Duct-tape did not hurt us any, but did not help much either! Most was peeled off by the wind on the ride to the lake. That which remained stayed fairly stuck and helpful for about 1/2 hour of sailing. After that I think it kept us from fraying the edges any further. Think we were better with it than without it.
A quick series of calls and emails to dealers advertising used parts resulted in ZERO used tramps, ZERO used tramp HALVES, and the insight that a seeking a GOOD used tramp is like searching for GOOD used brake shoes to put on your car, they may be out there, but are they really what you want.
For $305 new, I needed "Something" less expensive for the rest of the year. I eventually found "someone" with a "Good" orange (i.e OLD) tramp for an affordable price. We gambled that at least 1/2 of it is usable and it should be here by Saturday. In the event we want to continue Hobie Catting next year, we will likely buy a new white vinyl one, and resell the used parts we have.
Had a great day sailing today, capsized only once, water quite warm. Learned about the impact of too tight battens, and many other things.
Best in Hobie