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Thread: Float repairs in the bush

  1. #1
    bushmaster's Avatar
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    Float repairs in the bush

    Recently was in Labrador and hit a rock with a float on a c206. It hit at keel and popped some rivets and creased the alum. with some bolts and sealer able to get to Goose Bay and get a temp fix. Not alot of damage but it could have been. I remember having conversation about a sealer that works for boats or floats that will work underwater but could not remember the name of the product. So my question to all you floaters is what do you carry for float repairs in the back country. I carry small bolts size 8 & 10 with nuts, silicone-marine, alum, wire, alum tape, probably really need small battery drill . Looking for ideas that work and are light and functional. Also lots of times have water proof gear bags that can double as floatation in a ruptured float compartment. Lets hear some ideas and name of sealer that I cant remember. Have thought hard about caring Ice and water seal that is used on roofs it sure sticks to everything it touches.

  2. #2

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    Sealer

    Sikaflex sticks to almost everything that gets near it!

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    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    I carry several (expired) airline inflatable vests that I can pop in a compartment to expel the water and seal the leak. Never had to use them.

    GR

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    Rob Murray's Avatar
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    float patch

    I came across a repair kit at the New York Boat Show, years back. It consisted of a roll of fiberglas cloth impregnated with epoxy and a pair of rubber gloves. Apparently you could span quite large holes in a hull (or floats) by cutting off sections of cloth, kneeding them to activate the hardner and then layer the cloth across the damaged area. Or you could mold plugs out of the cloth for small punctures. Worked above and below water and set up in about 10 - 15 mins. I used to carry one of the kits in my plane but then discovered they only last for a little over a year, before the whole thing goes hard. It came from Florida, can't remember the brand name, but a good boating catalog should have something similar. Never used it on my seaplane but did fix some broken plumbing on one occasion and far as I know it's still working. It's the kind of thing to buy fresh before a trip. L.L. Bean among others used to sell canoe repair tape. It too could be put on under water, but wasn't as structural as the cloth mentioned above.

  5. #5
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    I think this is what we used to use, but it is quite hard to remove, so many "temporary" repairs stayed.......

    http://www.marinetex.com/


    but the stuff i remember was green, in round tin can you mixed under water, came from Naknek Trading... same stuff???????????

    edit: oh Z-spar i think that name rings a bell......

  6. #6
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair

    but the stuff i remember was green, in round tin can you mixed under water, came from Naknek Trading... same stuff???????????

    ......
    Mike, I know of a product fitting this description called "Splash Zone". Not really aptly named, if you ask me, but it's great for a quick repair. The stuff sticks great, and is very tough, (not brittle like "Marine Tex"). I know of a few of those 'temporary repairs' that lasted all season 'til I could get the iron in the hangar for our heavy winter maintenance season. DAVE

    PS My 'get it back home when it's crumpled' tool kit includes some .032" aluminum sheet, and 1/8th" angle aluminum, 3m 5200 marine sealant (the fast version) and self tapping sheet metal screws and a screw gun. You can repair a heck of a hole and even splice keelsons with these materials.

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    bushmaster's Avatar
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    All good ideas I also have self tapping screws but I haven't been carrying a screw gun-batt drill so I don't know how successful it would be putting them in without one but if one had to. I think that is the silicone I have as well ,will it set and stick if wet ? Think I will get small drill for tool kit on those trips even though there are several at lodge but I was long ways from lodge at the time. I keep inflatable vests in plane also. Keep it going as this could happen to anyone and become a real problem!!!!

  8. #8
    strangeak's Avatar
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    Look at your local hardware store for 2part plumbers epoxy.

    Never used it on a plane (never been on floats) but I have carried it for the aluminum river boat. It comes in a tube, you pull it out, unwrap it cut off as much as you might need, then kneed it and put it on.. It will cure underwater (not as well as out of water) but it let us stay out our whole trip a few times.

    Damon

  9. #9
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushmaster
    I think that is the silicone I have as well ,will it set and stick if wet !
    3M 5200 marine sealant is not a silicone. It's a polyurethane, and moisture is necessary for it to cure. It likes water for curing, and sticks great. It is like pulling rubber off a truck tire when you attempt to remove it.

    I can see carrying a drilling brace (old timer crank drill) for running self-tappers in. Not something I carry around on every float flight.

    Having "splash zone" ( the epoxy putty that you mix together under water) for every flight is a good idea.)

  10. #10
    Rob Murray's Avatar
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    repair kit

    Someone reminder me that I wrote a product review for the 1984 Water Flying Annual about the Syntho-Glass (repair) kit mentioned above. It came from Neptune Research, Palm Beach, Florida tel 305 683 6992. Whether they are still in business I can't say. Price then was $14.

  11. #11
    bushmaster's Avatar
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    I think Dave has the product. A guy in forestry dept told me of an old gentleman that flew Labrador a lot years ago and got out of alot of trouble with that and small pieces of alum. I am going to check it out . Thanks and I will advise.

  12. #12
    68Papa's Avatar
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    Float Repairs in the bush

    Anybody familiar with Bithuhene Waterproof Membrane. Roofers use a version of this stuff, they call Ice & Water shield. It's not as heavy duty as Bithuthene though, but either product is tough and will stick to anything. I was in a Beaver and we just landed on Hammersly Lake in Katmai. One of Chris Branam's Helio's was coming in on final and set that plane down on the only rock sticking out of that whole lake. To say he punched a whole in the float would be an understatement. He barely made it to the beach. Chris showed up that night and we helped him come-along the Helio as high and dry as possible. He went back to his lodge that night and showed up in the morning with a rubber mallet, a tube of silicone and a roll of Bithuthene. He did a pretty good job with the rubber mallet, but the silicone was useless. After getting the damaged area as clean and dry as possible, he started wrapping the damaged area with bithuthene. It stuck so well that I'm guessing he had a heck of a time removing it. We pushed him back in the water, he taxied around a bit and flew it off into wild blue yonder. A roll of this stuff would be to heavy to carry around with you, but after seeing what it did for this kind of damage, I certainly would not hesitate to carry a couple pieces with me.

    68Papa

  13. #13
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    I was using foil tape to the seams of my vapor barrier on the new addition and noticed I had picked up a roll of;

    Nashua Waterproofing repair tape

    "Apply to wet surfaces - even under water
    forms an instant water proof bond
    permanently seals leaks and gaps"

    ??????

    GR

  14. #14
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Z-spar Splash Zone!!!!!!!!! You guys had it!

    It is nice if you have some surgical or painter gloves before getting it on skin, but it will stick topside, under water, use to fill and brace with wood...

    Really, you can take a piece of plastic bucket, wood or anything, mix the splash zone up and glue the patch to the floats. Let it dry an hour or two before taking off if you are using it as a glue.

    If you just have a small hole, (less than 2") just gob on the goop and plug the hole. You can fly as soon as you get cleaned up!

    As far as "temporary" goes, if you leave it on more than a day, it will be murder to get off. There are more than one pair of floats I know about that used this to repair, (and a few boats), and it worked so well it is still there!

    If needed, you can drill and tap this stuff after it is hardened!

    It comes in the big round cans, 2 parts. I take golf ball sized globs and put them in zip loc bags and carry that on my day to day flights.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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