Why is my boat so expensive to repair? or The Gorilla Glue/Craigs List Scourge

This time of year as we are getting some of the summer boats in for repairs and estimates, one of the common questions I get asked is ” Why does it cost so much to fix that old patch? “. Well the answer is pretty clear most of the time on alot of the used Craigslist too good to be true deals… Gorilla Glue.

First let me be clear, Gorilla Glue is awesome for what it’s designed for, but it’s not awesome for your inflatable boat patch. What fights your repair is the expanding action on the glue it’s self. While you can get it to stick (albeit temporarily), it will eventually communicate air or water through the vacancies of the expanded material. So now you have water getting inside or air leaking out again and you can’t get it to work any longer despite the mountains of Gorilla Glue applied. What do you do? Why you bring it in here for IBC to fix obviously.

Of course you spent $20 on glue already and $200 on that awesome Craigslist deal. It’s no wonder why you are shocked by my $50 dollar charge to unroll, inflate, clean (stop bringing in boats full of leaves and covered in mud), soap and seek , reroll, and write up labor and material costs. That’s a lot to say in one breath! Figure my shop rate is let’s say $90 an hour, and your patch takes two hours to mechanically remove the Gorilla Glue and prep it for the right stuff. With the estimate fee added to the prep work you are already over that good deal price of your original $200 and are angry about it.

Save the rage and walk over to the mirror to see who is responsible. When you take short cuts with boats and boat repairs you create dangerous and costly mistakes just trying to save a $20 bill. Gorilla Glue is not for your inflatable boat repair despite how attractive their packaging is, otherwise if it was every boat builder would be using it.

The solvents in a typical shop aren’t designed to be used on other glue types like Gorilla Glue, we have to literally sand it off by hand without damaging the original fabric. Do yourself a favor and pass on that too good to be true inflatable boat that “just needs a little patch”. If you can, call a real repair shop and get the right stuff, or you will be forever sorry and it’ll be no one’s fault but your own.

If you need some repairs done give IBC a call and get it done right. A boat is no place to do makeshift repairs on, your life depends on it being done right.

Note: IBC is not singling out Gorilla Glue out, it’s just the most common glue we see applied to these Craigslist specials unscrupulous people dump on unsuspecting newcomers. Don’t get stuck with a bad deal, if a new boat costs $1000 and you find one for $25 there is likely something wrong with it.