Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 22 February 2010, 16:45   #1
Member
 
Country: Canada
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Inflatable Boat Materials

Before you invest in an inflatable boat, take the time to learn something about the construction and materials used. The quality of the materials used in constructing these boats can vary widely, and understanding the pros and cons of each of the inflatable boat materials available will help you choose the right boat for your needs.

Unsupported PVC

The least expensive material used to make inflatable boats is PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. This is a form of pliable rubber without any cloth backing used to make boats of various sizes. The quality of unsupported PVC varies widely depending on the formulation and how thick it is. In most cases, thicker PVC inflatable boats are also made better overall and the hull will last longer and withstand more pressure.

On the plus side, inflatable boats of unsupported PVC are inexpensive. You can buy a good quality inflatable boat made of PVC without investing a lot. Since the material isnít woven like fabric, it is equally tear resistant in all directions, so long tears arenít as likely. If a PVC boat is manufactured with strong welds it can be very durable, lasting you for years with proper care.

On the other hand, unsupported PVC inflatable boats can be weak and arenít as durable as many inflatable boats made with coated fabrics. They are prone to sewing problems and fit problems between the bladder and the other parts. It can be difficult to use a motor with pure PVC inflatable boats because these boats arenít terribly rigid.

PVC Coated Polyester Fabric

A PVC coating over polyester fabric makes for a stronger boat. This is the most popular of all the inflatable boat fabrics. Itís relatively economical to make and gives you added strength without raising the cost out of reach of most consumers. Just like with pure PVC boats, the quality relies heavily on the quality of the PVC. It also hinges partly on how the PVC coating is applied.

Calendaring is done by brushing PVC on the top and bottom of the polyester fabric, while laminating is done by fusing three layers Ė the outer coating of solid PVC, the fabric sandwiched in between, and an inner film of PVC. Calendaring is the superior process, as it gets the PVC more completely into the weave of the fabric.

You get a higher quality boat with PVC coated polyester than you generally do with unsupported PVC, but you will still want to check the quality of the joins, the seams and various accessories. There is more flexibility with coated polyester, as the seams can be either welded or glued. The hull is far less expensive than with boats made of materials such as hypalon. It is very strong and puncture resistant and can be inflated to a high pressure point for added rigidity. The durability of PVC coated polyester inflatable boats makes it strong enough for white water rafting and use with outboard motors.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to coated polyester boats. PVC coated polyester is known for developing a sticky layer when it has been improperly formulated. If not properly designed, the material is prone to breakdown when exposed to salt water, sunlight and certain chemicals. This isnít the case in top quality versions, but it is something to keep in mind. If a PVC coated, supported polyester boat is welded or glued in an unsuitable environment, the seams may become weak over time.

Hypalon Coating Over Nylon or Polyester Fabric

Hypalon is one of the most exciting innovations in the manufacture of inflatable boats in recent years. This flexible coating has several advantages, including a strong resistance to ultraviolet light and chemicals. Of course, it is also more expensive to manufacture, significantly increasing the cost to the consumer. You also canít weld materials with a hypalon coating, restricting manufacturing to the use of glue. The superior durability of hypalon coated inflatable boats makes them a favorite of dedicated boating enthusiasts.
There are several good reasons to invest in a hypalon coated boat, included the excellent puncture resistance and impressive strength of the material. This strength enables you to inflate the your boat to extremely high pressure for added rigidity. It can handle white water and large motors easily and will last for years because of its resistance to weather and ultraviolet light.

Unfortunately, hypalon coated inflatable boats are expensive. In some cases, the cost is so prohibitive that it isnít within reach for many consumers. Because you canít weld these boats, the gluing must be done in just the right conditions to ensure there are no defects.

Kevin http://www.allinflatableboats.net/
__________________

__________________
KevinDU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 February 2010, 16:59   #2
Member
 
chewy's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Up Norf
Make: Avon SR4,Tremlett 23
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yam 55, Volvo 200
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,217
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinDU View Post
Unfortunately, hypalon coated inflatable boats are expensive. In some cases, the cost is so prohibitive that it isnít within reach for many consumers. Because you canít weld these boats, the gluing must be done in just the right conditions to ensure there are no defects.

Kevin http://www.allinflatableboats.net/
You can't weld PVC at home so PVC also need to be glued in just the right conditions.
Its much easier to glue hypalon than PVC.
__________________

__________________
chewy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 February 2010, 17:31   #3
RIBnet admin team
 
Poly's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,114
You've also forgotten to mention Polyurethane (PU) as a boat material - which makes me wonder if this was really a "helpful very detailed first post" or "a not very subtle hidden advert".
__________________
Poly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 February 2010, 17:32   #4
Member
 
chewy's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Up Norf
Make: Avon SR4,Tremlett 23
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yam 55, Volvo 200
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
You've also forgotten to mention Polyurethane (PU) as a boat material - which makes me wonder if this was really a "helpful very detailed first post" or "a not very subtle hidden advert".
Not a very good advert, he doesn't know what he's on about!
__________________
chewy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 February 2010, 18:28   #5
Member
 
Nasher's Avatar
 
Country: Other
Town: Principalite d'Chaos
Boat name: The Nashers Revenge!
Make: Ocean & Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzi DT200EFI, DT9.9
MMSI: "Mmmmm SI" she said!
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,147
Admittedly a rather strange first post with no introduction or explanation, but thanks for posting.

I'm sure a few of us will learn something, and will of course spend hours sifting through your site using the link provided.

Personally I don't see the big deal with gluing Hypalon, PVC or whatever, I've been doing it since I was a kid having been taught by my father, and as long as reasonable preparation is performed the Ďhandyí amateur with a little common sense can make a good job of it.
It annoys me when applying a patch, adding a wear patch or reattaching a seam is made out to be a difficult job that can only be performed by an expert, putting off the ribber who could make a good job of it.

Nasher.
__________________
RIBBED For extra pleasure.
Member of the ebay Blue RIB cover club.
Member of the Bombard 380 Aerotec club
Nasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 February 2010, 12:56   #6
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinDU View Post
Unsupported PVC

The least expensive material used to make inflatable boats is PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. This is a form of pliable rubber without any cloth backing used to make boats of various sizes.
Plastic, actually.


Quote:
Hypalon is one of the most exciting innovations in the manufacture of inflatable boats in recent years.
Recent? I suppose it depends on how you define "recent", but come on...


Isn't Allinflatables a front for the Sea Eagle line of boats and accessories? I always thought it was. Could be wrong, though - I'd be interested in hearing exactly who runs your site.

jky
__________________

__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.