You have come to the right place.
I do still have the same dinghy and have probably the identical problem. That is that the bottom seams come apart and the dinghy gets water inside. The problem is, that the stress on the seams is to big for a normal person of 180lbs when you stand on the slats. I even added a plywood floor to reduce the stress and distribute the weight to a larger area of the seams.
Then I bought 2 long strips of Hypalon and a can of the special and expensive glue that West Marine recommends. I did cover the whole length of the seams outside on the bottom. And also re-glued the open seams from inside. It seemed to work for a short while but not for long until water penetrated in again.
In spite that the glue turns to ugly brown color, it does not hold Hypalon and PVC nor PVC to PVC together. The question is whether a better glue is available on the market to stick these materials together ??
For me, the solution was to retire this dinghy and buy the newer model with solid segments of plywood for the bottom. Unfortunately I am stuck for the total length to fit the dinghy under the boom or else I would opt for a different brand. So far it works well for the past 8 months and I think it is a better product. The disadvantage is, that it is much more difficult to deflate the dinghy, take the bottom segments apart before rolling it up.
The old dinghy in question is just a back up in my hold and a toy for the kids, but I would not like to rely on it on my long off-shore cruises.
I talked to West Marine about these issues and that the old design of a dinghy should come off the market for safety reasons. All the did, they gave me a newer set of slats as the first ones broke, but it does not solve the problem that the seams are still under to much stress. Therefore I think there is no better solution to this problem, unless may be a thermal weld or a better glue can be found on the market. If a Hypalon dinghy would fit under my boom, I would replace my dinghy, but at this time I am stuck with PVC..
I hope this helps to your questions, or else please let me know. If you find a better solution, I am interested.
Answered on 9/4/2012 by Anonymous