Best way to patch a leak in an inflatable PVC boat?

I have a Sevylor Fish Hunter inflatable boat which I have had for about a year. It is a really great and easily portable boat for fishing, and I love using it.

I have been planning to build a sectional wooden floorboard for the boat as well as some custom seats and some other enhacements, and because it was a nice day today, I dragged the boat out and inflated it fully, so I could begin working on the plans. However, I soon noticed that there was a small hole in the outer chamber through which air was leaking.

I really need to patch this up and I want it to be the most rock-solid, heavy duty patch possible. I tried a rubber patch and cement intended for a bike tire; it didn’t stick very well, possibly because it was made for rubber and not PVC. I tried a general-purpose “vinyl/rubber/plastic” patch, with included cement; this, also, is not really adhering very strongly.

What is the best way to do this? I would like to patch it up with materials I can buy locally, rather than ordering the official Sevylor repair kit and having to wait for it.


I have had fairly good luck in the past patching vinyl using pieces of vinyl covered fabric and a glue labeled for vinyl.

I also had a success gluing 2 pieces of ABS together with a pipe cement meant for PVC. CPVC, and ABS. A big can is a few bucks anywhere plumbing supplies are sold. I will be trying it on some other stuff.

I mess about in boats as well; good luck.

I have a couple sevylor kayaks, and have had to patch them multiple times due to inevitable sharp rocks.

My dad taught me the trick:

When using the standard patch made for it (I don’t recall, it came with the boats, but it sure wasn’t a bicycle tire patch), the trick is:

Apply the glue very thin, for a pin-hole think a pea-sized blob and a 1 inch square patch, then apply the patch and remove it, over and over and over, waiting maybe 15-30 second between application/removal until it gets REALLY tacky so you see multiple strings (think 50-100 per square inch).

Then wait another 15 seconds or so, apply the patch one final time, and rub it down REALLY well, and don’t fuck with it for at least an hour.

We’ve done this halfway down whitewater rivers and the patch has never failed.

Good luck

Nothing to contribute other than good luck and that your post title should include a (Need Answer Fast!!).

You know. To add the funny.

2 questions:

Is there a generic type of adhesive I can ask for at the hardware store? Like what Chacoguy suggested?

  1. Where can I get the patching material (other than ordering it online?)

If you are patching vinyl, you are best off using something the label says works on vinyl.

Where to get vinyl material? You may have something around the house you can sacrifice. Other wise go to a thrift store and buy a sturdy purse or something.

Man I’m sorry, I have know idea.

Patches came with the boat, maybe contact Sevylor?

Are they really that bad ripoffs with the price?

(actually curious to know before I buy another)

It’s not crazy expensive a paper sized patch to be cut down into multple patches, with a small tube of glue.

I said earlier, use one pea-sized glob.

Said tube contains maybe 8 globs of glue

But really, just buy it from Sevylor. Duh

I have an inflatable PVC bed and I’ve had a lot of success using PVC cement. I went to Menard’s and found a whole shelf full of the stuff. The “flexible” kind is the best to get in this scenario, and they were all under the Oatey brand on the display I saw. (here is a picture of the can I bought:

Of course I haven’t tested my bed’s seaworthiness, so I can’t speak to the waterproofing aspects personally. But people put water through PVC pipes held together with this stuff all the time, so I would imagine it works pretty well for your purposes.

Also be aware you will need a set of those clamp-thingy tools (c clamps maybe?) to open the can. Either get them to open it for you at the store, or be prepared to open it yourself at home (wish I had known this ahead of time! I ended up puncturing the top with a screwdriver instead)

–I don’t know what kind of patch material you would use. This is just my recommendation for the adhesive stuff.

Fabric stores sell vinyl coated fabric by the yard. Might even be able to buy a small remnant. There are also kits to repair vinyl furniture.

OK, update. Today at Lowe’s (big hardware chain) I bought a can of Oatey cement for PVC shower pan liner, which cost me about 5 dollars, and 1x5" of PVC shower pan liner itself, which cost me about 6 dollars. I made a small test patch today with about an inch strip of the material, and with the cement, it holds rock-solid to the boat after only one hour (after curing for a whole day, it will be even better.) This stuff is incredible. If you have a PVC inflatable anything, BUY THIS STUFF…it is the BEST for patching PVC vinyl.

I’ll be damned. This is exactly what was what I was going to suggest. I’ve got that stuff in the garage and been playing with it for other purposes. I was just afraid that glue might eat your boat rather glue it up.

Nice to know otherwise.

To order the Sevylor patch kit online and have it shipped to me, I would have paid around 10 dollars. For two inches worth of patch material and a miniscule tube of cement. Now for only a little more money, I have enough material and cement to keep patching up the boat for the next 10 years.