For those of you intrepid rubber duck enthusiasts who do not wish to blemish the underside of your duck overmuch, there is the 5 cent solution to your rubber duck's tipping over problem.
First clean your duck thoroughly. Pay particular particular attention to the bottom surface. We don't know of any rubber duck that has ever gotten an infection and we hope we never do! Also, carefully prepare your operating theater so that everything you need is right at hand: Knife with sharp blade and tip, waterproof adhesive (5 minute epoxy recommended), one 5 cent piece, toothpick, and paper towels. We also found it handy to have a small metal tool with a hooked end for manipulating the nickel inside the duck. A bent piece of stiff wire should do the trick nicely.
The next step is the scariest. Carefully slice open the bottom of your duck from front-to-back. Remember that no anesthesia is required for the incision because rubber ducks can not feel pain. If you're uncertain about performing invasive surgery on your duck, you can always try the "Washer Solution".
(We cut our duck in the ‘front-to-back’ direction, but realized later that the ‘side-to-side’ cut could have been a better way to go. Make the side-to-side cut just a bit forward of the midline.)
Hold the duck at either end of the cut and gently squeeze to separate the sides of the cut. Apply adhesive with a toothpick to the inside of the duck on the half of the cut that is toward the back end of the duck.
Then tuck the nickel into the cut and press it onto the adhesive inside the duck (thus gluing your ballast a bit aft of midline, allowing your duck to float with a proud, upright bearing) . At this point, it might be helpful to use a clamp of some kind, a strong clothespin perhaps, to hold the nickels firmly against the adhesive-coated surface of the inside of the duck, until it is well set. The clamp is applied to the duck's back and belly and the duck can be compressed to clamp the nickel down. Remember: Rubber ducks feel no pain and he will thank you for your efforts later.
Finally, apply adhesive liberally to the cut, allow the cut to close and the adhesive to air dry fully before test-floating your patient. Lots of adhesives like this call for a 24hr wait period. If the tube says 24hrs, wait for it! If you're interested in more immediate results, use 5 minute epoxy for this.
The volunteer patient for this surgery is 2.5" from tip to tail. If you have a larger or small duck, you can use larger or smaller weights to balance your duck. We found that three nickels was too much for him and would cause even worse tipping problems. One nickel was just perfect. For a lighter duck a dime might work, or, for heavier rubber ducks, you could use quarters or even short stacks of quarters glued together. Remember to keep the stacks short when gluing the coins together because the taller the stacks, the more unstable your duck will be. Also remember that once you've made the incision, you can test your duck with different weight by simply inserting the weights without adhesive and test floating your duck. If it is a clean incision, it should hold together well enough to keep much water from getting inside.
Do you have a rubber duck repair question? Do you have other solutions to this unfortunate rubber duck plight? Did this solution work for you? Please let us know!