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Old 12-18-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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I'm sure some members of this site must have tried/done this before and I would appreciate their advice.

I have a 1.2mtr zodiac inflatable and find it is a constant problem fixing leaks in it. It has been suggested that I consider filling the tubes with foam. If possible I would appreciate answers to the following questions:

what particular type of foam is best,

what is the best method of getting the foam into the tubes,

what would be the approximate increase in weight of the dinghy, and

will the foam have any negative effects on the haplon materiel of the tubes?

The dinghy will be used in mostly tropical areas.

Thanks in advance

Ken

SV White Bird

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Old 12-20-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ken Bourke View Post
I have a 1.2mtr zodiac inflatable and find it is a constant problem fixing leaks in it.

Perhaps its time to purchase another inflatable
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
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I have seen many friends try to fill their worn out leaking inflatibles with two part expandable foam - - but the end result looks like an old toothpaste tube that has been refilled. It is irregular and lumpy and some areas are stretched and others or soft and empty. There is a solid fiberglass boat that looks like an inflatable called a "Jolly boat". Otherwise, just buy a new inflatible. Ten years is about as much as you can expect out of an inflatable before the repair costs start to exceed the purchase price of a new one.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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hi there

apparently this is not a new thought as I have heard through friends in the military that some of their boats are foam filled so as to make them "bullet proof ",so I suppose it is possible .I also have an old inflatable that I am considering do this to aswell.I suppose it all depends on how you introduce the foam into the hulls.If anyone has any ideas please let us know. kevin
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:35 PM   #5
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hi there

apparently this is not a new thought as I have heard through friends in the military that some of their boats are foam filled so as to make them "bullet proof ",so I suppose it is possible .I also have an old inflatable that I am considering do this to aswell.I suppose it all depends on how you introduce the foam into the hulls.If anyone has any ideas please let us know. kevin
The foam doesn't make the tube exactly bulletproof but it helps with ramming into stuff.

The biggest issue I can see with filling a tube that was designed to hold air would be the strength of the fasteners. If they weren't designed for the added weight you could have big problems.

And, as said previously the chance of filling the entire void is slim. It would look pretty bad. If you want a solid tube google "Wing Inflatables". They may have what you are looking for. They make most of the solid military RHIB tubes.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:44 PM   #6
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The big problem with filling an inflatable with foam is that it does not stop the leaks! Unless a special waterproof foam (most are not) is used then every time the boat is used it soaks up water in to the foam. Very soon the leaking side becomes low. Then you have a very heavy boat to pull out !!
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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Hello Ken,

In reading all the advice you have received - could I ask you to confirm " I have a 1.2mtr zodiac inflatable"

Maybe Zodiac put out a special model - measuring all of 3ft 11''.

If the measurement is a just a typo - then consider talking directly to Zodiac - they are unlikely to advise filling it with Polyurethane foam ( or any other foam)

Confirm size, model, age and useage (tropics etc) - we might suggest using a 2 part epoxy glue.

Richard
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