Every summer we head down to a secret cove on Chuckanut Bay to catch Dungeness crab and enjoy one of the only sandy beaches in Washington. It’s a one mile hike down a steep switch-backing trail, so we typically bring an inflatable raft to drop our pots in the middle of the bay. Last week, as I was paddling out with the crab pot, I managed to snag the front of the boat and rip a pretty nice tear in the front of my inflatable. I managed to drop the pot and get back to shore before the raft completely deflated, but it was clear that we would not be able to make it back out, retrieve the pot and make it back to shore before the entire thing deflated. Hungry for crab and too lazy to hike out for another boat, I grabbed my Aquaseal® Wader Repair Kit by Gear Aid™ and told the rest of the group not to fret, “I’ll have this boat salvaged and we’ll be munching on crab before you know it!”
First things first, I paddled to shore. Once ashore, I deflated the raft. Next, I grabbed the Aquaseal out of the kit, popped the top and used the brush to paint a thin layer of Aquaseal over the top of the gash. Next, I grabbed the patch, placed it over the top of the tear and the curing Aquaseal and made sure that the patch bonded directly to the inflatable boat. You get a much better bond if the patch sticks directly to the inflatable material as opposed to the curing adhesive which causes the patch to migrate until the adhesive fully cures, which could be hours. So make sure to apply the patch over the Aquaseal and directly onto the inflatable.
Once I was done, I let the repair cure while we waited for our pot to fill up. After a couple of hours, we were ready to eat, so I pumped the raft back up and sure enough, I had a pretty solid repair. As soon as I put the boat on the water, however, I could hear water bubbling on the side of the inflatable. Another hole! Luckily, it was a pretty small hole and my Aquaseal Wader Repair Kit comes with two patches. I had more than enough adhesive left over, so once again, I deflated the raft, applied the Aquaseal, stuck a patch on top, filled the raft back up and I was ready to roll. We ended up with 6 keepers that day. Cooked ‘em on the beach, enjoyed the sunset and headed back up the trail with happy faces and full bellies. The Aquaseal Wader Repair Kit saved the day!