This article initially focuses on how to do on-river raft repairs. In general having major tears professionally repaired is best so an on-river repair is typically a temporary solution. Scroll to the bottom of the page if you are inerested in learning about off-river repairs.

I’m a big fan of using Tyvek tape or Tear-Aid to make on-river repairs. It is quick, can be redone easily and anyone can do it. The materials will stay good for a long time if well stored unlike glues that go bad after a year or two. Plus the chemicals used to repair rafts are nasty so the less they are used the better. Finally on-river repairs with glue many times need to be redone requiring extra labor to take off the old glue. Tear Aid works better but Tyvek is way cheaper so it is nice to have both on hand in case of a huge rip.

If you are interested in repair an Aire Raft check out this video on how to repair both layers of an Aire Raft.

Show About Patching Rafts with Tear Aid and Tyvek Tape

Raft Patching with Tear Aid and Tyvek Tape

Raft Repair Supplies

Tear Aid Type A: All rafts except PVC

Alcohol Prep Pads

Tyvek Tape

Tear Aid Type B: PVC rafts

Plastic Container – store Tear aid in container like this as box will get beat up.

Leafield Valve Wrench (not needed for patching but handy to have)

Raft Repair Steps with Tyvek or Tear-Aid

Time needed: 15 hours.

How to go an on river repair of a hole in a whitewater raft.

  1. Clean and dry area with hole.

    Get the raft out of the water and clean off the area and dry. Inside and outside if necessary.

  2. After Dry Use Alcohol Pads

    Do a final cleaning of the raft material around the tear with alcohol pads. Inside and outside if necessary and planning an inside/outside patch.

  3. Cut tape

    Cut tape (tyvek or tear-aid). Hopefully you have the appropriate Tear-aid or your raft type. Round corners of tape as best as possible and provide at least 2 inches of patch around the tear.

  4. Apply tape to raft.

    If possible do an inside tape patch first and then one on the outside.

  5. Pump up raft

    While the Tear-aid can take pretty high pressure, just pump it up enough it give the raft enough shape to function.

Field Repair an Aire Raft

Since Aire Rafts have two layers of material the repair process is more complicated.

Warehouse Raft Repair

Here is a comprehensive video about repair PVC and Urethane rafts with glue. If you are doing regular repairs of urethane rafts think about learning to plastic weld – this is how urethane rafts are built and repaired at factories. Farther down is a video on hypalon raft repairs in the warehouse.

Raft Repair Using Glue for Urethane and PVC Rafts

Repairing Hypalon Rafts