Tips on Safekeeping Your Inflatable Boat

Safekeeping the PVC Inflatable Dinghy Boat

For every PVC boat owner, regardless of whether he is a professional fisherman, a duck hunter or an extreme tourist who prefers active recreation on the water, it is vital to learn how to take care of it properly. The boat’s service life and the user’s safety on the water depend on this knowledge.

Therefore, timely and proper care of the PVC boat will help keep it in perfect condition for as long as possible. We will examine maintenance features and the secrets of storing PVC boats at various points in their operation.

Polyvinyl chloride is a reliable, resistant to dirt and damage, and repairable material. Many travellers, anglers and hunters love boats from it. But for the boat to serve for many years, it must be properly operated and stored. Today, we will tell you how to correctly store a PVC boat in winter and summer.

PVC inflatable boat care

Caring for a PVC boat after each use includes the following steps.

The boat is thoroughly washed in clean water from the outside and inside using any sponge or rag. At the same time, in washing, special attention is paid to the most polluted places, namely: the bottom and the inside of the boat.

An important nuance: you need to ensure that small debris does not get clogged in hard-to-reach places. This can provoke product decay. After that, the craft should be dried. It is better to do this outdoors in the shade, after wiping it with a dry clean cloth.

If this is not possible, the PVC boat can also be dried indoors. This must be done in a semi-deflated state; a dry polyvinyl chloride floating device is neatly folded and then put into a personal bag, stored until the subsequent use. Other boat equipment is washed and dried in the same way: oars, flooring, seats, etc.

How to store an inflatable PVC boat in the winter: the main secrets

The care and storage of a rubber boat and a PVC vessel have some distinctive features. Which ones? Consider below. So, let’s dwell on the tips, thanks to which it will become clear how to properly store a PVC boat so that it looks new with the arrival of spring.

As a rule, a boat made of polyvinyl chloride, previously prepared for storage and folded, is stored in a personal bag or sack in the closet or on the balcony. Preparing a PVC boat for wintering practically does not differ from compulsory summer care. This means that it is scrupulously washed, wiped and dried. After these simple manipulations, they are sent to the case.

However, it is important to fold it correctly, so the floating craft does not lose operational capabilities during winter storage. To do this, you need to perform several sequential actions.

First, you need to release air from the cylinders by opening the valves. Next, you should remove the seats and stringers from the PVC boat and remove the flooring. After that, it is crucial to press the ends of the deflated cylinders to the transom and bend the sides inward of the vessel.

The next step is to twist the product in the direction from the transom to the nose. It is essential not to forget to pack the oars together with the PVC boat in a cover and place the hard flooring and seats in a separate bag. With the onset of spring, the bag with the boat must be taken out into the street to warm up for several hours. Then remove it and inspect it for mechanical damage. Only then pump up the vessel to check its tightness.

The proof that the PVC boat is ready for operation is that its cylinders hold the air pressure for several hours in a row. So, complex simple procedures associated with PVC boats’ proper care and storage significantly increase their service life.

Is it possible to store a PVC boat in the garage in winter?

The choice of storage options is small. There are only two of them:

  • folded;
  • in half-deflated – if there is room.

To do this, you can use the garage, but subject to certain conditions:

  • For any storage option, the boat must be protected from the effects of oils, gasoline and other petroleum products, and ideally even their vapours.
  • It should be placed with no sharp, cutting, scratching objects or burrs.
  • The boat’s surface should not be subjected to the pressure of various objects – that is, the material should not be loaded since, in the long term, this can cause it to stretch and reduce its strength.

The boat must be stored in a specially designated place where it will not come into contact with anything:

  • For storage in a semi-lowered form, a lightweight suspended platform located under the ceiling of the room is often used.
  • If it is folded, it is crucial to put the boat in a cover and put it on a separate shelf.

Features of storing PVC boats in the garage

Besides the PVC boat can be stored when folded in a pantry, it can also be stored in a garage or shed. A heated room is better suited for these purposes. After all, the optimal temperature range for the wintering of a PVC vessel is from 15 to 40 ° C. But even at lower storage temperatures (down to -5 ° C), nothing will happen to it.

However, if the temperature regime is significantly lower, the material becomes brittle at the folds. Therefore, if the storage of the PVC boat is planned in a cold garage, it is strictly forbidden to touch it, as it may burst.

