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Old 03 February 2012, 13:42   #1
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Correct inflation pressure

I previously had a Rule high speed pump for my Zodiac SIB. It seemed to pump the boat up hard enough but the wooden floor did bang about a bit in rougher waters.
It did not have a pressure gauge but the handbook advised that it would achieve "2.5-3 psi"

I've just tried my new Bravo BTP12 which has a two stage pump, with a digital pressure readout.
Compared to before, the boat seems much more solid. Although the Bravo is slower, taking maybe twice as long to inflate it.
The handbook for the boat states that it should be pumped up to 3.4psi. I wonder what pressure I was running before.
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Old 20 February 2012, 14:17   #2
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I know precisely what you mean. I have a Zodiac FC-470. I have been wanting to purchase the BST12 for some time now but haven't had the spare funds to do so. Instead I have been using a hand pump (very physically demanding) to pump it up until it's rock solid. Proper inflation is key and I would love to see the difference in performance when inflated to its precise requirements. What model Zodiac do you have?
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Old 21 February 2012, 03:26   #3
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My boat is just the little 2.85m Zodiac (285s)

The Bravo pump is a fairly expensive item, but worth saving up for. They do a cheaper version with a pressure gauge instead of a digital readout, which works just as well.
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Old 01 March 2012, 12:24   #4
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I got lucky on eBay. Got a Bravo BST12 HPP for $80! Talk about a steal. Supposed to be arriving tomorrow. I'm anxious to hook it up and see exactly what 240mb/3.5psi looks like.

I'm curious though and I'll have to look into this, but I've seen people say not to inflate to the max pressure. Haven't figured out yet if they saying to not run the pump to the max pressure but to finish by hand. Or if they're saying to simply not inflate to the full pressure. That doesn't make sense to me though. Especially as the FC series are designed to be inflated via compressed air tank and the excess pressure is released through over inflation valves.

Either way I'm going to set my pump to 3.5psi and let it go. Ideally I'll take it out on the water tomorrow too. We'll see!
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Old 01 March 2012, 12:41   #5
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Thats mine pumped up this afternoon in my garden! I used my bravo10 and set it on the pressure marked on each valve 3.4psi for main tubes and 11.4psi on the airdeck, the bravo shuts off when its at the right pressure and I checked it with the little zodiac pressure gauge and all looked good. The best thing about the bravo by far though is the ability to suck the air out of it, it would be pretty hard to fold it otherwise especially on a coldish day like today.

Nick

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Old 01 March 2012, 12:53   #6
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Looks great! Good to know about the pressure readings being the same too. Do you notice a difference in the precise pressure amount opposed to manually inflating until it feels hard?
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Old 01 March 2012, 13:57   #7
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Those Bravo pumps are great , a word of warning though. Be very carefull when using them to deflate as they suck in any grit or sand thats around , then they die. If i still needed one ( sold my Honwav to make way for RC ) then I would carry the stirrup pump for deflating , leave the Bravo in the car when inflating and get a longer tube , that way it can't get dirty and die !
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Old 01 March 2012, 14:18   #8
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Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 02 March 2012, 05:12   #9
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What you must never do is inflate one tube to full pressure while the adjoining tube is empty - that will put huge pressure on the baffles. You need to go round and inflate each tube in turn to 1/2 pressure first then finish each one to full in turn.
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Old 02 March 2012, 17:31   #10
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The FC-470 has intercommunicating valves as it is designed to be filled up by a compressed air tank. So you can set all valves to the inflate position and fill each chamber up simultaneously. That's the good thing here.

The bad thing is that this pump (bought used from eBay) was only running about 5mins before it started to produce smoke and subsequently shut off. Never to turn on again...

Sometimes in an effort to save money, you lose money.
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