PVC or Hypalon?

Are your Tubes PVC or Hypalon?

If you looking to repair your tubes with patches or to replace any valves on your rigid hull inflatable boat or inflatable it’s essential to know what fabric your inflatable sponsons are made from as it’s very important to use the correct adhesive for the material.

There are two main types of material used in the manufacture of inflatable boat tubes, Hypalon and PVC.

Hypalon-inflatable-boat-fabric72
1. Hypalon:- this is a rubber/neoprene material;

PVC-inflatable-boat-fabric72
2. PVC:- used in most production manufactured boats.

Test to Check

There are several tests to check if you are unsure which fabric your inflatable RIB or dinghy is made from.

hypalon-fabric-back
A. Back of Fabric;
If you can see the inside of the tube, through the valve, Hypalon is a dark grey or black on the inside. PVC is the same colour on both sides.

pvc-or-hypalon
B. Sand the material; Hypalon will matt down and produce a dust and suede like nap to the abrasion. PVC will just scratch, remain glossy and there will be no difference in colour (click on the image to zoom in).

C. Wipe over Solvent Test.  Wipe lightly with an MEK based solvent. (methyl ethyl ketone – often available at hardware, paint or plumbing stores, sold as a cleaner for PVC pipes or lacquer thinner) or Acetone Solvent. Hypalon will leave an oxidization and maybe some colour on the cloth, the material will not be affected or become sticky. For PVC you will have some colour on the cloth and the surface of the material will feel tacky. Please Note: Before using Adhesive, It is important, for best results to use the correct PVC or Hypalon Solvent to prepare the surfaces to be adhered.
Caution All these solvents are very flammable and appropriate precautions should be taken before use in a well ventilated area with no naked flames.

PVC-HYP-solvent-72Solvents. 
Polymarine 2903 Solvent Primer For PVC Fabrics: A primer, essential to degrease and prepare PVC surfaces before adhering. Contains Butanone MEK.

Polymarine P510 Solvent Primer for Hypalon Fabrics: For essential degreasing of hypalon surfaces before use of adhesive and adhering patches. Suitable for reactivating applied adhesive. Contains MEK, Naphtha, Hydrotreated Light Cyclohexane.

List of Known Boat Fabrics

HYPALON:

AB, ACHILLES, AQUAFLYTE, AVON, BALLISTIC, BEAUFORT, BRIG*, BWM, CALAGARI, CAMPARI, CARIBE, CHINOOK, COMPASS, DELTA, DOMINO, EUROCRAFT, FLATACRAFT, GOMMONAUTICA, GORDON, HENSHAWS, HUMBER, LOMAC, METZLER*, ML LIFEGUARD, NOVAJOLLY, NOVAMARINE, NOVURANIA, OSPREY, PICTON, RED BAY, REVENGER, RIBCRAFT, RIBTEC, RIB-X, RING, ROBCRAFT, SCANNER, SCORPION, SELVA, SEMPRIT, SELVA, STINGHER, TINKER, YAM RIBS, ( ZODIAC – some pre 1968 leisure models – and their custom/commercial range could be Hypalon).

PVC:

ARIMAR, BOMBARD, BRIG*, COMPASS II, EUROVINYL, EXCEL, HONDA, LODESTAR, MAXXON, METZLER*, NARWHAL, OMC EXPRESS, PLASTIMO, QUICKSILVER, RIBEYE*, SERIE, SEVYLOR, SUZUMAR, TOHATSU, TYPHOON, VALIANT* (some larger ribs are PU), WAVELINE, YAM, ZED, ZOOM, ZODIAC  ( Zodiac Hypalon – see note above).

POLYURETHANE (PU):

TORNADO, VALIANT* (larger commercial ribs)

 

49 Comments

  1. Wolf Huse

    I have a 1999 West Marine Zodiac 310 RIB and I’d like to know what the tube material is. I used a PCV cement (from West Marine) to glue the transom side brace to the tube and the PCV glue doesn’t seem to work. Please advise.

