It’s almost that time of the year when lakes will be frozen, and chilly weather will lock us indoors. Winters are when inflatable boats are pulled out of the harbor and dinghy docks to take a break from the water.
Be it a hard-shelled boat or an inflatable dinghy, proper storage is essential to keep the craft safe and extend its life. Inflatable boats are quite delicate and easily damaged if stored improperly because their buoyancy tube is made of fabric using elastomer PVC or neoprene/Hypalon rubber. If you’re also an inflatable dinghy owner who is worried about how to store the boat for the next several weeks safely, we have some pro tips for you.
1. Always clean your boat before storing
Always clean your inflatable boat before storage but make sure to avoid using solvents, MEK, toluene, acetone, bleach, ammonia, highly alkaline cleaners of pH more than11.5, and scrub pads or steel wool to clean your inflatable. This is because harsh cleansers and abrasive scrub pads damage the material and thin your boat. Use mild soap or products designed specifically for cleaning these boats. After removing dirt and other environmental contaminants, using Inflatable Boat Cleaner, apply a protectant coat that will keep your boat’s material safe. Moreover, never use high-pressure cleaning equipment to clean stubborn dirt because this can cause serious damage to your boat. Simply clean with manufacturer recommended product, rinse thoroughly with fresh water and let it dry.
2. Storing options
The most common question of inflatable boat owners is whether to store their boat inflated, half-inflated, or vacuum-sucked. Now, this depends on the space available for storing your dinghy. Though it is best to store your boat inflated and pumped timely to maintain its shape, it is optional if you don’t have enough storage space. You can also store it half-inflated to save some space. The third option of storing it completely deflated should be chosen only when you don’t have any space to store it for months to come. In this case, you can deflate it fully, roll it, and place it off the floor.
3. Store it off the floor
When storing your inflatable boat, make sure pests are not eating away your boat material. This happens when the boat is kept either flat on the floor or leaned up on the wall. When you completely deflate the boat, rodents munch the soft material of the boat. So, choose the location wisely, which is clean, dry, and not affected by major variations in temperature and other damaging environmental factors.
avoid damages and keep it lubricated.are fundamental to extend the life of your inflatable boat. If not properly stored, the winter season may prove to be destructive for your inflatable boats. To keep your craft in the best condition, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and never store it at a place with pipe leaks or any source of moisture. Try to store it inflated and properly covered with a thick tarp. Tie the cover sheet properly so that strong winds don’t peel it off. When leaving your vessel outside in the cold and direct sunlight, apply a UV Protectant to