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Old 02-11-2016, 12:45 AM   #1
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restoring hypolon rib dingy

hi everyone & thanks for helping out with my problem

i've got a 10 year old ab hypolon 10' rib.

my question is: what can i do to restore the tubes, chalky & little black spots.

clean products ?? or paint??

thanks cp
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:12 AM   #2
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toluene
then 303
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:15 AM   #3
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Clean it up with toluene, and then get hypalon paint. It won't be as pretty as new but it will look pretty good. I used hypalon paint on the bottom of my 13 1/2' Avon with metal floorboards in it to keep the bottom water tight where it rubbed from beaching it in surf.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:46 AM   #4
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After 10 years I wouldn't put too much into it thou. I would expect the seams to start failing sometime in the next few years.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:01 AM   #5
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I've had good luck scrubbing mine with comet, though I think it is hard on the hypalon so I don't do it very often. It gets most of the black spots off.

I follow up with a couple of good coats of 303 to rehydrate the hypalon.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:18 AM   #6
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For some mysterious reasons we have had many inflatables over the years ranging from an 8' with 3 hp to a 24' with 300 hp.
Hypalon's life is greatly affected by UV and abrasion and I have seen hypalon boats last over 20 years if they are covered and taken care of.
Similarly I have seen many that are near their useful life after 8-10 seasons.
If you have a good boat that is often kept under cover and/or well cared for you can extend the life with some cleaners and coatings form various manufacturers. I personally have had great results with products from Aurora (both cleaner and sealant)but there are others that work nearly as well - on black spots I have also had good results with a heavy concentration of "Dawn' and a very light (white) scrubby On slightly heavier deposits I have had good results with the common "Orange" hand cleaners used by mechanics and a scrubby.
There is much more information on care and coatings for these types of boats on the site called "Ribnet" which is a very active site only for inflatables. FWIW - Most large rib handbooks and folks that only own a rib will say to avoid products such as 303 as they sit on top or the material lasting briefly and spotty and make future repairs virtually impossible.
YMMV - check out Ribnet for much more information than you may need.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:56 PM   #7
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Since I always worry about my dinghy getting stolen, I do nothing to maintain its appearance. I clean it only so people don't get dirty using it. That said, it is well cared for mechanically. You just wouldn't know it looking at it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:16 PM   #8
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I had good experience with tuff coat. Tuff-Coat Inflatable Boat Restoration Paint
Looking closely you know it has been re-painted. From 5 feet away it looks amazing. Lasted well for the 3 seasons I had the RIB before it was resold.
If yours is chaulky you might need to get it cleaned so the treatment has something to stick to. From memory they say do a Toluene wipe first.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:55 PM   #9
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perhaps my first answer was too brusque.

I have had hypalon dinghies since 1984. Every once in a while, I decide the tubes are looking sad, so I get out the Toluene and clean. With a cloth saturated in Toluene, I have always managed to get everything off of the hypalon, right down to the original fabric. All that stuff that makes hypalon look like it is finished comes off with Toluene.
Then I polish it with 303. That chemical gives a nice shine, but it does need to be renewed frequently, as it is very thin. every month would work best. I get to mine about twice a season, and some years that is enough. When it isn't, Toluene to the rescue.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmuir View Post
I had good experience with tuff coat. Tuff-Coat Inflatable Boat Restoration Paint
Looking closely you know it has been re-painted. From 5 feet away it looks amazing. Lasted well for the 3 seasons I had the RIB before it was resold.
If yours is chaulky you might need to get it cleaned so the treatment has something to stick to. From memory they say do a Toluene wipe first.
Yes, Tuff Coat is the way to go. Wipe with toluene first if the hypalon isn't all that clean. The basecoat is toluene soluble. Go to some trouble to get iit into the seams as best you can. The topcoat is water soluble, but obviously bonds to the basecoat chemically.

I was able to stop almost all tube leaks. On one tube I could have re-done a small area of seam that had a slow leak but as it was taking quite a few days to deflate it was good enough to sell. I showed the buyer where the leak was and gave him the leftover paint so he could do the repair himself.

Pic after completion is from more than 5' away, but it did look quite good at that distance as well.
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