Originally Posted by Fenlander
>>> Fabulous week there last Summer at Loch Sween
Off there for two weeks in 10 days time. So looking forward to it with the 340 Acti-V vs Aerotec trials!
Where did you stay?
Office888 if you are still looking in do you know the Bombard Aerotec build details... when/if they moved from glued to welded on the various seams etc?
The Bombard Aerotec is not imported in to the United States in large quantities so I don't have a lot of intimate elbow-deep experience with the build of that boat... It just isn't a popular boat design here.
I believe it was introduced in 1995? It comes off of the Classic, Futura, and Commando lines, so all of the air seams are welded, including the end cone. The hard black plastic end cones are pretty cool, there's actually a soft vinyl piece welded in to the boat to become the air-tight seal, then the black plastic cone is welded on after that to protect and further seal the end cone. There probably is a small glued / clamp welded flap on the boat somewhere which was the "exit port" for the welding machine. It is usually in a protected, low-stress location.
However, just like the Classic, Futura, and Commando lines:
Hand glued Y-strip of the floor
Hand glued transom layup construction
I find that British boat owners tend to take better care of their inflatables than Americans do... An Aerotec should last a decade, minimum in that case. If you're willing to reglue or at least reinforce the floor and transom at about the 12 year mark, then 20-25 years isn't unreasonable.
The big concern actually is the high pressure air floor. If you use an older permeable gas tank, the gas will seep through the plastic and damage the PVC material in the location where you keep it at. I recommend putting a sacrificial piece of PVC underneath it, or maybe making a wood tray for it to sit on.
Gasoline exposure has been the #1 cause of all high pressure air floor failures I've seen.