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Zodiac slippers

Nope, not footwear.
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A friend of mine gave me his Zodiac, (inflatable boat). It only has one small pin hole in one of the pontoons, and holds air for about a week. The problem is that the pontoons themselves have started pulling away from the transom and allow water to fill the floor of the boat.

I had thought to goop the transom with marine silicone and then fill the pontoons with expanding foam. After the foam set the boat would remain rigid and should be almost bullet proof. (Wishful thinking), expanding foam has no expansion strength, so it would only fill the shape of the deflated pontoons and harden that way. Also if you were to inflate the pontoons first and feed a long hose to fill the cavity as the air was slowly released the foam would remain under pressure and wouldn't actually "foam".

Foiled again?
Not if they introduce a new Zodiac underside slipcover.

- People with rundown Zodiacs (like me), would buy them to rejuvenate their heaps.
- People with the money to afford a brand new Zodiac would buy them to maintain the resale value of their new toy, and to be able to say, "Yep, I've had her for five years now and her underside has never touched water”.

For use of the idea, I would be willing to settle for, oh, say half of one percent of the profits.

And a free one of course.


Zodiacs http://www.zodiacna.com/
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       I like the slipcover notion. How would you fasten it against the friction of the water as you pass over it?   

       Are these boats repairable at all? I know they're terrifically expensive and it seems like they should be able to be resewn or something.
bristolz, Jul 07 2003
  

       How about a patch (or series of patches) like those for bicycle tires?
How about a latex paint "dip" process? Inflate the boat, tape over tears, dip the whole thing in liquid rubber or latex and allow it to set. Does that sound feasible?
phoenix, Jul 07 2003
  

       Zodiacs are repairable and you can get patch kits, but the only glue which will bond to the rubber is a two part epoxy.

The person who owned the boat before my friend tried to fix the transom using silicone, and then with a sheet of rubber and contact cement, (big mistake). Any adhesive residue must be removed before a repair can be attempted, and then there are no guarantees.

  

       The slipcover would conform to the shape of the boat and would have to be slipped on before inflating. The tops of the pontoons have a flap with eyelets which run all of the way around the boat, the slip cover could be fastened to these, although I think the fit would be so tight as to make fastening redundant.
I like the rubber dip idea phoenix but that would probably take a huge amount of experimenting to find the right substance.
  

       Would a tubeless tyre repair kit work? You could cover the plug with a wide (and not necessarily 100% airtight) 2-part epoxy'd patch on top.
FloridaManatee, Jul 07 2003
  

       FloridaManitee, the hole in the pontoon doesn't cause me any grief, it’s where the pontoons connect to the plywood rear of the boat that lets all of the water in.

Dag, I've got first dibs and I was thinking about compound bow practice before breaking out the heavy artillery.
  
      
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