This is a series of slides showing the steps in identifying a leak in a seam, preparing it for gluing, gluing the seam, testing the seam, gluing a patch over the seam area, and testing the patch. All necessary materials are pictured in the slides and each is captioned with simple directions.
The Sea Eagle Fast Track 385 is a PVC inflatable kayak. The one in the video is four years old, was used about 15 times, was folded according to the directions, and stored in an attached garage. Why the seam developed a two-inch long separation is a mystery, but apparently it has happened to others. Sea Eagle said it was not possible to repair a seam leak (as opposed to a puncture) and made a nice offer for a discounted replacement. With nothing to lose, I chose to attempt a repair.
You must know the material your inflatable is made from in order to get the proper glue. Forget using common household glues, they will not work properly as the glue itself needs to bond with and flex with the kayak material. My Sea Eagle is made of PVC. Weaver Adhesive 2 part PVC glue can be found on the internet in a range of prices. The lowest I found was about $45 delivered. The kit contains a half pint of glue and a small bottle of catalyst. The mix ratio is 25 glue to 1 catalyst. Unless you are gluing a huge area, measure out only what you need and tightly reseal both containers. The kit has directions for using the glue. Mix in a glass container that you will dispose of (plastic dissolves). If you get glue in places you do not want it, clean it off immediately with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone). If it sits, it dries and stays. Both the glue and the MEK solvent have strong fumes - use in a well ventilated area. The blue patch material shown is purchased separately and came in a standard inflatable leak repair kit.
If you are repairing an open seam, be aware that you can spread glue into the interior of the pontoon or whatever part you are repairing. If you do so, when you compress the parts together that you want to seal, you may accidentally glue the inside of the kayak to itself. The result would be similar to a pinched balloon animal. To prevent his, slip some wide masking tape into the open seam and pull it behind one side and then the other so that any glue that is spread past the seam opening on the interior goes on the tape. This is not shown in the slides and is tricky to do, but possible with a few tries.
My repair appears to be successful. I left the finished repair sit in the garage inflated for 48 hours without a loss of air. It has not yet been used on the water again.
Good luck with your repair! If you use this information and complete a repair, please return here and post a comment.
NOTE: This information is for use at your own risk. There is no guarantee it will work for your situation.Description