This boat restoration is a little ambitious even for us but we want to demonstrate how a boat destined for the dumpster can be the pride and joy of any discriminating boater.
Inflatable Restoration Project – Extreme Hypalon Damage
There is no problem that this boat doesn’t have. It has UV damage, leaking seams, It was coated with a one part coating like GACO or Rhino hide, It has been abraded and has fabric showing through.
But regardless of the damage, I am confident that SRC-TUFFCOAT and a little elbow grease will be able to make this boat into a thing of beauty.
The first thing we have to do is get as much of the offending material off as possible. This includes broken handles, bad patches and of course the single part coating.
As you can see from the above picture the fabric is showing through, not just here but all over the boat. One good thing is that the old coating prevented further UV damage to the fabric.
The remainder of the bow ring has got to go.
Use a heat gun or hairdryer to melt glue and remove handle or old patches.
Old handle, Bow ring and some of the old paint removed ( what a struggle). More tomorrow God willing.
Okay, I admit I was worried – Before I can restore this boat I have to get all the old coating off- if I don’t it will only be a strong as the old coating – which sucks – even if it was a good coating it would still have to come off because whoever did it put it on when the humidity was about 100% – in the places where you can peel it off you can see little bubbles of moisture between the coating and the hypalon! so wrong stuff and bad material prep and bad application. It has to go but there is a problem – in the places where we need to be the most careful – where the fabric has worn through – that is the only place where it has adhered well. Oh Oh! Run away? Give up? never. Find a solution. Hmmmm.
Well .. what we need is something that will melt the coating and not touch the hypalon. can’t use xylene, acetone or paint thinner (cause I tried) Ah ha.. I love having epiphanies….. MEK Methyl Ethel Keytone – I think that’s what MEK stands for – does the trick. ahead with the project!
Soak rag in MEK then apply to paint.
After MEK applied with rag for 5 – 10 minutes.
Scrape off with wood block.
I’m at a boat show all week thus progress will be continued next week (God willing)
OK I’m back – let’s get to work and finish this. First Get all that old crap off at least one pontoon. Then take some pictures.
Taz inspecting my work. 🙂
Getting the old one part paint off is very tedious but not that hard. This type of one part system sold for restoring inflatables will work if applied to the right type of boat under the right conditions. It will not however rebuild the hypalon coating like SRC-TUFFCOAT and it lacks the seal coat which differentiates SRC from other products.
I lightly rough off the area with a fine 200 grit sandpaper or 3m pad then clean the area with acetone before applying a seal coat. I thin the basecoat 10-15% and apply a thin coat to the areas where fabric is showing through. I’ll build up the hypalon coating slowly until it is even.
The basecoat sinks into the bare fabric and bonds the threadbare areas. I’ll apply two or three thin coats then lightly sand and reapplyanother coat. This is only necessary when the damage is this extensive and you want a really good job.
After the basecoat dries the sticking up bits can be sanded off.
The plan was to do half the boat and leave the other half unfinished to show the contrast, It was a good plan but too hard so from here on I am just going to finish the project.
Almost finished – TUFF-BOAT shown with TUFF-BARS mounted.
Taz thinks it came out pretty good – Don’t you?