Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Cataraft Bladder Question

  1. #1

    Default Cataraft Bladder Question

    16' Jaguarundi

    Left tube's bladder was leaky this summer. I was able to take the cataraft out on several trips, and it held air. On hot days, stay tight. Overnight, and parked in garage, tube lost more air than what should normally be seen. I always clean out the raft, unzip it and clean bladder, remove dirt, dry it, etc. The bladder has small amounts of water mixed with sand. I can't find any leaks though. Is it possible to open the bladder to clean out the water and sand? I can't find any leaks, did the whole water and bubble thing. I want to get this fixed before rafting season. Any tips / hints?

    Here's a poor cell phone picture, I get a better one later. It shows the most sandy / watery area.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akrafter View Post
    16' Jaguarundi

    Left tube's bladder was leaky this summer. I was able to take the cataraft out on several trips, and it held air. On hot days, stay tight. Overnight, and parked in garage, tube lost more air than what should normally be seen. I always clean out the raft, unzip it and clean bladder, remove dirt, dry it, etc. The bladder has small amounts of water mixed with sand. I can't find any leaks though. Is it possible to open the bladder to clean out the water and sand? I can't find any leaks, did the whole water and bubble thing. I want to get this fixed before rafting season. Any tips / hints?

    Here's a poor cell phone picture, I get a better one later. It shows the most sandy / watery area.

    Well, that air is going somewhere. Get out the soapy water and start looking, you will find it. Don't forget to check the valves.

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Here you go-

    It sounds like a valve problem to me. If you have not found bubbles coming out of the bladder, I would check your valve for leaks. By the way, unless you have had a large tear in the bladder in the past, the only way for sand and debris to get into the bladder is through the valve.

    If the valve is leaking, it may be easiest to just replace it. You could try tapping the poppet to see if you can blow some of the sand out. Sometimes sand gets trapped in there and can cause a leak.

    If it's not the valve, you've clearly got another problem, perhaps a slow leak on the seam area or something like that. If you cannot figure out what it is, I would just take it into a shop and let them deal with it.

    By the way, if the boat is less than ten years old, the bladder is covered under warranty, regardless of whether you're the original purchaser or not. You can tell when the boat is built by looking at the serial number on each tube (on the outer shell, not the bladder). The last two digits are the year the tubes were manufactured.

    Hope it helps!

    -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

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default Often overlooked

    Raft pumps should be kept in dry bags. I have seen them on heavy whitewater trips or when they fall into the bottom of the boat get quite a bit of water and debris in them, then you pump that right into the tubes of your multi thousand dollar boat. What a mess. Remove the valve, dry that water out, and try to suck the sand out of their with a shop vac and some small hose.
    Oh, and like the others have said, soapy water that valve and check it for leaks, it's probably gummed up and sticking, or some dried sand is stuck in it.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Water can get in via condensation too, but that would be "clean" water. If you inflate in warm weather, and cool it off in the river before deflating, you will pick up quite a bit. I've drained several gallons after a couple seasons of inflating and deflating.

    You can clean out the insides with a water hose if you remove the valves and valve mounts from the bladders first. That makes it easier to drain too.

    Also, valves will leak if dirt gets in the seals. You can usually just remove them and clean them out, but if the insides of your bladders have a lot of debris in them, the valve seals will get dirty pretty quick. Even going to new valves won't cure the problem for long if they can get dirty.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    23

    Default Same Boat

    I have had the same problem with the same raft and what I found is that you do get alot of condensate which builds up over time. But where I was losing my air was at the valve. When you put it back together, put some liquid soap around where the nut tightens up. This nut needs to slide when it tightens. If not it will bind. And when it binds you won't get a good seal.
    Good Luck,
    Scott

  7. #7

    Default Bladder

    How do you remove the valves to access the inside? Will I be able to take them off and hose out the inside? How do I do this? Thanks...

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default Valve removal

    There are at least two different valve types that Aire has used on their cats, and which one you have would depend on how old it was. Either way though, you get a valve wrench (AK Raft & Kayak) and unscrew them. That will get the valve out of the valve holder assembly. Then, if you want a larger hole to do your washing through, you need to hold the inside of the holder and unscrew the top side from it. They sometimes use a bit of Aqua Seal for this, so you may have to work at it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •