Cruising has been defined by many as 70% living in paradise, 10% being uncomfortable and 20% fixing your boat in exotic locations. Hopefully, our 20% will be coming to an end soon. 🙂
When we were in the boat yard getting our sail drive seals replace our dingy popped from the heat. Every day our dingy expands and every night our dingy deflates because of the changes in the air pressure. The heat in the boat yard was just too much for our dingy to take. A seam that was already weakened by a broken handle, split open from the excess heat and now Rich and I had to figure out how to fix it with only our small repair kit.
First we blew it up and sprayed soapy water around it to find the exact place of the leak. We discover it wasn’t a small leak, but a huge hole in the seam, so we decided to take the dingy to the beach and set up a dingy repair shop.
This is the blown seam that we are going to patch.
We took the engine off and flipped the dingy over for easier access to the spot that needed repaired.
Of course, we couldn’t remember to bring everything we needed from the boat the first time, so we had to swim or paddle board back to the boat a few times. Talk about getting some excersize!
We cut off the handle that created the weak seal to begin with, and glued the seam back together.
After gluing the seam back together we put three patches over the seam, each one larger the the last. Here is what our finished patch looks like. Notice the handle is gone.
As of this morning the dingy was still holding air!!! Yea! We sprayed soap around the patch and a little air was escaping, but it was very, very little. We put a little silicone sealer on it and it seams to have helped.
We know that this patch won’t be a forever fix, but it should be good enough for awhile and the best we could do with a small repair kit, on a deserted beach, on a private island in paradise. 🙂