Hypalon RIB Repair

Hypalon Repair Instruction

Required Materials:

  • Hypalon Tube Material
  • Hypalon Adhesive
  • Accelerator (optional, not intended for minor repairs)
  • Roller Hand Tool
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Latex Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper (80 grit - 180 grit)
  • Lint Free Towel
  • Organic Fume Respirator

Safety First: Always work in a well ventilated area. Latex gloves, eye protection, and a respirator are highly recommended.

To ensure a quality repair, read all instructions before beginning.

No matter how careful you are when boating, tears, rips, and holes to your boat will be hard to avoid. So knowing how to repair your boat, regardless of how big the job, is extremely valuable information to possess.. This example is a 2" long cut, which requires a patch on the outside. A tear in the fabric 12"+ will require a patch to be placed on the inside and outside, also known as the "sandwich" patch. The sandwich patch will need to be treated like two separate repairs, allowing the first, the inside patch job, to cure before beginning the outer patch.
hypalon repair step 0

Step 1:
Cut the Hypalon Tube Material patch to extend 2" from all sides of the damaged area. This patch is approximately 4" x 6", for a 2" long cut. Make sure to round the corners of the patch. Square cornered patches are more likely to catch and peel than rounded ones.
hypalon repair step 1

Step 2:
Trace the area of the patch with a pencil.
hypalon repair step 2

Step 3: 
Using 180 grit sandpaper or a rasp buff the areas to be glued. This would include the damaged area of the boat as well as the backside of the patch. You will notice a chalk-like dust when buffing, continue until you reach the point that no more dust is being produced. The fabric should look like a dulled version of the normal boat surface. DO NOT buff down to the point where the threads are visible.
hypalon repair step 3

Step 4: 
Clean the buffed surfaces with a lint free towel and acetone.

Step 5: 
After the surfaces (damaged area on the boat and the underside of the patch) have dried from the cleaning step, apply a very thin layer of Hypalon Adhesive to both surfaces.

Accelerator ;is not recommended, nor is it needed for minor repairs. The ratio is difficult to measure for minor repairs, and too much accelerator will lessen the adhesion strength. However, the correct glue mixture with accelerator increases heat resistance, chemical resistance, and the bond of the repaired area. If you prefer to use accelerator the mixture should be blended in a separate container. Prolonged exposure to the atmosphere will ruin the accelerator, so close the bottle immediately after use.

Clifton Accelerator Mixture
1 Gallon/128 oz
0.80 oz

Step 6:
After the first layer of glue is just beyond tacky apply a very thin second layer of adhesive to both surfaces. Test for "just beyond tacky" with a gloved finger or by touching knuckles to the glued area. The glue should feel gummy, but should not stick to the gloved finger or knuckle. Do not use your bare finger tip to test for tackiness. Fingers contain oils that will be left behind and effect the bonding quality of a repair job.

Step 7:
Adhere the surfaces after the second layer of glue is just beyond the tacky phase. Be careful with this step. Make sure to place the patch in the correct area. Clifton Hypalon Adhesive is a contact cement, so once the surfaces have contacted they cannot be moved.
hypalon repair step 7

Step 8: 
Once the two surfaces are pressed together, apply pressure with the Roller Hand Tool. Focus on the center of the patch and work outward. Roll every millimeter of patch in multiple directions. This step is important because it forces air bubbles out and helps the two pieces of fabric bond.
hypalon repair step 8

Step 9: 
Use a lint free towel and either Toluene or acetone to wipe up any excess glue that was expelled from the patch edges while rolling.

Step 10: 
Allow the patch to cure. Curing times vary due to the different temperatures, humidity, and the use of accelerator. The optimal repair environment of above 60°F and below 50% humidity, allows for a cuing time of 8 - 12 hours.