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 Post subject: Repair of internal leak
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 2:00 pm 
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I have a four year old i12S that has developed an internal leak.

Using soapy water there are no bubbles on the exterior and none around the valves.

When I open the hatch after inflating there is notable release of air pressure.

When water is introduced to the interior via the forward hatch, after a certain level is reached bubbles can clearly be heard. I am assuming there may be a seam that came unglued.

I am willing to try the repair, but am open to suggestions as to how to find and then get to the internal leak. What is the structure of the center air chamber?

If the repair is not successful (as I am guessing from other posts here may be the case), are the i12s still in production?

Given that we have the drives for the 12i, which other units might the able to use these drive units? (ie; what other current production models could utilize the drive units from a 2014 i12s?


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Your drive will work in any hobie - it only lacks a guide pin that rigid models use but don't need.

Your leak sounds like from any of the 3 bladders into the bilge between them - I don't think you can limit it to the floor chamber. There have been narrations here of ripping the seams open to track it down, then resealing. Also there have been stories by folks who poured special sealant into the chambers and tipped it for full coating. You can buy a new i12s hull without the drive for a lot of bucks, but might want to also get the GT drive bearings upgrade kit. The new hull has no storage chamber or scuppers (I think) to avoid such leaks.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 7:01 am 
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Thanks for the response.
My focus on the center chamber is due to the fact that is the chamber that goes flat.... it


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 1:01 pm 
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is anyone able to clue me in as to the structure of the center tube?
is it a self contained tube, or does it use the outer hull and deck as part of the structure? (in other words, is there a complete tube in the hull, or just "walls / ends" glued to the other chambers?


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:13 pm 
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I think there are 3 tubes bridged together by non inflated bilge segments under tension. No bladders with a sleeve type of thing. The outer tubes have a circular cross section and the center is shaped by internal drop stitches into oval/rectangular cross section. Avoid cutting the drop stitches or a bulge could form. The bilge vents into the forward hatch on legacy i12s.

If nobody gives you enough live help, I just checked the archives and by simply flipping back to pages 4, 5, 6 in this section you can see various photos of similar leaks being tracked down and seams ripped temporarily open to access bilge leaks or sealant being poured into valves. Mostly for the i14 2013-5 which was first to phase out the front hatch due to leaks from the complexity. I recall one writeup of scupper leaks being addressed and it may have leaked into the bilges, although I don't see how. Anyway I think scuppers have since been designed away due to geometry prone to leaks.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:38 am 
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Sounds like a good source of information.

But where / how do I find the mentioned archives?


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 6:11 pm 
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It's right here, continuous with these posts. I dunno how this looks on mobile, but on a laptop you just scroll down on this inflatable topic list to whatever date. No special archive location. Normally one would suggest doing a search, but I find that feature highly unreliable here.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:32 am 
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After making two incisions in the hull. and filling it with water, i think i have found the culprit. Now I need some additional advice.

The bubbles were found at the point where the center bladder attaches to a tube at the stern of the kayak. There is an identical tube attached in the forward storage compartment. I am assuming that these tubes are there to provide some support / structure for the areas not directly shaped by the inflated tubes/bladder.

The tubes appear to be attached by a form fitting (heat shrink?) tape. I hope to be able to get by without removing and replacing or reinstalling the tube / bladder joint. Seems, if I could identify the right product, I would be able tape right over the current tape, extending the area covered by the original tape.

My question is what do I use to accomplish this?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:56 pm 
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I hope anyone else will not hesitate to reply, since this post is mostly speculation. Without photos as a guide, I guess you may be seeing tubes that vent the bilge. It is not a water collector like a normal bilge, but a passive chamber that breathes in and out as the adjoining chambers are pressured up and down. It makes sort of a smooth fairing to join the 3 chambers, but has to not trap air when you fold it up. Thus they tell you to open the hatch (or extra valve in i9s) when inflating or deflating. I guess the front tube vents past the hatch anyway; I didn't know there was a rear tube.

My first inclination is to see what googles up from "elastic patch for inflatables". I carry the Tear-aid one (for vinyl? we have pvc) although it is expensive per sq inch. I hope the elasticity helps it not peel off when pressure distorts the areas. When viewing the NRS patching videos, some were aimed at pros rather than amateurs and emphasized that long term success depends on surface preparation. They super cleaned the surface with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) which can be hard to get, so some suggested alcohol I think as at least better than soapy water. Sometimes they roughed up the surface, but I think better for glueing than sticky patch.

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