In addition, if there is such an opportunity, it is better to organize the PVC boat storage in the garage under the ceiling. It must be suspended in the upper part of the room in a semi-deflated state. This way of saving protects the vessel from rodents.

Store the PVC boat hanging, or it’s up to you in a particular case. Both wintering methods have their advantages.

How to properly prepare a PVC boat for winter?

Long-term storage of a floating craft requires preparation and is carried out in several stages:

  • Surface cleaning – carried out when the boat is in working order.
  • Revision of minor damages.

After washing, you need to carefully examine the boat to find scratches, cracks and punctures in time. If defects are found, they must be marked to be immediately repaired after drying. Otherwise, they can become more extensive during the winter, especially if the boat is stored in an incompletely deflated state.

Timely repairs will save you from unpleasant discoveries at the beginning of the next season and guarantee one hundred percent readiness of the product for use.

Important! Drying after cleaning is a critical stage, and its correct implementation is the key to the boat’s safety in the winter.

Wash and dry the boat

Cleaning the boat starts with removing all unnecessary parts. They are removed, and then the entire surface is conscientiously cleaned of sand, dirt, and silt. You need to pay special attention to cleaning the bottom of the boat, hull bends and the docking points of the sides.

For washing, use clean, warm water and non-aggressive detergents. You can use soapy water or dishwashing liquid as they do not destroy the material’s structure.

If the surfaces are heavily contaminated, cleaning will have to be carried out “in several approaches.”

Do not use aggressive chemicals, brushes, scrapers, or hard washcloths. It is better to choose a soft fabric.

Cleaning will rid the material of dirt and small mechanical particles and odours that often attract the attention of rodents, which can damage even “inedible” PVC.

Dry the boat with inflated cylinders, placing it in the shade. The boat must be turned over periodically to dry the boat’s bottom completely. Folds and seams require special attention, as moisture remaining in them can cause severe damage if frozen.

While the craft is drying, you need to rinse and, if necessary, repair the rest of the equipment – oars, seats, pump. Further actions depend on how storage will be carried out further – inflated or deflated.

Put the boat in a Cover

If it is possible to place it in an inflated form, the pressure in the cavities is reduced, but the air is not released so that the product retains its shape but the material does not experience excessive stress.

If there is not enough space, the boat will have to be covered. Therefore, the cylinders are entirely free of air. This is done as follows:

Having placed the boat on a horizontal surface, the valves are unscrewed, and the air is completely removed from the cavities.

Removal begins at the ends located at the maximum distance from the valves. The process is carried out without haste, gradually moving towards the valves.

Having freed the cavities from the air, the boat is folded. The side balloons are placed on the bottom, and then the cloth is rolled into a roll and placed in a special cover. It is not designed to hold other structural elements. They are kept separately.

Important! When folding the roll, the material must be folded, avoiding tension and its sharp bends; otherwise, cracks will appear in these places in the cold.

Store the boat until spring: tips and instructions

It is forbidden to store the craft in the cold. Use a heated utility room, garage or other suitable space for this. The optimum temperature for storage is + 3 – 15 °С.

The air in the room should be dry – this will prevent moisture accumulation in the folds of the material and its ingress into the cylinders through open valves.

If the boat is stored in a warm place, then several times during the winter, it must be carefully deployed and pumped up – this will help ventilate the material. If the garage or utility room is cold, it is better not to disturb it throughout the winter.

“De-preservation” of the boat in the spring is carried out gradually:

  • First, it is transferred to a warm place and rolled out;
  • Allow to lie down to straighten out irregularities and folds, and the material warms up to the temperature of the surrounding space;
  • The cylinders can then be inflated to the recommended pressure.

How to properly store a PVC boat in summer?

If the boat is not constantly used, it also needs to be prepared for downtime.

The procedure is the same as when preparing for winter:

  • Cleaning and rinsing the surface;
  • Thorough drying;
  • Placement for storage.

Outdoor storage can also be arranged, but it should be in a dry, shaded area. But it is still better to use a garage or utility room. If used often, do not deflate it completely; it is better to reduce the pressure in the cylinders partially.

If there is not enough space, you will have to deflate and store the boat in a case.

So how do you properly store your PVC boat? Ideally – indoors, away from sunlight and frost. A pantry or garage is best suited for this purpose. For storage in the garage in a semi-deflated state, construct a ceiling mount.

Follow the simple rules for storing a PVC boat, and it will serve you for a long time.

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