Help Royalex Vinyl Repairs

-- Last Updated: May-17-15 3:55 PM EST --

Hi all,

My 33 year old Mad River Explorer has vinyl peeling up from underneath the rear skid. The skid vinyl seems to have lost adhesion directly beneath the skid. I'm not sure what the skid is made of - perhaps S-glass? It chips away from the boat fairly easily. What should I do for repair?

Here are some links to pics on my google drive:


ashes to…
a jug of vinyl ester resin and a roll of e glass…search google shopping…costs $75

peel the rotten off, recover with glass

It’s not S or E glass, it’s not Kevlar
felt, and I have no idea what it is. But you will have to remove it and the vinyl underneath, out a bit outside the perimeter of that so-called skid plate.

The vinyl layer can be lifted off rather easily with a sharp chisel held at a low angle. The vinyl will skim off right at the vinyl/ABS interface.

Once the vinyl is off, you will have a big patch job to do. Use epoxy, preferably G-flex, so you have lots of working time. You can use E-glass if you want, or S-glass if you are being perfectionistic. The first layer will be the largest (don’t argue) and then the next maybe an inch smaller, and then the smallest. Since your ABS is apparently not cracked (?), three concentric layers should be enough. The second layer should be bias cut, that is, with the fibers running at 45 degrees to the axis of the boat.

G-flex sets slow enough that you may be able to do all three layers in one shot. But another suggestion: Rehearse by making a smaller concentric patch on a poly garbage can lid or similar disposable surface. Or maybe on wax paper. If you have never done layered patching, it helps to have a practice run.

Vinyl ester resin would be a stupid
purchase for patching a Royalex boat. It does not stick nearly as well as epoxy to vinyl, and the vinylester leftovers will set up in the container and become useless for future repairs, while epoxy lasts for years in the containers.

No ABS isn’t cracked, I don’t really understand what happened - it’s like something ripped right through the skid (whatever it is made of) and the vinyl. I had bought some 3M fine weave fiberglass at lowes in anticipation of doing something like what you described, but I guess it’s not the right kind of glass? Where do I find e-glass or s-glass would it be at a marine outfitter. Thanks for the information by the way!


– Last Updated: May-17-15 10:32 PM EST –

is sold by Seattle Fabrics. SF vinyl is not the vinyl on your hull but cut and fit then glued with

The repair would be 'good enough' and then repairable with vinyl putty for gouges and scrapes.

The hull was formed in a mold. Utube probably has a video.

The 66 may be found at NRS online.

If you ask about repairing your model airplane with glue, several people from G Flex will jump out from the tamarix.

This is crazy

– Last Updated: May-17-15 11:13 PM EST –

So, what you seem to be saying, is that just to maintain an outer layer that is vinyl in name, you recommend using material that's pretty much the same as the fabric of a cheap raincoat instead of something hard and durable. EZ's method is tried and true, and would have been suggested by pblanc or daggermat or a whole host of others on boatertalk who have vast experience with this kind of repair. Your method was thought up on the fly with help from Google, but Google doesn't have a thought process or ability to reason things out or to test the outcome.

hull is vinyl/abs

the old hull will float again but not down the canyon or into the Concours…

I have SF vinyl 6 years both bathtub floor mats driver’s side Ford van…material shows no appreciable wear.

The area is cleaned but has extensive beach sand/desert dirt exposure. I’m impressed by the material’s durability…probably more than the Rendezvous.

What that is exactly needs a records check maybe later…probably 10oz vinyl/polyester…there’s a PVC mix in there. PVC and acetone dissolved ABS useable for ABS repairs for cycle fenders…

A fiberglass approach is significantly more brittle than the ABS hull ? Is that a problem over time ?

Question arises, how much hull needs repair ? the skid plate area or more…more would suggest a more pliable covering. Yes/No ?

In repair thereis always/usually a boundry area where the surface both adheres and not adheres requiring sanding and feathering the two surfaces for recovering.

no not at awl…

what raincoat ? this is a discussion not a trial nor a parade for West.

suggesting alternatives is positive not negative…if you can hold down the raincoat comments.

I work with these materials…without failures…except for Gflexing a magnet fish…probably magnetic forces. Stiffening the ABS hull with an extensive keel protector ? I dunno doesn’t sound right.

If we look back into keel protector comments I will bet some of these worthies are anti keel protector because…