    Wolf Huse

  2. admin

    It maybe yours is Hypalon. Have you tried the simple tests you can do to check as shown above?

  3. James Simmonds

    What is the best product to use for a top coating, after cleaning a Hypalon tube ? For shine, ev. protection,ect. JBS

  4. Richard

    Good afternoon.
    I’ve inherited an inflatable boat (labelled as a Navigator II 400) which seems to be ideal,but also appears to have a slow puncture (s). Before I try to track down any holes, I thought I should have the repair kit in place and so have been looking into your adhesives and advice. The repair kit instructions that came with the boat refer to “vinyl plastic adhesive”, which I assume means that the boat is made from PVC, but I thought I should check with you! I also wanted to ask if your adhesive repairs pin-prick punctures on its own or does every repair require a patch? Many thanks. Richard

  5. admin

    Hi Richard

    A quick google indicates that it may well be PVC (not come across one of these before).
    Our adhesive is meant to be used with patches, however, Polymarine sealflex will fix pin prick holes in both PVC and Hypalon.
    http://polymarineshop.com/sealflex-500ml.html

    Regards
    Polyamrine

  6. JAMES ANDRADE

    I HAVE A 2000 ZODIAC FUTURA MACH 11 IM PRETTY SURE ITS PVC IS THE ONE PART OR THE TWO PART POLY MARINE PRODUCT THE BEST FOR VARIOUS REPAIRS ON THE BOAT? WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?

  7. admin

    Hi James, Generally the 2 part is best for permanent lasting repairs, the one part is for quick fixes and temporary repairs.
    Regards, Polymarine

  8. Brian

    hi, I have a SEAGO 2.6 INFLATABLE which needs a rope ring re gluing. Do you have knowlwdgw of this make and what glue would be best?
    cheers
    Brian

  9. kolton

    hello i own a 1992 zodiac gt mark 3 and cant find what kind material it is made up of. I keep reading different stuff like the keel is hypalon and the tubes are pvc is this correct?

  10. Michael Maguire

    I have a sunsport. The transom is separating from the tube. Also the tubes are looking pretty worn.
    1. What should I use to stick the transom back in?
    2. Is there a coating I can put on the tubes?

  11. KKlock

    Still having an ID problem- even after all 3 tests! We have a OKAMOTO Colorado.

    It isn’t grey/black inside tube- and not the same color. It’s orange outside and beige inside.
    It matts down, but no dust. And a lessening of color.
    It’s not tacky feeling——————- what is it? Help too many variables- thanks!!!!

  12. admin

    Okamoto is a rubber company that make various products including condoms and rubber boats. So the chances are your Colorado is made of rubber similar to Hypalon.

    Hypalon is a trade name of Dupont. It’s rubber based with fabric layers for added strength.

    The final check would be to carry out a test using Polymarine Hypalon Adhesive (rubber).

  13. admin

    Hi Michael

    We have a Transom repair feature here:- http://www.polymarine.com/advice/zodiac-dinghy-transom-repair/

    If your tubes are wearing in hot spots, then applying a patch of the same material (we have PVC and Hypalon availiable in all sizes and colours) cut to size with rounded corners using 2 part adhesive would be a lasting solution.

    Best wishes

  14. admin

    Hi Kolton

    It’s unlikely to be manufactured from 2 materials, it would have been PVC throughout.
    Unless some unusual repair/replacement has been done to the keel in the past.

    If you test using the methods show in the article “PVC or Hypalon?” you can find out for sure.
    http://www.polymarine.com/advice/pvc-or-hypalon/

    Best wishes

    Customer Services

  15. admin

    Hello Brian
    The current seago 2.6 (260) is Decitex PVC. Polymarine 2 part PVC adhesive is ideally suited for a lasting repair.

    Regards

  16. Peter McKue

    Hi

    I have an old Barrus GB 2.6 and although it holds air without any loss there are areas of the rubber coating becoming friable and cracking and falling off, I can see the fabris material in a couple of places. Is it worthwhile coating this with something? I don’t know what the tubes are made of.

