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Thread: Leopard seam failures after warranty is out?

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    Default Leopard seam failures after warranty is out?

    I had a fellow tell me this evening that my boat ( 18' Leopard ) is ready for a seam failure at 10+ years old. There is no evidence of this that I can see anywhere on my tubes. Is there any truth to this? I believe my seams are welded not glued but I may be wrong.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INISLDR View Post
    I had a fellow tell me this evening that my boat ( 18' Leopard ) is ready for a seam failure at 10+ years old. There is no evidence of this that I can see anywhere on my tubes. Is there any truth to this? I believe my seams are welded not glued but I may be wrong.
    AIRE's seams are welded. I have never heard of a seam failure on one. I think your friend is mistaken.

    On the other hand, all physical objects deteriorate over time. Still, I don't think you're going to find better craftsmanship in the inflatable boat industry.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  3. #3

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    Thank You. That's what I was thinking. When I was researching these boats before I got mine ( used ) I don't remember finding any faults if not abused.

    -Kristian

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I have worked on a couple of Leopards over the years never a seem issue and some were just at ten years an a couple just over. The only problems and the reasons they were brought to me was for wear from the frame. All of them had some of the orginal Paul and Mike frames all had motors from 50-90 hps on them. I know right still never a seam issue.

  5. #5

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    I had a seam failure on my 13.0 SB Tributary a few years back. It was 2-3 years old and was primarily used on class 3-5 water then. The floor weld failed, I called Aire and they sent me the upgraded floor at no charge in two days. I still have that boat as well as a 1996 Aire Jagurundi, and the bladder seams and tubes look awesome for the age and abuse it has gone through.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    I had a seam failure on my 13.0 SB Tributary a few years back. It was 2-3 years old and was primarily used on class 3-5 water then. The floor weld failed, I called Aire and they sent me the upgraded floor at no charge in two days. I still have that boat as well as a 1996 Aire Jagurundi, and the bladder seams and tubes look awesome for the age and abuse it has gone through.
    The Tributary boats (which include the Tomcat boats), along with the Outcast series, though carrying the AIRE label, are not made by AIRE. They are made overseas, using similar manufacturing techniques, but are cheaper, entry-level boats. The fabric is thinner too. These boats carry a five-year warranty and are nothing like an actual AIRE product in terms of durability and quality. The bottom line: Not all "AIRE" boats are equal.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    The Tributary boats (which include the Tomcat boats), along with the Outcast series, though carrying the AIRE label, are not made by AIRE. They are made overseas, using similar manufacturing techniques, but are cheaper, entry-level boats. The fabric is thinner too. These boats carry a five-year warranty and are nothing like an actual AIRE product in terms of durability and quality. The bottom line: Not all "AIRE" boats are equal.

    -Mike
    That is true. But all Aire and Tribs do have welded bladders. Just some are welded in the States and some else where. Here is a great blog that defines the two quite well. http://blog.aire.com/2010/02/tributa...ted-equal.html

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    This would apply for all inflatable boats.... a little 303 goes along ways towards protecting your fabric from uv damage and also keeps it conditioned. with proper maintenance....you should be able to get another 10years out of your leopard tubes easy. Wash your boat after every trip along with the zippers and let it dry before putting it away. And for piece of mind....I can weld these pvc boats, so should a seam let go come down the the shop and I can get that welded back up.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    I have worked on a couple of Leopards over the years never a seem issue and some were just at ten years an a couple just over. The only problems and the reasons they were brought to me was for wear from the frame.
    Since you mention frame wear on the tubes, is there a better way to protect the tubes other than the small square of fabric bolted through the knuckle and folded over?

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Well to be honest if you are not running a Jet Motor, carrying 2000 lbs of gear distance after distance i.e. 40-60 mile trips you more than likley will not have an issue. Remember the boats in question were all pushing 10 years or more and all of them were gear hauling fools. That being said you can always add a little material to where your frame hits.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INISLDR View Post
    Since you mention frame wear on the tubes, is there a better way to protect the tubes other than the small square of fabric bolted through the knuckle and folded over?
    FlexiTuff.
    Attachment 70746
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Flex-Tuff. 12inx9ft chaff strip.

    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INISLDR View Post
    I had a fellow tell me this evening that my boat ( 18' Leopard ) is ready for a seam failure at 10+ years old. There is no evidence of this that I can see anywhere on my tubes. Is there any truth to this? I believe my seams are welded not glued but I may be wrong.
    Did he make an offer on your Leopard right after?

    I think my Super Leaopard is 12 years old now... not so shiny but still plenty of service years to go.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Flex-Tuff. 12inx9ft chaff strip.

    Hey, TWB - the FlexiTuff looks very durable. Was that new application on a new raft? Any idea whether it makes sense for older raft?

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