“Having a good repair kit and knowing how to use it will keep you on the water when you’re out in the backcountry.”
This video from our friends at Alpacka Raft covers basic field repair know-how for packrafters. This is especially important if you frequent the backcountry where a blowout could mean loss of transportation:
Basic Repair Kit Included
With every Alpacka Raft packraft purchase, a basic repair kit is included. Other manufacturers will have a similar kit with their products.
Some of the key ingredients of your repair kit are:
- Tube of Aquaseal
- Alchohol swabs
- Tenacious Tape patch and Patch-n-Go patch
- Small roll of floor fabric
These will cover you for general short-term use, 1-3 day trips and paddling around your area.
Upgrade Your Kit for More Remote Areas
If you’re headed to remote areas or will be out for many days at a time, you’ll want to upgrade your repair kit to include:
- Tyvek Tape and Gorilla Tape
- Larger tube of Aquaseal, as well as Aquaseal UV
- A lighter
- More alchohol swabs
- Needle and thread
How to Find Leaks in Your Packraft
There are a few tricks to finding small leaks. If you’re at home, use a spray bottle with soapy water and spray small areas at a time. Small bubbles will form at a hole.
If you’re out in the field, you’ll have to do your best to listen, look and feel any air coming out of a fully-inflated packraft. If calm water is available, submerge part of the boat and see where the bubbles come up.
Make Your Repair
Watch the video for actual how-to’s of making various repairs. Here are the highlights:
- Be sure your packraft is dry and clean. Use the alcohol swabs to clean off the area.
- Tyvek Tape is the quickest and most versatile material for a tube repair, even for large tears.
- You can use Aquaseal to repair just about anything on your packraft including tubes, floors, valves and seats. However, it takes awhile to cure—up to 8 hours—so it’s best for overnight repairs. Once it’s applied, it’s a long-lasting and durable fix.
- Patch-and-Go can work on both tubes and floors. It’s harder to apply than Tyvek, but should last longer. Follow the instructions carefully and you’ll be good to go.
- Gorilla Tape is used for backing large tears in tubes, and for floors and a spray decks.
- Tenacious Tape is stretchy and works well on uncoated fabrics, like the insides of packraft tubes. However, it doesn’t give a watertight seal like the other materials do.
When you know what materials you have available and know how to use them correctly, punctures and tears don’t have to ruin your packraft adventures!
Need help finding your perfect kayak fishing paddle? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based customer service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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