Repairing a huge rip in your Inflatable Kayak

As mate was getting out of a current-model full-Nitrilon Twist 2 the part of the boat under a jetty rose up into the sharp end of a bolt securing a mooring ring.

KABOOM!!

.. a two-and-a-half foot rip tore across the top of the hull in both directions with a puff of South Moravian talc. As it’s a largely linear rip in an accessible location, making the repair was fairly straightforward: sew, then patch.

Because the coated core of the red Nitrilon fabric is a woven mat, sewing is an effective way of holding the two sides of the rip together to reduce the tension on the eventual glued-on patch once the boat is inflated. You need an awl spike to pre-poke each hole for the thick polyester thread. This fabric is hard to cut with sharp scissors, let alone thread with a needle.

Rip neatly sewed up with a special cobbler’s reverse herring backflip cross-stitch. One thing that got forgotten was sanding then cleaning the surfaces alongside the rift before sewing began.

Completed repair. This would work on a PVC IK too, but most of them are shell and bladder or drop-stitch. PVC is a bit harder to glue well.

The repaired Twist back on the water.

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