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PROJECT ZODIAC INFLATABLE REPAIR
By Frank Cingel
Last Update April, 2015
zodiac02
Air leaks require patch. Seams are hard to seal.

zodiac01
3M 5200 works better under a patch than provided glue, but needs a means to hold in place until cured.

zodiac03
A pinhole patched, cause unknown. The only non-seam related leak.

zodiac24
April 2015, small air leaks, three places, in the seam which appears to be where the bladder separating the two tubes is attached. Tried to keep tubes balanced, pressure wise, so that the bladder is kept neutralized. Hard to do. Rather disconcerting. What next!

zodiac25
Also April 2015. Numerous very small air leaks. Hard to find. Wipe away the bubbles and there's nothing to see - a breakdown of the fabric. Found that these little leaks can be stopped using 5200 alone, no patch.

zodiac04
Water leaks in the stern corners are an ongoing grievance.

zodiac05
5200 works well here.

zodiac10
Until more seams open up.

zodiac11
Taking the dinghy home for repairs over the winter has become an annual event.

zodiac12
5200 slows seam separation

zodiac18
Also keeps the "drain" plug from leaking. Never use it anyway. With the large bilge area under the inflatable floor, the only way to get all the water out is to flip the dinghy over.

zodiac21
A year later water pouring in somewhere around drain plug. Not obvious. More 5200 inside and out. That should take care of it.

zodiac20
Now the surface attachments are starting to separate. Not sure 5200 will suffice. Need this one for an oar rest. An in water repair (hopefully).

zodiac06
Fiberglass reinforcement of the oarlocks prevents repeat breakages.

zodiac09
A piece of pvc pipe forced, after heating, over the oar prevents the huge annoyance of the oar sliding through the oarlock and binding while rowing.

zodiac19
No amount of silicon oil could stop the oarlocks from squeeking. Loose on the shaft but binding on the ends. Filed down to give clearance. Tricky to remove. A stiff wire hook to flip off the lock while keeping the shaft from turning.

zodiac23
So what's this? Ram a nail? No. Not totally Zodiacs fault - maybe some. What happened is the dinghy sat upright on the deck with the air valves open while making a repair, and it rained. A good quart of water made its way into one of the tubes and all attempts to remove it by whence it entered failed. Hang it up by the stern and punch a hole to drain it!

zodiac22
Things are starting to get worse. This seam is separating allowing a lot of water in. Can't seem to locate the outside entry point(s) so coated everything again.

zodiac07
Homemade oar rest and tiedown, with flotation.

zodiac08
Needed whenever actually rowing, especially when fishing.

zodiac16
Zodiac kept covered when boat is in port.

zodiac17
3 stage foot pump replaced under warranty the first year with a 2 stage. Short stiff hose replaced with something useable. Non skid glued to bottom side to keep it from sliding all over the deck.

zodiac14
Beefeaters straight up -

zodiac15
- with a twist of lemon

purchased new 2001, tried to give it back within the year!

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