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Removing glued on items?

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  • Removing glued on items?

    Does anyone have a technique for removing glued on items on a Hypalon inflatable?

    The edges of accessories are are peeling up, but the middle is still pretty solidly glued...I want to get the items off, clean them up and reglue, but I need to get them off without damaging the raft.

    I tried a heat gun, but ddn't want to melt the raft, so was cautious with that.

    Any techniques, solvents, or anything that will let me get these off?

  • #2
    Better Call Tracy

    I think you are on the right track.. do not heat up the material too much, or you may upset the
    Tracy Harmon is going to give it to you straight.. Call him At Alaska Raft and he will walk you thru the process..
    Heat and New Age materials do some funky things at different temps..
    Just ask the Scout group that rented a Roylex canoe from me last year.
    It was a new Old town Camper. It cost me over a thousand bucks and had Been used 4 times.. it had almost no scratches and looked great..
    Well.. the Scout master from Maryland that brought the boys up here, thought that it would be easier to load up the Packs etc in the canoes and then just drag it thru the portages on the Canoe trail system.
    Well, they were able to drag the canoes until the Camper got a hole in it..
    Well,, they decided to fix it by heating the Canoe over the Campfire and using a butter knife to fix the 1/2 inch hole...
    The Canoe showed up at my place with about a roll of duct tape used to cover a 10 inch hole from the fire.. They said that they heated it up near the fire until the material started to almost spread, and then like Magic,,, it just opened up in a milisecond to a 10 inch
    The canoe was a total loss..
    They used their Troop insurance to pay for the damage to 3 canoes, and to buy me a new Old town camper...
    Now you know why your insurance rates are so high...
    The canoes were all basically ruined due to the dragging, and Although I am involved in Scouting and serve as the Adventure leader here in Sterling, I Believe the Lazy and irresponsible leader from this troop has done more harm than good for scouting..
    At least he did more harm than good to my Canoes, and taught the boys that it is ok to destroy property If the work load gets a bit tough,,
    And Insurance will cover bad behaviors...
    I know this story got off task, but it does illistrate that you can't just heat New Age materials up and spread them like peanut butter..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years.


    • #3
      MEK? let us know

      First, let us know what Harmon says. Second, don't people use MEK to dissolve old glue and to really clean before a repair job? AKCanoe: what a bummer to get such a yo-yo leading the Boyscouts; hope that worked out for you in the end.


      • #4

        I would use MEK in a very well ventilated area not close to an open flame to clean up the old glue and soften the still sticking glue. I would not use a heat gun. I also use a respirator when I use MEK.

        What does not come off with the MEK use some sandpaper on GENTLY! We do this with our rental fleet every year. You can pull quite hard on the patches just to expose some of the glue you need to soften and get rid of.

        Just wet a rag with MEK and keep the lid on, it not only is rather toxic but the evaporation rate on it is high and MEK is kinda expensive.



        • #5

          I use to do painting on Helicopters for the military. We would use MEK to clean stripper residue off the alluminum. MEK does remove Glue but we found Naptha will remove it easier. Naptha is basicaly lighter fluid. I have also heard break free remvoes glue well. What it will do to the meterial you are using it on, I have no Idea. So use Caution.


          • #6
            Solvents to remove old glue on Inflatable boats

            The type of boat fabric is what dictates the way you work on the boat.
            For Rubber boats such as neoprene and Hypalon boats you can use MEK solvent to clean and dissolve the glues. If you use heat don't use a heat gun! a hair dryer on the hot setting will soften the glue enough to remove the patches. Then use MEK on the excess glue. Wet a rag with the MEK and keep rubbing the old glue until the solvent breaks down the glue and cleans the fabric.

            When working on plastic boats Such as Urethane or PVC boats. You use Toluene solvent to clean and dissolve the glue. Again don't use a heat gun! but a hair dryer on the hot setting works real well for removing old patches.

            Toluene will dissolve the rubber on a neoprene or Hypalon boat and MEK will dissolve the plastic on a urethane or PVC boat so make sure you know what type of fabric you're working with before you start.

            Also use heavy rubber gloves and a respirator in a well ventilated area when working with these solvents. They are absorbed through your skin and do nasty things to your liver!!

            Another warning about using these solvents on rags, they are very prone to spontaneous combustion! So be aware how you store and dry your used rags so you don't have any un-scheduled visits from the Fire Department.

            I hope this helps.

            Good Boating

            Jim King
            Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
            Commercial quality at Wholesale prices
            River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
            (907) 248-2900


            • #7
              Bummer of a story about the scouts, guess you would hope they'd be smarter than that (or at least be led by someone smarter than that!)

              Amazing the reputation that Tracy has! I'm heading to Anchorage today for business, so am hoping to get a chance to visit his shop and get some advice.

              It's a transomed sport boat - some of these items are rubber mounts for tube frame items, some are d-rings, etc... most are at least 3"x3" and it's just the outer 1/2 inch or so that's peeling up - at first I was only worried about the valves (the doughnuts were doing the same thing and I had nightmares about one coming off completely while on the water and the boat doing it's best impersonation of a submarine!) so I got them off with little trouble and cleaned and reglued them.

