RIB inflatable tube repair tips

Herein we will take a look at all 3 types of damages to the inflatable tubes of the RIB boats – pinholes and scratches, through cuts and seam destruction.

Pinholes and scratches – can appear as a result of abrasion or a direct but not throughout puncture. It doesn’t seriously damage the fabric core and can be repaired with a single external patch. Choosing the patch size, note that it should be AT LEAST 12-15 mm (1/2 inch) bigger in diameter than the damaged area. So, the patch diameter for pinholes should be no less than 25mm (1 inch). A patch for scratches should repeat the form of the scratch plus 12-15 mm (1/2 inch) around the perimeter.

Through fabric cuts – it is a serious damage that affects the fabric core sufficiently decreasing its strength. The best way to repair it is to have two patches: one on the inside of the tube and one on the outside. In case it’s a problem to install the internal patch properly – sew up the cut with nylon (polyester) thread and install only the external patch. The patch size should be AT LEAST 25-40mm (1-1.5 inch) wider than the cut. The cuts up to 50 mm (2 inches) can be repaired by yourself using the repair kit materials, in case of a bigger cut – by professionals, at the authorized RIB service center.

Seams destruction – the most serious problem. The only place to repair it should be the service center of the inflatable boat dealer nearby. In case of emergency – try to apply the external patches to reach the max possible air-tightness of the tube, give it is as much time as possible to cure, slightly inflate the tube to the lowest pressure just to keep yourself afloat when moving slowly, drive to the shore, bring the boat to the service center asap.


Note, that after all, the best way to repair the RIBs inflatable tube would always be to take it to the service, regardless of the character of the problem. The professionals can effectively recognize the damage and its potential danger to the integrity! They will make the best quality repair and in most cases provide you with some warranty time for the work they have done!!

RIB inflatable tube repair tips
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