General Question

Odysseus's avatar

Can I repair a life-jacket with a condom ?

Asked by Odysseus (2746 points ) February 4th, 2011

Yeah I know, “better to buy new” ‘n all but I have Scottish blood :)

I have an old Hutchwilco style life jacket that I would like to use as a spare, one internal bag/pocket is punctured, would opening it up and placing a condom or two tied over the existing plastic inners last or do condoms corrode quickly in salt water ?

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14 Answers

twothecat's avatar

I don’t know the answer to your question, but maybe you can do an experiment by soaking a condom in some salt water for a while, and observe what happens.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

It’ll be fine as far as the salt goes. But not as fun.

Odysseus's avatar

@twothecat , true. the point in asking was to save me wasting time by finding one with more knowledge but I guess if you want to know something you gotta find out for yourself. ty

twothecat's avatar

I know, I’m sorry. Someone will know though.. They must.

Odysseus's avatar

@ZAGWRITER , lol. cool so you think condoms can resist salt water for a considerable time?
ty

twothecat's avatar

I think plastic in general can resist salt water.. isn’t there a whole ton of it floating around? Wonder if natural condoms would be better or worse than latex… hmmm

Odysseus's avatar

@twothecat , thats my query and thats why I thought of latex condoms, I know plastic lasts forever in our oceans but was unsure if latex has the similar qualities in salt water.

Cruiser's avatar

Condoms are really quite fragile IMO and I repair everything with Duct Tape. That stuff lasts forever! You can ever get it in high vis Orange color.

john65pennington's avatar

I would hate to know that i was being tossed around out in the ocean and depending on a condom for saving my life. they do break you know.

WasCy's avatar

Popular misconceptions abound about “the floating island of trash” that supposedly exists in the center of the Pacific Ocean. It’s not true. Plastic breaks down in sunlight and ocean currents, and there is no huge mass of plastic floating in the center of the Pacific Ocean. If there were, then Hawaii, which is pretty near the center of the Pacific Ocean, would not be as popular a vacation destination as it is. Here’s the link.

If your life jacket relies upon the watertightness of the pocket containing the flotation medium, and if that has been compromised, then I wouldn’t rely upon that life jacket at all, at any time. Think of which of your guests you’d like to sacrifice, and give that person the jacket, or keep it for your own use. Not comfortable with that idea? Then toss it (destroy it, so that no one else gets the idea that you’ve got hold of) and replace it. Best to replace it with a solid flotation medium, so that punctures don’t affect utility.

Happy sailing. Keep your guests alive, please.

thorninmud's avatar

Latex can handle salt water all right, but breaks down with heat and exposure to UV light. That fabric shell will only block some of the abundant UV out there on the water, and the heat inside the shell in direct sunlight must get pretty intense.

The plastic liners used in most life jackets are vinyl. Some plastics are virtually impossible to patch, but vinyl’s quite easy. You can buy a vinyl pool patching kit and, if you can locate the leak, patch it.

twothecat's avatar

I read the link. I liked the balance of it. Very alarming to read about the fish eating the plastic though. I saw an exhibit on the contents of dead albatross’s stomachs and they were filled with plastic.

RocketGuy's avatar

Maybe condoms could be a MacGyver thing if you boat was sinking, and you just found this defective life jacket, but this should not be a permanent fix.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I second the duct tape suggestion. Condoms aren’t made to last through more than a short period of use, and typically in conditions without much friction. That doesn’t sounds suitable for outerware, to me.

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