    Thanks

  17. David Wynne

    Hi, I have a 1995 12′ center console w/ 40 hp engine and I think it is made of hypalon for I took your test and it leaned toward the hypalon I have a small leak at a seam and the top coat of rubber material is come off and all is there is like a fabric of some kind. How do you repair it, the same way with a polymarine two part and hypalon patch?

  18. Patrick

    I have a Mercury a Ocean Runner. Is it PVC or Hypalon? Thank you

  19. admin

    Hi Patrick, the three Mercury Ocean Runner Models are available in both Hypalon and PVC so a check/test will be needed unless you can contact the dealer of your Ocean Runner to check the records.

  20. Adam

    Hi – can you paint inflatables? And if so what product – cheers

  21. admin

    Hi Adam, You can paint inflatables. We have Letter Painting products, Anti fouling Paints and of course specialist paint for both Hypalon and PVC inflatable boats. All are top quality paints for getting the best and most durable finish; http://www.polymarine.com/advice/paint-guide/

  22. Bruce

    Hi, I am trying to stick the transom back into the two sockets of a quicksilver inflatable and not sure which adhesive to use?

  23. Tony

    hello, i have a Waveline tender which has been sitting on the foredeck during most of last year, the blue/grey rubbing strake has become sticky to the extent that it leaves a blue sticky film on anything it touches. i have tried washing it, scraping and drying finally i have used a propriety spray that claims to remove sticky glues, gums etc. this has made the situation far worse, is there anything that will stabilise this degredation please?

  24. admin

    Hi. Quicksilvers are usually PVC, if so, the process you would follow would be the same as the following link (2 part Polymarine PVC Adhesive and 1 part Polymarine Hypalon adhesive for priming wood and rubber components): http://www.polymarine.com/advice/zodiac-dinghy-transom-repair/

  25. admin

    Hi Tony. The solution to your sticky rubbing strake would be to paint it with Polymarine “Superflex” specialist PVC paint (assuming that the strake is PVC like the rest of the Waveline tender. For similar problems with sticky rubber strake/components, Polymarine “Flexithane” Hypalon Paint would be used.

  26. ROBERT

    Have “sevylor 500” sold @ west marine in mid 1990 ‘s. Using test above , should be made of PVC. Floor section has detached from pontoons. Also looses a little air in each chamber within 4/5 days of inflation. Which product(s) recomended to repair floor and stop deflation ? Thanks

  27. admin

    Hi Robert, If your inflatable is PVC then you can prep the surface with Polymarine Solvent Primer to degrease and prepare PVC surfaces before adhering with Polymarine 2 part PVC Adhesive. If your slow leak is from a valve. then we have parts to repair or replace the valve; http://polymarineshop.com/valves-1.html If the slow leak is via your seams of worn patch of fabric, then Polymarine Sealflex Sealant is an ideal repair solution.

  28. Filipe

    Hello, I have a Tornado, and i believe that the tubes are Polyurethane…Wich glue to use to put anti slip material on the tubes??? PVC or Hypalon glue???? Thanks

  29. Bob B

    The high pressure inflatable floor on my 8′ Zodiac has gotten very tacky/ sticky. The dealer says its common and caused by UV exposure. He also says the solution is to buy another floor. Since the boat is about 10 years old, I’m a little hesitant to do that. Is there another solution you can recommend?
    Thanks, Bob

  30. admin

    Hello Bob. Sticky PVC fabrics can be over painted with Polymarine Superflex PVC Paint that will give a robust finish resistant to the elements and UV. Likewise sticky rubber/hypalon items can be painted with Polymarine Flexithane Hypalon paint.

  31. jonathan

    I have a novomarine inflatable 520 model that has 2 rather huge tears on the back of both tubes. I am sure its a hypallon material but my problem is that I cannot find white fabric matching the present tubes and an other problem I am facing is that no glue is sticking to it even after sanding it. What can I do?
    Thank you

  32. admin

    Hello Jonathan, If your tube fabric is white on the outside and Black in the inside, plus you can sand it, then you are certainly working with Hypalon. We have some new Adhesive User Guides available to download from the website http://www.polymarine.com/advice/technical-sheets/ I’m sure these will help you.

