It's so gratifying for me when I can put my hours of reading about all-things-cruising to good use. It's even more fun when someone else does the research! It was a happy coincidence that I found this post on ZTC about how they fixed their dinghy, just days before we realized that some rehab would be necessary for our own.
This time we did one extra step that I learned about in the ZTC article... I cut some tiny patches that just covered the holes and we superglued them on. That was quite the debacle for a while. The only thing missing was the clown music! (Superglue eats rubber gloves FYI).
The whole process was repeated with a second drying time of about five minutes. Then I carefully stuck the patches to the dinghy so as not to get them crooked. OH NO! One of the similarly shaped pieces went onto the wrong spot and there was a bit of extra glue hanging out around it. Oh well... no biggie. We're going to rubber paint over it all anyway soon. I used our pizza cutter to press the patches securely onto the dinghy. This was a trick we learned with the last repair job... bad glue, good advice.
We think this dinghy is about 15 years old. It has quite a few rub marks and we hope we can buy a few more years with a good rubber paint and topcoat before we have to invest in a new one. The dinghy is one of the most vital pieces of kit for a cruiser. It will be our "car". Maybe if we give it some love it will love us back for a while. I'm thinking maybe some chaps!