Repairing a plastic/polyethylene boat (HDPE)

In addition to my 21 ft boat, I recently found a 4x8 plastic boat that someone put out as garbage. It is kind of doublehulled and seems to be made of high density polyethylene (HDPE), like plastic buckets. I am delighted because I can use this boat on some little lakes nearby. It seems super safe (double hull) and super stable. It does have however a few small cracks in the hull that need repair. What is the right way to repair HDPE? Can I use glue guns with hot melt glue? i
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Pretty much nothing sticks to polyethylene. It's as close to an unrepairable substance as I've found, although I have had some small degree of success in the past by using a propane torch and a scrap piece of HDPE to "weld" cracks. Such repairs usually on't last long.
There's probably a good reason that boat was out in the garbage.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Hot melt glue is near worthless on non-porous surfaces. And (I repeat myself here) pretty much nothing sticks to polyethylene.

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Thanks Bob. I have seen what may be pieces of hot melt glue on that boat, so I will give it a try. The technique that you described may work on those cracks if the glue sticks. The boat is NOT brittle. I really like it because it needs no storage space and I can simply keep it in between the trees in out yard.
i
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news:bi0lcg$qk5> Thanks Bob. I have seen what may be pieces of hot melt glue on that

If it is not brittle, it will become so if stored where UV radiation can get to it. FWIW. Good luck.
Bob
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Think a minute...
Done yet?
If there's already hot melt glue on it, that means that the guy who threw it out _already_tried_fixing_it_ that way, and it didn't work. That's why it was in the trash.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Yes, out in the yard where it will become brittle with age. Unless thee are UV inhibitors, it will age quickly like that..
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Pop-rivet aluminum or HDPE (if you can find some) patches backed with plastic roofing tar, sheet rubber, or silicone caulk? It'll look like hell, but may keep the water out for enough months to recoup your time investment. Make sure to caulk the heck out of the rivets. As others have pointed out, the plastic itself is damn near glue-proof. Mechanically attached gussets are the next best choice. Patches will hold better if you can seperate the inner and outer layers, so as to be able to put the rivets through washers on the inside also, or maybe a double patch. Boats I have seen like that sometimes will seperate at the perimeter rub strip. Of course if you do that, it may not go back together happily.
Hell, what have you got to lose, aside from time and a few bucks for supplies?
aem sends....
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"Ignoramus29708" wrote in message

Only way to do it is to weld it. There are plastic fabricating shops that will have the proper equipment to do it correctly. You may want to check for one that fabricates plastic tanks.
There are no reliable adhesive for PE. Not super glue, not epoxy. Ed
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there's a kit to repair motorcycle fairing pieces. you might try at a m/c repair shop.
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I could be wrong, but I think those are fiberglass, not polyethylene. BIG difference. FG is pretty easy to repair; PE is dang near impossible.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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with
that
check
nope, at least mine isn't fiberglass. this kit was reviewed in the m/c mags a bunch of years ago. basically, you use a torch to heat up the crack, drip in some more plastic from a stick, and smoosh around to get them to form together when cooled.
btw: corvettes aren't fiberglass either, but a high density plastic. you might also ask at a good autobody shop if they do vettes.
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