  33. Monika

    Hello, I just got hold on Zodiac Serie 1 (S126) from late 80’s. I will need to fix it very soon. Any idea if it is Hypalon or PVC? Did not sand it yet, but comparing colour outside and inside doesn’t help, as it is black on outside 🙂

  34. Dave Bird

    Hi, I have a Waveline XS inflatable which has a very small hole in the floor. Could you tell me weather it is PVC or Hypalon? and which of your products would be best to repair it?
    Many thanks.
    D.

  35. admin

    Hi Dave, Waveline inflatables are made from PVC fabric. A PVC Fabric Patch and 2 Part Adhesive will make a good repair. We have a ‘Professional Prepair Kit’ that has everything you need to make lasting permanent repairs with instructions that can be donloaded at any tine: http://polymarineshop.com/professional-repair-kit-pvc.html

  36. Dave Bird

    Excellent. Purchased. Many thanks for your prompt reply and helpful advice. D.
    Do you have the link to download the instructions?

  37. grahame

    Hi there i have a quicksilver 310 aed inflatable with an 8cm tear in the bottom of the front tube. Can i be confident that a repair of this size will hold and which product should i use?

  38. admin

    Hi Grahame, A successful repair of an 8cm tear in your Quicksilver inflatable boat can be made following our guide; http://www.polymarine.com/advice/pvc-adhesive-how-to-repair-inflatable-boat-tubes-made-from-pvc-fabric/ (there is a Hypalon repair guide too). Importantly, the repair will require a patch to the inside of the tube as well as the outside. Quicksilver inflatables are usually PVC, the newer Quicksilver/Mercury inflatables are sometimes Hypalon. If our PVC or Hypalon guide should help you confirm that your is PVC (or Hypalon). Best regards
    Polymarine.

  39. michael

    Hi

    I have a pvc and hypalon tender and they have scratches on both the materials from coming into concrete docks in the Caribbean it there anything i can do to get them off… sand,polish any product etc? hope you can help

    Thanks

  40. admin

    Hi Michael. It would not be possible to remove bad scratches. It may be a case of applying a suitable shaped patch to protect your original tube fabric from becoming structurally damaged by abrasion on the concrete blocks. Rubbing strake is also available, if the at risk area of your tender is in an appropriate place for such protection strips. https://polymarineshop.com/parts-accessories/strake.html

  41. gabriel

    Hi is just enquiry
    I have island inflatable boat and plastic handles need to be reglue again
    where I can find glue in australia or ebay because I dont know is Hypalon pr PVC glue
    and I need to clean sand or prepare surface before glue it

    Regard
    Gabriel

  42. admin

    Hi Gabriel, For adhesive try SternFirst, in Brookvale, Sydney, http://sternfirst.com.au/inflatable-glue-kits. If this page cant help you determine if PVC or Hypalon check with the manufacturer. A quick google gave me this… ” http://www.islandinflatables.com.au As an inflatable boat dealer, all Island Inflatables boats are fully compliant CE category use and are manufactured using the strongest 1100 Decitex fabric.”
    Best regards

  43. Bernie Willems

    I have a hypalon boat (nimarine mx 450) and want to fix a bimini on the tubes. The fixture-feest of the bimini are Made of PVC. How do i glue the fixtures to the tubes?

  44. admin

    Hello Bernie, That is a good question. Please note that PVC Adhesive does not stick to Rubber or Hypalon surfaces. However, Polymarine PVC Adhesive will stick to Polymarine Hypalon Adhesive!

    So you can ‘Prime’ the surface of your PVC fixtures with a thin coating of PVC Adhesive and allow to dry. Then fix your primed Bimini fixtures to your Hypalon Tubes with Hypalon adhesive.

    Best regards.

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