Raft Maintenance

dfg

Active Member
#1
I have an older Hypalon raft in pretty good shape. That said, both my raft and trailer need a bit of help.

The roller on my flatbed raft trailer seem fairly short. I suppose I could mount a series of the same short models side to side, but I think a single wide version would work better. Has anyone bought or made full width rollers that span the width of the trailer?

I do a lot of solo fishing, which mans that I don't always avoid rocks and shallows. I was thinking of adding an additional layer of Hypalon to the underside of the raft. I also need some webbing replaced, which would involve some Hypalon patching. (It holds an eye at the bow and stern and needs to withstand a lot of tension.)

The extra layer is probably a simple matter of adhesive and Hypalon sheet, but I'm not so sure about the webbing. Would this be something I could do myself? Is there anyone around the Seattle area that does that work?
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#2
Dennis Linden driftboattrailers.com in Gig Harbor. I got my cataraft trailer custom uhmw and aluminum tubing rollers done by him. Great work and affordable.
 

Shapp

Active Member
#3
it is really difficult to glue a single huge layer of material, such as adding an extra layer to the bottom of your raft. It is more feasible to add urethane paint. However, you probably don't need this. Most good quality rafts can withstand a lot of dragging over shallows and hitting rocks for years of abuse.

Why does the d-ring need to withstand "a lot" of tension? What is a lot? Just get a new d-ring patch, heat gun off the old glued on d-ring, clean off any remaining glue residue with MEK and glue on the new one.

Hope this helps.
 
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dfg

Active Member
#5
it is really difficult to glue a single huge layer of material, such as adding an extra layer to the bottom of your raft. It is more feasible to add urethane paint. However, you probably don't need this. Most good quality rafts can withstand a lot of dragging over shallows and hitting rocks for years of abuse.

Why does the d-ring need to withstand "a lot" of tension? What is a lot? Just get a new d-ring patch, heat gun off the old glued on d-ring, clean off any remaining glue residue with MEK and glue on the new one.

Hope this helps.
The hypalon has started to craze in a few spots, indicating that it's quite old and probably breaking down. If I were to add a new lamination to the entire bottom it would probably run me several hundred dollars in material only, plus a goodly amount of labor, since the hypalon must be sanded before the adhesive is applied. (I found out that it could cost up to $2,000 to have it done professionally, assuming I could find someone willing to take on a raft this old.)

As to the D rings, these take the winch line when I pull the raft onto the trailer. The existing D-ring patches are quite large - much larger than any of the replacements I've seen offered for sale online. I'm not quite sure what to do about that. I was not aware that a heat gun would soften the adhesive. That's certainly good news as far as removing the old ones!

I'm investigating whether I can find a new, used raft that will accommodate my rowing frame in the range of $500-$750. If I can I will count myself ahead of the game, and try to sell my old one as-is to defray the cost. If not I'll probably scale down the amount of re-surfacing I was planning and go it alone.
 
#8
I would definitely lean towards replacing the raft. As I'm sure you know, everything about rafts is expensive. I came across an older hypalon raft last summer that needed two pin holes patched. Since I had none of the required materials or tools for the fix I had to spend about $80 in materials for the fix. The upside is I am now set up for any future fixes. Also conditioning the raft with 303 before stowing it will make it last much longer.
 
#11
Keeps rubber and vinyl boats from preemptive drying out and cracking. Also makes them look shiny and new.

http://cascaderivergear.com/shop/303-protectorant/
Gotta second what Derek is saying. The 303 protectant is really good. I use it on my Scadden Renegade twice a year. I don't know if you need to replace your raft or not. Either way, I would use 303. Use it on your old raft, or use it on one that you replace it with.