PVC Adhesive – How to repair inflatable boat tubes made from PVC fabric

PVC-pro-kit-guide72Materials needed:-
• 2903 Polymarine PVC primer and cleaner
• 3026 Polymarine two part PVC adhesive
• Paint brush (cut down to 20-25mm bristle.)
• Lint free cloth
• PVC material
• Masking tape
• Polythene
• Smoother (for rubbing down)

Before you start any gluing please note:- your workplace needs to be well ventilated, warm and dry. If the air is too humid don’t try to use the adhesive as it will bloom. Do not use a gas fire or naked flame heat source as the solvents are highly flammable. Do not use the adhesive if it has been mixed for more than 4 hours.

This complete guide is available as a PDF download

Mix adhesive with Curative at the ratio of 25:1
The Curative supplied is in ratio with the adhesive, so half the curative and half the tin will also be 25:1

If the damage to your tube is more than 75mm in any direction an ‘inside patch’ needs to be applied. The procedure is the same as for an Outside Patch but is made more difficult because you are working on the inside of the tube.

1. Mark out and cut your material to size. This should be big enough to cover the damage plus 30mm on every side. Make sure that all the corners are rounded.

pvc-wipe2. Using your cloth wipe the surface of the patch and the tube that is going to have the adhesive on with the 2903 solvent. Allow the solvent to flash off and wipe over again. The surface should become tacky. Allow to flash off.

3. Mix half of the adhesive & cure (3026 two part adhesive) as directed on the tin. Brush onto the surfaces thinly, the surface should look wet. Allow the adhesive to dry for at least 30 minutes.

pvc-pushup4. Brush on a second coat of adhesive to both surfaces. With the inside patch lay a piece of polythene onto the adhesive, so it can be rolled up and put through the hole ( this will stop it sticking in the wrong place ). Place inside the tube and put into position, remove polythene. Work one side down with your smoother, pressing hard, then work the other side. Work from the middle to the outside of the patch. You must make sure that there is no air trapped between the surfaces. Please note:- the adhesive is a contact type, as soon as it touches the other surface it will stick. Make sure that the patch is in the correct position before the surfaces come into contact.

5. Leave to dry for at least six hours.

6. When dry, pump up the chamber and check for air leaks. The inside patch should be air tight.

pvc-brushon7. Prepare the outside of the tube and your outside patch. Using masking tape around the patch leaving about a 3mm gap to allow for stretch in the material, will ensure adhesive will not overlap.

8. Mix rest of adhesive with cure. Wipe fabric surface with the solvent, second wipe the solvent ‘till the fabric becomes sticky / slimy – at which time apply first thin layer of adhesive, leave for 30 minutes, apply second thin coat of adhesive.

pcv-rubdown9. Bring surfaces together after about 5 mins whilst still tacky. Rub down from the centre of patch outwards with your smoother. Check that all the edges are stuck down. You must make sure that there is no air trapped between the surfaces. Remove the tape and rub off any excess adhesive. If the adhesive is left on it will turn brown.

10. If the adhesive has flashed off and it’s not sticking correctly, gently warm the area with a hair drier or a hot air gun and push down with your smoother.

11. Leave to dry for at least six hours
before putting pressure in the tube.

Full cure 48 hours.
Maximum Bond Strength 7 days.


PVC PATCHES are applied as the previous instructions.

RUBBER PATCHES and other accessories made from “rubber” type materials can be stuck to PVC fabric and tubes as long as they are ‘Primed First’ with Hypalon Adhesive.

Note: PVC Adhesive does NOT stick to Rubber.
PVC Adhesive DOES stick to Hypalon Adhesive.
Hypalon Adhesive DOES stick to Rubber.

Simply priming the rubber components with Hypalon Adhesive will then allow a successful bond with PVC adhesive.

Method: First abrade surface of the rubber component, then clean and coat with a thin layer of Hypalon adhesive (2990) as a primer. After priming, the PVC Adhesive is used as instructions above.



  1. Here’s a snippet from the full article on how to Fix a wooden transom to a PVC dinghy.
    A/. PVC Adhesive does not stick to wood.
    B/. Hypalon Adhesive will stick to wood.
    C/. PVC Adhesive will stick to Hypalon Adhesive.
    See the rest here 🙂

  2. My inflatable is PVC and the transom is marine Ply what is the glue for sticking PVC to wooden transom

  3. Hi James, To attach inflatable boat tube to GRP hulls, requires some simple preparation.

    Hypalon Fabric Inflatables:
    To glue hypalon tubes to GRP, Polymarine 2 Part Adhesive 2990 (hypalon glue). Both the GRP & the fabric will need to be “roughed up” & solvent cleaned first (Polymarine P510 Cleaner and Solvent for Hypalon Fabrics) but basically proceed as per sticking fabric to fabric.

    PVC Fabric Inflatables
    To stick PVC fabric to GRP – the GRP needs to be ‘primed’ with a coating of Polymarine 2 Part Adhesive 2990 first, then proceed as normal with Polymarine two part Adhesive 3026 (PVC glue).

  4. Just pulled a West Marine dingy out of bag (stored for many years).
    The seams connecting inflatable tubes to the fiberglass hard-bottom have failed. Do you have instructions/video that will help guide me on type of glue needed and method recommended.
    Again, the gluing is the inflatable material (tubes) to a hard fiberglass surface/deck.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  5. Hi Mike, yes the 2 part adhesive can be used, but you can just use the Hypalon Adhesive, no need to add the Curative (2nd part).

  6. Can my rubber parts be primed with 2 part hypalon adhesive or only one part adhesive? I have pvc tubes and wood transom
    Thank you. Mike

  7. Hi Norman, PVC adhesive can be removed using the PVC 2903 Solvent Cleaner. Heating up the old patch “a little” with a Hair Dryer or hot Air Gun will soften the adhesive and help with removal. Hypalon Adhesive can be removed the same way using P510 Solvent Cleaner.

  8. I am replacing an old patch (several years) and wish to remove the old adhesive.
    Do you have a product to do this.

  9. Thanks for asking. Relative humidity less than 60% is the ideal. Maplin sell a £9.99 humidity/temperature meter (Aug 2017), eBay have cheaper alternatives too. Best regards

  10. I am repairing my plastimo rib with one of your repair kits. I have prepared the areas as per instructions and note from your website that repairs should not be undertaken with too much humidity due to the adhesive mix ‘blooming’. Currently humidity is (according to the weather website) 87%. Is this too much? Also can you advise some percentages of humidity in which such repairs can be carried out for futher information. C. P.

  11. Hello Bruce, Yes the Zodiac in the article has PVC transom mounts and were attached using PVC adhesive. The wooden Transom was first primed with Hypalon adhesive prior to using PVC adhesive.

  12. My Zodiac looks like the picture above orange in color with black oar lock as shown.
    Is this Oar lock black rubber??? My Zodiac id a C240 J788. I want to buy the proper repair adhesives from you, I am sure the main tubes are PVC as the color is orange in and out, The black looks like a rubber material and the wood transom has similar rubber that attaches to the tubes similar to your picture. I am not sure if the black material that attaches from wood frame to tubes is PVC or rubber, hoping you can confirm. Will gladly buy whats needed!
    thanks for any input,
    Bruce Tiedeman
    Sarnia ontario Canada. btiedeman@cogeco.ca

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