Monday, December 3, 2012


Our dinghy, also known as Your Mom, was looking pretty raggedy. I wrote about it a while back, but we never got around to working on her. Her skin was down to canvas with a dusting of white powder. She was flabby as seaweed. Couldn't hold air for a whole day.

We were fully prepared to invest $3K -- or more -- in a new Mom.

In a desperation measure to get just one more season out of her, we invested in two products:  West Marine sealant for a whopping $60 and West Marine Inflatable Boat paint for about $47, neither of which we thought would work.

I was pretty sure we were just further protecting ourselves from dinghy theft by making her look even worse.

Extreme Makeover Step One: sealant. This stuff works like Fix-a-Flat, sealing up the seams/holes from the inside. We took the dinghy onshore and shot the sealant into each of the three tubes. Then for three hours, we (mostly Chip) flipped it around every 30 minutes to spread the liquid through the tubes. The next day, Mom was looking all tight assed.

Extreme Makeover Step Two: clean. Filled with hope, we spent the morning cleaning the tubes with Barkeeper's Friend and a toilet bowl brush (it's what we had. Sorry Mom). By afternoon, Your Mom still had tubes of steel.

Extreme Makeover Step Three: paint first coat. This stuff not only coats the tubes, it is supposed to help seal the external seams. I had seen painted dinghies before and, holy crap, they looked like a Joan Rivers makeup job, heavy-handed and nightmare-inducing. We apologized to Your Mom in advance and started slathering it on.

Unpainted and white on left. Painted and pale gray on right. Not bad so far.
Extreme Makeover Step Four: paint second coat. Lo, Mom was still tight as a drum on the third day. Coat two went on all fresh and breezy. See for yourself.


Almost bare canvas.

Cover Girl.
Okay, we don't know yet how this paint will hold up, but seriously? Look at her. Now I'm worried someone will want to steal her. She looks like new.

I am not sponsored by West Marine. I paid full price for these products. I can unequivocally recommend both of them at this early stage. Stay tuned for how this makeover holds up after a raucous season in the Bahamas.

Your Mom. You just can't replace her.


  1. WOW! She is looking good! PVC or Hypalon? Can't wait to hear how it holds up in the long run.

    1. Oops, hypalon. Should have mentioned that! I can't wait to hear how it holds up either...

  2. Great Post, informative and hilarious! I went off FB for a little while. I pop on and off occasionally, miss you and love you guys, enjoy Bahamas!!!

  3. Wow! Your Mom is looking pretty hot! I thought for sure you'd say she was PVC. We, too, have Hypalon so I guess this means I need to make a cover for ours?? Crap!

  4. Great posting. Thanks for the info. Way cheaper than a new dinghy.

    Fair Winds
    s/v Honey Ryder Caliber 40 LRC