suggesting alternatives

– Last Updated: May-18-15 10:26 AM EST –

can be negative. Rappel down a cliff...or jump off it? I used polyester resin to hold a 26' sailboat together, and I needed to repair it annually. Went to epoxy resin...and was done.Didn't have computers then, no links...trial and error.
To the OP, what guideboatguy said, Pblanc and Ezwater have decades of real world experience. Listen to them. I rarely post here anymore (flattered to be mentioned). I have become a g-flex junky though, I must admit. Your delamination is pretty severe. I had an Encore that was delaminating, and cut out as much vinyl as I could, then, with the boat upside down, dribbled some g-flex behind where the vinyl was less compromised (though still delaminated, the vinyl I left still had the proper contour and I got it to stick to the core before doing the "2 layer rounded edge concentric glass repair." Another boat, my Whitesell, had rotted core, so I cut that out, filled it with melted abs over a gorilla glue base before doing the g-flex and glass.
I'm a hacker, but 3 years later, the Encore is running cl. 4 nearly every weekend I heard.
Another good tip, if using acetone on your hull (melted abs is abs pipe/legos/I use abs weld wire melted in acetone) is to apply a layer of gorilla glue to act as a barrier. Let it foam up and dry, sand it down to a barrier layer, then quickly apply the melted abs using a cheap brush. Sorry, no By quickly I mean be ready to go fast when you do the abs routine, it doesn't have to be immediately after sanding. Stuff dries FAST!
Pretty sure you'll be able to get 3 layers done one shot. Pre cut your patches. I use a brush to apply the g-flex, and put a layer down before the first layer of glass, then brush lightly from the center outwards.

Thanks Daggermat. I’m going to go with the G-flex/fiberglass solution. I got some fine weave 3M fiberglass (made for Bondo work) at lowes - it doesn’t say that it is specifically e-glass. A cursory wikipedia search states that most fiber glass is e-glass. Should I take this product back and look elsewhere for the e-glass? Thanks again.

…solution. I’ve seen a plastic skid plate product somewhere, but I cant remember where. I like the reasoning that vinyl would be more flexible than glass - ABS is already pretty stiff, is it not? The vinyl itself is primarily there just to protect vs UV and to make the surface of the boat less ‘sticky’ on unseen water obstacles is what Ive read.

In the mold…

what adhesive went between vinyl and ABS ?

For a repair using eglass, is Gflex thinned at 75 degrees…or thinned at 85 degrees

is Gflex and e glass a temperature sensitive procedure ?

Cool Gflex before applications in summer heat ?

Or is there more than enough time for wetting out ?

Walmart’s glass is just awfull

A raincoat repair works only when the surface doesn’t force the vinyl coated polyester or PVC variant into contorted shapes.

Wenonah stem
protector kit has a Wenonah Gflex epoxy and a 5/32’s thick fiberglass mesh or felt.

The mesh plus epoxy feels and looks energy absorbant from the mesh thickness.

The kit over Royalex vinyl.

Very straight forward application but then the area is 2-3" wide by 2’

West online and on Utube has a wealth of information probably your project.

Goodluck on it…33 years is ancient…any Galt cruisers around ?

Raincoat comment

– Last Updated: May-18-15 5:12 PM EST –

I made the raincoat analogy because you are suggesting the use of a very soft-surfaced fabric, rather than a hard, abrasion-resistant material. Even the vinyl that is originally on the boat is much tougher (compare the surface hardness of the vinyl of a modern window frame to the vinyl of a "vinyl top" from a 1970s car). The skid plate is tougher still.

You claim experience but follow that up by stating that you don't even know whether using fiberglass creates additional problems, and seem to imply that you believe it does. Whitewater boaters have figured out what works best for Royalex repair, especially skid plates, and EZ knows as much about this as anyone you'll ever meet. I see no reason to accept a hypothetical method that's never been used in the boating community at large and for which examples illustrating performance are not even available.

It will be E-glass, don’t worry.

here there be Giants
that’s fersure. Nor learn.

The SF vinyl coated 10oz is ‘as hard’ as a Rendezvous or Solo Plus skin but also a different fabric or skin.

Quantitatively different but subjectively very similar.

I wrote that, you could learn to read.

Reading what Experts Y-Z and b sez is extremely valuable. Discussing alternatives broadens the information field beyond what people who commonly cannot read or think may understand. Rigidity is restrictive, counterproductive.

We expect more from you in the future.

Incoherent. And a FG repair matches
the flexibity of an ABS hull very well indeed. I have an S-glass patch over the ABS, under my pedestal seat on my WW boat, and after several seasons of humping over logs and rocks, the patch is perfectly intact.

Because the ABS is not split, you have
more options. The first goal is to get the ABS covered to prevent UV damage while you are driving around with the boat on the car. If you choose to do a skid plate, or a concentric FG patch, make sure the patch is oval, not rectangular, to minimize stress risers. But you could just chisel clean borders on the remaining vinyl and then just repeatedly paint the exposed ABS with Krylon Fusion, as needed. It may depend partly on whether the way you use the boat is such as that additional protection for the underside would be useful. For example, do you run ww ledges where the stern thumps down hard on rock, coming off the ledge?

Krylon Fusion…

– Last Updated: May-19-15 7:23 PM EST –

I was mulling the lack of commercial ABS glues after thinking about the dirt/endure bike blogs with fender/body work repairs...techniques for shaving Legos into acetone as the glue.

Not on the schedule.

Krylon Fusion's MSDS sez Fusion has inside the can the solvents for mating color to ABS...

So where's the can spraying more color as shaved Legos ?

Or shaved vinyl ?

no market !

In prior posts on damaged Royalex group think was kinda dismissive of Krylon but there's the MSDS.

Excellent color selection. There's a good match for Wenonah Dragon's Blood.

and matching colors at the dirt/endure blogs....