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Old 04 June 2016, 16:02   #1
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How to get twenty years out of an inflatable

Would love to hear from people who have gotten 20 plus years out of there inflatables. Did you store them rolled up or inflated when not in use? Were you religious on using products like aerospace 303? I own two hypalon boats that I keep rolled up in my garage. I have been thinking they might last longer if I keep them inflated all the time. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 04 June 2016, 16:18   #2
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My thundercat (pvc) is 11 years old now, but the boats are really only designed to last 3-5 years. I keep it inflated when not in use but at a lower pressure than when using it. Sun damage can be quite bad, more so for pvc but obviously the sun isn't such an issue in the UK. I use rib cleaner and then two coats of polish at least once a year, but the boat is stored indoors through the winter. I used liquid latex to help seal small perforations in the tubes, made a big different to how long the boat can hold air
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Old 04 June 2016, 16:19   #3
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Country: UK - England
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I have an Avon Redstart (hypalon) we originally bought as a tender to the RIB, and for the last 12 years have used on the sailing yacht. We've owned this boat 16 years now, and bought it a year or two old, so probably actually 18 years old now.

It's stored deflated in it's bag all year round (out the sun), inflated only some weekends in the Summer, and kept inflated for 3-4 weeks on our annual cruise. We wash it off in fresh water when we can, and try to put it away dry, but that's it! It tends to get a decent clean once a year if it's lucky with a sponge, fresh water and maybe some soap, but no special polish, protectors or anything.

It still looks as new, and the only thing I have had to re-glue (once) is the valve in the inflatable floor, because it's position is such that people keep standing on it or kicking it, which I don't think helps!

I'm sure keeping it softly inflated might be better for it and less taxing on the glue/seams, but like many people, I can't realistically do that. I'm hoping to get many more years service out it yet, as it's such a perfect tender!

Regards,

Paul
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Old 05 June 2016, 16:00   #4
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Use pH neutral detergent.
If trailering with engine, use a transom saver.
Remove the engine for storage, deflate the tubes to 1 psi.
Use 303 protectant.
Keep a bottle of soap onboard to wash any spilled gasoline.
Wash after every use (water pollution, sunblock, and oil will destroy the material)
Store indoors, in a climate controlled area.
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Old 06 June 2016, 16:42   #5
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How to get twenty years out of an Inflatable.

Simple! Just make sure it's got Avon written on it. You still see black Avon dinghies around, and they stopped making them in 1968!!
I've got a grey Redseal built in 1977, and an S340 from 1982, and they are both good, airtight boats.
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Old 06 June 2016, 16:49   #6
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My father bought our 1974 Zodiac MKI in 1975, it has never been treated with anything other than a garden hose and it is stored rolled up in a shed most of the time. Still holds air and has never needed a patch. I recently sold my 1978 Zodiac MkII and it also was in good shape without any special care.
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Old 06 June 2016, 21:16   #7
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I take it the old zodiac were made of hypalon. Its to bad they make the classic mk1 and futura out of pvc. They are best looking boats sold on the market.
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Old 06 June 2016, 21:36   #8
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Yes, both of my Zodiacs where made with hypalon fabric.
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