DIY inflatable packraft kit from Iron Raft

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  • The makers advised that I buy an airtight zip from them, so that I could fit it and get access to the inside. I did that and used two tubes of sealant on the inside seams. It was impossible to get to the very front, so I made a small hole, used sealant, and then patched it with a spare piece of fabric. It's definitely leaking much more slowly, but it still goes limp after a minute or so. This project has not been as straightforward as I hoped!

  • Current state.


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  • Would paddle!

  • I hope you're a strong swimmer.

  • This is a great thread because it's not happening to me but it could have.

    What are your next steps? It's sort of like setting up tubeless tyres but not. Could you fill it with orange endurance and spin it around?

  • A few people have mentioned tubeless sealant, with tongues in cheeks to varying degrees. Problem is that it's sticky, so when you deflate the boat it'd glue itself to itself. I could do more sealant. Or I could just buy a boat. I imagine I've put £350 into this so far but at some point you need to give up, right?

  • Depends how stubborn you are. I mean if you give up what are you going to do with it? La poubelle?

  • I could do more sealant. Or I could just buy a boat. I imagine I've put £350 into this so far but at some point you need to give up, right?

    I've enjoyed reading this thread and it is a pity how it has worked out. However, given that your life depends on the boat being seaworthy, I would put it down to experience and buy a boat with a warranty.

  • Submerge it in a bath bit by bit and find a waterproof pen to circle all the holes? It can't be a fundamentally duff product (can it?) so it must be fixable, maybe by reironing every seam a little hotter?

  • You've probably tried it, but soapy water is amazing for finding leaks. Good squirt of fairy in a bidon, fill with water and drip it over all the seams. Should start blowing bubbles where you have leaks.

  • Consensus is keep trying! We need you to make the mistakes we don't want to make!

  • this thread is absolutely hilarious.

    Keep trying!!!

    ...and do not look at Intex raft prices.

  • Maybe you could get a 'pro' to finish the job? At 350 you're a pretty pot committed no!?

  • I was tempted by those DIY kits,
    this is so disappointing.
    Maybe try to get it in a swimming pool, submerge each part,
    and look for leaks.
    Hope you have this happily floating this spring.

  • I've only spotted this thread now so appreciate I'm late to the game but perhaps all hope is not lost with summer coming!

    If you go to a plumbers suppliers you can get a can of gas leak detector spray which is sort of like fancy soapy water but it's very very good at finding leaks!

    I've also had a similar-ish sort of experience with finding leaks in a capillary tube heating system which had been plastered into a ceiling... ended up purchasing a medical grade amplified stethoscope and testing my patience to enormous levels but got there in the end!

    Do you feel like the sealant they've provided is adequately sealing the leaks once you do find them or could there be an argument for looking into some sort of alternative sealing products?
    Would it be worth purchasing a second zip to give you access at the front end?

    Hope it can be resurrected!

  • Is anyone else attempting this? And if so, do they want to buy a sealing iron? If not I'll pop it on eBay because I've no need for it anymore.

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DIY inflatable packraft kit from Iron Raft

Posted by Avatar for Sparky @Sparky

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