plus the cotol 240 accelerant in my boat first aid kid, along with tear aid and mcnett tenacious tape.


Last edited by paddlesheep on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:10 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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paddlesheep wrote:
I've dealt with two on water punctures this season. The first was in my Sunny and I believe it was an old abrasion that gave way. Over the course of a 3 hour paddle I had to stop and inflate once. By the time I hit my camping area the left hand tube was seriously soft, but the boat still floated fine.

My last trip a few weeks back in the Seaker I got a pinhole leak in the interior of the boat, not sure how it happened but it may have been caused by a sharp piece of gear. We could clearly hear the leak but not see it until I got home and put soap on it. Still the tube held with no real effect on paddling for a four hour trip in roughish conditions.

Finally a couple of years back I had a blowout of a side tube on the seam of my helios 1. It went with a bit of a "whoomp" and deflated quickly. Not a violent blowout with a bang. The boat still floated okay.

So in my opinion an on water blowout or leak, as long as it's in one tube, will not be catastrophic. I am finding that Tear Aid repair tape is pretty invaluable for quickly patching things up in the field. I have switched to using seam grip instead of aqua seal as it's a bit thinner, and painting over scratches. The hole in my sunny simply took a paint over of seam grip. I always have some plus the cotol 240 accelerant in my boat first aid kid, along with tear aid and mcnett tenacious tape.


Thanks!! Were you able to fix the Helios?
For tear aid, Do you use A or B?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:57 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
Posts: 145
Location: Vancouver BC
I probably could have fixed the Helios, but Tim at Innova just replaced it! Great guy.

On the sunny and on nitrylon I use the Type A, but for the Seaker I bought a box of type B for pvc, since the side tubes are pvc based. Haven't tried it yet on the Seaker, but the repair kit comes with a tube of aqua seal instead of glue, so I'm assuming that will work fine.

I'm not sure the type B tear aid is quite as good, needs longer curing and heat helps, but we'll see! The type A is great stuff.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:40 pm 
No on-water repairs then. Just what I thought. Accessing the spot can be difficult (in framed folders as well), not to mention finding a small puncture. I recall now how difficult was to find few pinholes in my Kahuna - had to put it on two chairs and pour in a few cups of water. Soup water wouldn't work - it was not in a sponson.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:54 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
Posts: 145
Location: Vancouver BC
Sorry Alex, what are you gettin at? No on water repairs? If you can see the leak you can patch it on the water, but any puncture is very likely to be on the side or bottom of the boat. It would seem obvious that these places are inaccessible from the cockpit of a kayak on the water. If you do have a slow leak going on it is also possible to reinflate while still on the water, as long as the valves are accessible.

As an aside my friends in folding kayaks have had to deal with far more hull punctures than I have, and some that had the potential to be a lot more dangerous than one deflated tube on a 3 chambered boat.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:45 pm 
faltbootemeister
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If I recall correctly, Innova claims one can paddle with any one of the three chambers deflated. I hope I never have to find out if this is possible. Or maybe I should try it... just for fun.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:40 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
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Location: Vancouver BC
If you're concerned about it then find some clean water and give it a try! My experience leads me to believe the claim, although I don't want to test it in the real world with a fully loaded boat.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:14 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:44 am
Posts: 553
Location: Colorado
Quote:
If I recall correctly, Innova claims one can paddle with any one of the three chambers deflated. I hope I never have to find out if this is possible. Or maybe I should try it... just for fun.


Testing with a deflated sponson is a good idea. That way you know the kayaks limitations, and more importanly, your own :D

I've tested my homebuilt Sonnets ( 4 folbot sponsons) with two sponsons deflated and it still paddles ok. I've done top two, bottom two,
and one top / one bottom (opposite sides) with similar results.

I carry a couple of spare sponsons to replace those that leak... no patching necessary. My inflatables have three free standing aluminum
tubes, which no doubt add to rigidity in the event of a sponson failure.

Tom

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:28 pm 
paddler

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 6
There s an article here that might be of interest.

adventure.innovakayak.com/2013/07/what-gator-ate.html?m=1

The article describes how an aligator bit one of the side tubes on a swing 1. Seems it still floated ok. I guess this would probably have been a pretty fast blowout too judging from the size of the hole.

It probably answers the question on what would happen pretty well as I imagine it does not get much worse then this in terms of holes. And it's a bit unlikely to get punctures in multiple air chambers at the same time.


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