People ask us why we buy and sell so
many used HYPALONS. Simple...It's the best material available in
the long run for inflatables. We've seen PVC dinks come home after
cruising for a couple of years and they're toast, their owners
looking to replace them with something that will stand up to the rigors of the cruising
life. The AVON and Achilles hypalon dinghys we see returning after a 5-6 year cruise are in great
shape and ready to go again. We've even gotten a few from the 70's that have really been
out there, and are in excellent condition! We're talking 25 years
here! Outside of a few patches they are still very usable.
Which brings up another subject.
Hypalon vs. PVC repair.
All inflatables will develop leaks.
It's a fact of life. Hypalon boats are actually just one big patch.
All the seams are hand glued. Hypalon is easily repairable.
Always use 2-part hypalon adhesive. One part adhesive is not strong
enough. Save yourself the trouble of having to do it again.
PVC boat seams, on the other hand
are heat welded. To properly patch a leak in a PVC boat it should be
welded too. Unfortunately, there isn't a process available on the
market that will do just that. And if you should ever happen to lose a
seam, which happens quite often, you might as well toss the boat.
PVC glue will not hold for any length of time. So if you think
you've found a 'deal' on a second hand PVC, unless it's like new, don't
buy it. PVC's are generally one owner boats. That said, if you
find your needs are for something to use a couple of weeks a year on
vacation, a PVC should serve you well. Just don't expose it to
months of UV exposure.
First time cruisers usually wait until
the last minute to pick up their dinks before cutting the dock lines, and because their
budgets are running a little thin they buy the cheapest 'new' dink they can find.
Usually PVC. This is the one they fry after a couple of seasons of UV
exposure in the lower latitudes where UV is at it's worst.. Afterwards, because of it's reputation, they'll spend big bucks on a new
hypalon boat. (Trying to make sure they never have to worry about the dink
again....) They would have been better off picking up a good clean used
the first place, and saved themselves a whole lot of cruising kitty cash........
Another piece of advice we'd like
to pass along to the cruising community is maintain your dink!! The
dinghy is the most used, and yet most abused, piece of equipment a cruiser
will own. Days, weeks, or months of standing by along side your
boat, and ready to serve takes it's toll. 'Rode hard and put away
wet is an expression' that fits a dinghy's life to a Tee. A little
bit of TLC will extend the life of your dinghy for many years.
DON'T USE ARMORAL!! Patch adhesive will not stick to an
Armoraled surface. There are many bio-degradable products available
on the market today that will treat the material and keep it 'alive'.
And the dink will be worth much more when it's time to sell.