              I thought I was good after that because I thought that the rest of the delaminating accessories were just eyesores - wrong! One of the oarlocks with the edges lifting up caught on something, ripped up a bit and created a pretty good leak (it was deflating a tube in about 20 minutes)

              I actually just dug it out of the basement and of the whole oar lock surface (12x6 or something?) only one tiny area the size of a dime is leaking so I'm not concerned about a large patch over the whole area having a lot of surface area to contain. But my concern now is to get the rest of the peeling items off and reglued so that doesn't happen again.

              I haven't worked with MEK indoors before (always done it outside on a calm many warnings about that stuff made me nervous!) so I'll check with my body shop cousin and find a respirator - since I'm going to be doing it inside a shop over the next few weeks.


              • #8
                Great info Jim thanks.

                I guess it's probably a fairly long - multi stage - process to get some of these larger patches off. Get some MEK in there - let it disolve glue, peel back as much as possible using a hair dryer, add some more MEK let it disolve glue, peel back some more, more MEK, etc. etc.

                Good thing I don't have to pay myself wages!!

                For a 30 year old boat it's dirty, but with the exception of the "metzler patented leaky seams" it's a lot of fun. Attached is a pic of the oar lock location...going to need a big patch! Anyone have a source (here or Anchorage) for large pieces of Hypalon fabric? Probably 10-12 inch width and maybe 18" length?
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Wow - thanks for the tip on Tracy, what a terrific guy.

                  He gave me some great advice, some repair techniques, and was just extremely helpful. Wish I was in town so I could visit that store more often!

                  I'm going to experiment with regluing the lifting edges before I go through the hassle of trying to remove them without destroying the raft.

                  As for the oar lock I'm going to clean both areas and properly prep them, then put a small patch over the leaking area and simply reglue the oar lock. Much better than a 18x10 patch over the whole area so I was glad to hear that suggestion!

                  Thanks again for recommending Tracy!


                  • #10

                    No pictures - the wife has the camera, but it's going well and the work is progressing.

                    I was able to get most of the accessories off without a problem. The method that Tracy suggested (ripping them off like a bandaid) was the way to go. I sanded all the old glue off the boat and the rubber parts and things were in good shape for regluing.

                    The exception is the large molded rubber mounts (eight of them) four on the back for the the transom (two high and two low) and then two more on each side along the tops of the tubes (must be for mounting a steering bar or something). These things are really stuck on...I cannot get them to budge beyond the lifting edges. So I cleaned them with a dremel tool and a small stone as best I could. They're as ready as I can get them for regluing.

                    So then lets get on with the regluing - I reattached the large d-ring, the three molded rope mounts, and the oar lock for one side of the tube. I also got the patch on the oar lock in the picture above. (the nasty spot)

                    Still to go - glue the other oar lock, large d-ring, and molded rope mounts to the other side. Then mess with the hard stuff...gluing the lifting edges of the molded rubber mounts and a few spots where the fabric attaching the inflatable transom to the tubes is lifting. Those areas are going to be awkward and will be a pain...


                    • #11
                      More info-

                      Originally posted by akjw7 View Post
                      ... The exception is the large molded rubber mounts (eight of them) four on the back for the the transom (two high and two low) and then two more on each side along the tops of the tubes (must be for mounting a steering bar or something). These things are really stuck on...I cannot get them to budge beyond the lifting edges. So I cleaned them with a dremel tool and a small stone as best I could. They're as ready as I can get them for regluing...

                      I believe those rubber mounts you speak of on the sides of your tubes are intended as attachment points for transom brace bars. Some boats incorporated those to help prevent the outboard from flexing the tubes. It worked to an extent, but is a less than desirable method.

                      Glad Tracey worked out for you. The man knows what he's doing (but don't tell him I said so or it will go to his head).

                      For anyone interested, Tracey has a few raft repair clinics scheduled for the Great Alaska Sportsman Show later this month. Check it out!

                      Best of luck with your project!

                      Michael Strahan
                      Site Owner
                      Alaska Hunt Consultant
                      1 (907) 229-4501


                      • #12
                        Transom brace bars might be it - they also made a sail kit for this thing, which would be kind of cool to have, but they appear to be extinct (I did see one on German eBay a while back!). Whatever they're for, they are stuck on far better than the rest of the stuff....

                        Another night of glue work has came and went...still have one oar lock to reinstall (the ugly picture above) and then it's on to gluing down all the lifting edges on the transom mounts, the other rubber mounts, and the few places around the inflatable transom where it meets the tubes. Not really any stress on that inflatable transom as long as the wood transom is in, but still want to get it fixed up.

                        Thanks for the luck - I still need a little of it!


                        • #13
                          Resurrecting a 12 year-old thread!
                          I recently bought a mid-70s Avon 12.5' inflatable boat (Zodiak style). It is in great shape, and fun to beach launch, but it has a pesky, and pretty nonfunctional "deck" on the bow that takes up limited space and makes it hard to pull up the anchor. It seems most current models don't have these decks. Anyone have any experience removing these types of decks? It has its own air tube to keep it semi-rigid and, aside from the seam where it meets the hull tubes, this air tube is attached to the hull tubes with round reinforcements. Would I be compromising anything by removing it?


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