Inflatable boats are considered the safest boats on the water and they are used by the DNR and Search/Rescue, as well as many others. However, as safe as they are, there may come a time when you have to take care of simple repairs. Most often, this can be done with a small repair kit, as leaks often happen in seams and punctures are usually very small. It is not a difficult process and in most cases, you can be back on the water within a short time. If you have found yourself in a position of needing inflatable kayak repair; there is no reason you cannot tackle it yourself.
Sometimes, leaks can be very difficult to find. Small pinhole leaks will be the most difficult. You can find those small holes using soapy water on your fully inflated kayak. Ideally, you will have a spray bottle and cover small areas of the kayak with soapy water at a time. Bubbles will appear where the leak is located. Use a marker or something similar to mark around the puncture so that you can find it easily after it is dried.
When you have a small leak, you will need to deflate your watercraft. You will also need to clean and dry the area that needs to be repaired thoroughly. You will need to apply a tiny bit of glue and then let it dry for 12 hours before fully inflating it. If you are in a situation where you cannot wait that long to get back on the water, you should let the glue dry for at least 30 minutes and then fill it with air up to 3/4 full. By not waiting; you will need to make a more permanent repair when you get back home.
Larger leaks may require the use of a repair patch kit. Ideally, you will use a patch on any hole that is larger than a pinhole. In most cases, patches are a quick repair. They only require a few minutes. Just clean the area, glue it, patch it, and dry it for a moment.
In the event that you have a very large hole or a completely separated seam; you may need to contact the inflatable’s manufacturer. They will be able to tell you if there is a repair center that you can send it to and whether it may be covered by their warranty.
Once you have made a permanent repair using either the glue or a patch, you should not have any further issues with that area of your inflatable. However, this does depend on how well you take care of it both in and out of the water.
Many of the higher end inflatable watercrafts will come with their own manufacturer’s repair kit. They will have detailed instructions on what you should do specifically for that kit. This will tell you how long to let the glue dry before fully inflating. You should read the instructions carefully and follow them closely. It is also a good idea to keep the instructions with your repair kit and on your boat at all times.
If you purchased a lower end kayak that did not come with a repair kit, there are basic repair kits that you can purchase. They are affordable and just as good as some of the ones that may come from the manufacturer. To see what some of your options may be, you can take a look at some of the most popular repair kits below.
This repair kit is ideal for all PVC boat repairs. It includes PVC repair material for the Advanced Elements boat. It includes a tube of adhesive, patches, and instructions. Some people have stated that the glue does not hold up very well. However, if you apply pressure to the patch while the glue dries it will hold very well.
No one wants a kayak that has gaudy patches all over it. The solution; this is a clear patch kit. It can conform to odd shapes and works great on all inflatable items. The glue dries quickly and will never become gooey and this will ensure that the repair lasts a longer time. One kit includes several patches, two prep pads, instructions, and scissors.
If you have a small hole in your inflatable this kit will be ideal. It comes with a few round patches and a tube of adhesive. They are white patches. Most users say that it is great even after using the patch for several months.
This patch kit has everything you could possibly need except the soapy water. It has one black and two gray patches, the glue, and a valve wrench. Each patch measures 8 x 3.5 inches so you can customize the size depending on your problem. It can all be held in its own plastic container so that you never worry about misplacing some part of the kit. The one complaint about it is that the container is not waterproof. Otherwise, it works great according to most people.
This Air Seal by Sevylor does not require you to use a patch. It is designed for pinholes and you can re-inflate within 5 minutes. Some owners say that it is not usable with an air mattress, but most say that they have repaired several punctures with a lot of success.