Folding Kayaks Forum

Repair natural rubber hull?
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Author:  jensalmstrom [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Repair natural rubber hull?

I recently got a worn Aerius I and I'd love your advice for choosing the right approach. I hope to get it in the sea next summer.

I've tried dating it using tips on this site and it seems to be produced in the 60's. My first question is how to know if it is a hypalon or a natural rubber hull. And if it's an old natural rubber hull, can I repair it? With what material?
The deck has a few small holes. The hull has dried and has small cracks all over and is worn in the creases. The bow and stern parts are peeling. The center strip running the full length of the keel is coming off in one point.

Is trying to repair this skin worth the effort or should I have the deck attached to a new hull? Or should I just get a new skin?

thanks for your advice!

Author:  john allsop [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

I don,t know what the hull is made of, i am sure some members have a good idea. But from what you say about it,s condition, if it were mine i would buy a new hull and add keel strips.

Author:  chrstjrn [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

They were all rubber, in the 60s.

I have a T12 hull in similar shape. Ralph Hoehn (Pouchboats USA) took a look at it and said to save it for reference purposes, but that I would be best off with a new hull. There are several ideas on the internet-- the biggest comment I have is that there always seems to be a warning about trying to overcoat it with anything. If your deck is in good shape, you can send it all to Mark Ekhardt (Long Haul) and it will cost half the normal price of a new hull if he re-uses the old deck.

Sorry I don't have better news for you-- I hope someone else does. I'm still waiting/hoping to hear of a miracle-cure for this issue, but I fear that there is none.

Author:  RainerM [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

Klepper uses Hypalon since 1970 for the Aerius.

You need absolutely a new skin for the boat.

For new hulls look here: or you can buy from him currently two Aerius with renewed skins:

With new deck, Hypalon (original Klepper) below: ... 9-211-1918

With old original deck, new bottom with PVC: ... 0-211-1918


Author:  john allsop [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

We all seem to be of the same opinion, sort of. The postage or shipping to the USA for Longhaul to look at it, and their repair if Mark advises you it is possible plus shipping back might off set any saving. If you go for a new hull save, at least the air tubes, the cloth badges or emblems and save some material for the future as you never know, they might come in for patching should you ever need to.

Author:  chrstjrn [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

You might also look at Klepper, itself, for a quote on a new hull, and I think Pouchboats might even be willing to make one.

I don't think you will get a better deal than the used boats that Rainer is pointing out, though.

It's a tough and bitter choice for you.

My plan for the T12 is that I will eventually make a PVC hull for it using the Yost methods. That is very much the least expensive approach.

Author:  ChrisO [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

I would just get a new skin.
Why? That is the only way to have a reliable and sea worthy hull. The natural rubber hull cannot be reliably repaired, coatings and patches will often not remain adhered (especially when the skin is folded!). The other consideration is the strong possibility of rot in the cotton fibers, not just in the deck, but also in the hull. The cracked rubber allows water to soak into the cotton base fabric every time you use it, yet it is not so easy to dry it out completely.
Yes, it is sometimes possible to nurse an old deteriorated rubber hull along with the old hull wax. You then create a matrix of wax and rubber. This is only appropriate, if the cotton fabric is still sound, for a historically significant folder used sparingly on shorter trips in mild and protected conditions. Still not a durable solution.

Some options for a new skin in Europe are:
In Germany:
Markus Heise
ABC Sattlerei Oertel
In Poland:
Kajaki Margaret

Chris O.

Author:  john allsop [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

I have an Aerius 2 from the 1960s, the hull has many patches and keel strips which i put on. It held up well on inland lakes, there were cracks along all the folds and holes which i patched both sides, but now i am on the SEA i will not use it. I have bought a new skin.

Author:  jensalmstrom [ Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

Thank you very much for your replies!
Even if it would be nice to get an old boat in the sea, it's not worth it if I can't trust it. Getting a new (or used) skin seems like the way to go.
I'll definitely save the old skin for reference and spare cotton for patching. The Klepper patch is coming off by itself..

Rainer, great tips!

Chris, I'll get in touch with the places you mentioned.
Pouch can make new skins for the Aerius for about 1200 euro for the one-seater (PVC / PU lower hull) + postage.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Author:  jonayuen [ Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Repair natural rubber hull?

Hej Jens,

One of our Aerius singles came with a slightly 'better' rubber hull (compared to the pictures you posted) but I would be sitting in water after about 2 hours of paddling. I bought a Wayland skin for it and I'm quite happy with the replacement. I still haven't figured out what to do with the old one. It has cracks and you can see the cloth pattern in places where the rubber has worn off.

Avanza claims they can deliver a replacement Klepper hull (from Klepper).


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