One of my rafts is a 1999 Maravia Spider that was used commercially for the first five years of its existence. It was originally red and is now pretty faded and the urethane just isn’t what it used to be. But this boat is still really fun to paddle and is still going strong.
On my Big South first raft decent a couple of years back I put a foot long gash in the urethane. The cut went all the way through the urethane, but didn’t cut the nylon fabric underneath. The leak rate from this foot long gash makes it so you have to stop and pump up the boat a couple times a day, so it is more annoying than anything else.
Lately, I have been hearing what an amazing tool Aquaseal is. I knew you could use it to fix neoprene like kayak spray decks, wetsuits and waders and even dry bags or dry suits in a pinch. It turns out Aquaseal is urethane based and is amazing for tons of other applications. I put a bead of it over the gash in my Maravia and it is holding air beautifully! This was by far the easiest patch I have ever done. I roughed it up with 150 grit, wiped it clean with a rag and squeezed the Aquaseal on straight out of the tube with no applicator or brush. 10 minutes max and it was dry and ready to use this morning with no Cotol for a fast cure.
Maravia boats are notoriously hard to patch (and equally hard to puncture) and the previous Clifton and Stabond adhesives need to be replaced in your patch kit annually. What if you could reliably leave these products at home and get by on Aquaseal, Tear-Aid and a Speedy Stitch? Once you get home, buy a new bottle of Stabond and put a real patch on in your dry garage with a heat gun handy. I don’t think this is too far fetched…