Accidentally puncturing your inflatable kayak is not the end of the world. And it does not necessarily mean you should buy a new one. Just easily patch your inflatable kayak up, and it will look as good as new.
In this article, we’re going to show you a step-by-step guide on how to patch your inflatable kayak. Make sure you take notes and follow the instructions well for best results.
Let’s dive right in!
Step-by-Step Guide to Repair Your Inflatable Kayak
Locate the leaks
If you’re entirely aware of where the leak is, immediately mark it down with a marker before you forget the location.
If you don’t know where the leak is, you need to find it first. Here’s how you can find a leak in an inflatable kayak:
- Prepare a 50/50 water and dish soap solution.
- Inflate your kayak to its maximum air pressure.
- Wipe the surface of your kayak with a cloth or sponge that has been soaked with the soapy water solution.
- Check for bubbles on your kayak’s surface. These are indications of air leaks. Don’t forget to check the areas around the valves and seams.
- Once you have found the leak locations, dry the surface and mark them down with a marker.
There are three different methods that you can use to patch your inflatable kayak. Generally speaking, the PVC patch method will provide the best and most reliable results. But if the holes in your kayak are tiny, you can apply Aquaseal FD, and it should be strong enough for emergencies.
You can use Tear-Aid type B, a self-adhesive patch widely available in hardware and online stores. These patches are excellent for any type of PVC product, including your inflatable kayaks.
- Cut the Tear-Aid just enough to cover the leak. Ideally, you should trim the corner to be slightly rounded and cover about 1″ outside the leak in all directions.
- Clean the leak area using solvent and wipe it down until it’s completely dry. Alternatively, you can leave the solvent to air-dry.
- Peel back the adhesive cover on one side of the Tear-Aid, and stick it on top of the leak. Give it a little pressure to ensure it sticks in place.
- Once the one side is secured in place, peel back the remaining adhesive cover and do the same thing. Avoid leaving any air bubbles under the patch.
- Gently rub the patch in an outward motion to push out any excess air and ensure the adhesive sticks properly.
Using Aquaseal FD (for small holes):
Aquaseal FD is a liquid sealant that you can use to cover up small holes, cracks, and edges in your inflatable kayak. It’s an easy fix for small pinhole leaks, but it can get a little messy. So it’s best to apply it with a small syringe.
- Clean the area around the leak. Ideally, you should clean 1″ in all directions from the hole.
- Deflate your kayak and cover the leak with Aquaseal FD. You should cover about ½” in every direction around the hole.
- Wait for the seal to dry out. It’s recommended that you wait 24 hours before trying to inflate your kayak again.
Using PVC Patches:
Reinforced PVC patches are excellent long-term materials to repair inflatable kayaks. But it requires gluing both the leak area and the patch to achieve an optimal result. If you decide to use this method, do not use patches or glue intended for Hypalon material since it could result in a gooey mess on your kayak.
- Deflate your kayak and ensure you have clear access to the leaking area. Ideally, you should put the leaked area on top of a flat surface.
- Cut down the PVC patch into approximately 1″ around the hole.
- Clean the leaking area and the back of the PVC patch with solvent.
- Use medium-grit sandpaper on the leaking area. It will allow the PVC patch to stick better to the surface.
- Clean the area once again with solvent to remove residue from the sanding process.
- Test whether the patch properly covers the leaking area. Use a marker to outline where the patch should fit.
- Apply a thin and even layer of glue with a disposable brush to the patch area. Do not spread the glue beyond the outline area.
- Apply the same thickness of glue to the back of the PVC patch.
- Allow the glue on your kayak and the patch to cure for about 30 seconds or until the surfaces are slightly shiny.
- Repeat steps 7-9 to apply a second layer of glue to the leaking area and patch.
- Carefully place the patch onto the repair area, starting from one end to the other.
- Rub the entire surface with firm pressure for 1-2 minutes.
- Wait for at least 12 hours before attempting to inflate your kayak.
While inflatable kayaks are generally pretty durable, they are still prone to punctures and pinholes as you use them to explore shallow water with many small rocks and debris. It’s a good idea to steer clear of the dangerous areas while you’re exploring, but when the inevitable eventually happens, don’t fret! Just like repairing inflatable boats, it’s also easy and quick to repair your inflatable kayaks with the help of our comprehensive guides.
We hope that this article has helped you learn a lot about how to patch your inflatable kayak.