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)

 

43 thoughts on “PVC or Hypalon?

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

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

  4. 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. 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?

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

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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!!!!

  11. 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).

  12. 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

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

    Regards

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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 :)

  27. 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.

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

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

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