How To Mount Accessories Onto Inflatable Boats Kayaks Sups

We all love inflatable watercraft for their versatility and ease of transport, but attaching accessory holders is definitely easier on traditional fiberglass boats.

Or at least that’s what you would think!

Let me show you how simple it is to mount attachments to your inflatable boat, kayak, or even SUP.

You can then use them to mount cup holders, bimini tops, fishing rod holders, fishfinder mounts, wrap-around rope holders, etc.

Inflatable Boat/Kayak Mounting Systems

There are a few brands that specialize in making complete mounting systems.

Each has a base, which has to be attached to your boat. Once there, you can mount a huge number of accessories onto the base, and swap them as you like.

Railblaza mounting system

The base of the Railblaza system is the Railblaza Ribport. It is a 4.5″ x 6″ pad that can be installed onto any surface with the included 3M adhesive.

It’s great because you don’t need to buy glue separately; just peel off the 3M pad and stick it onto your inflatable vessel, regardless of whether it is Hypalon, PVC, or polyethylene. You’ll be able to attach any Railblaza accessory with ease.

How to Mount Attachments Onto Inflatable Boats & Kayaks 1

The Ribport retails for around $35 on Yakgear here.

Scotty mounts

The heart of the Scotty mount system is the 5″ x 7″ Scotty #341 glue-on pad. It is made of flexible PVC and can be bonded to Hypalon or PVC.

This Scotty base pad needs to be glued onto your boat, I’ll explain how to do that later in the article. Once installed, all Scotty mount accessories can be attached to the pad. Pretty cool!

How to Mount Attachments Onto Inflatable Boats & Kayaks 2

The Scotty mount itself costs around $12 on Amazon here, but you also need a Scotty mounting bracket which holds the accessory mounts.

How to Install a Glue-on Mount Pad on an Inflatable Boat/Kayak/SUP

Mounting accessories onto your inflatable vessel might require gluing. The method is the same for inflatable kayaks, boats, as well as SUPs. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

How to Mount Attachments Onto Inflatable Boats & Kayaks 3

Total Time Needed :

1

Day

30

Minutes

Total Cost:

30

USD

Required Tools:

– mounting pad
– adhesive glue (HH-66 vinyl cement for PVC boats, Clifton Hypalon Adhesive for Hypalon)
– pencil
– masking tape
– spatula
– heat gun

Steps to install a glue-on mount:

Step 1 – Determine position

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 1

Determine the position where you want to install the mounting pad. You can choose any spot that has enough room for the pad.

Step 2 – Trace around pad and mask with tape

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 2

Position the mounting pad on the tube and trace around it using a led-free (!!!) pencil or a marker. 

Use masking tape around the area to make sure the glue doesn’t seep anywhere else.

Whether you need to deflate the tube for this depends on the type of pad you are using. Check the instructions of the mounting pad for whether you should inflate or deflate the boat. I’ve only done this inflated.

Step 3 – Clean area

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 3

Thoroughly clean the tube and the mounting pad to remove any grease or dirt. Use these cleaners for a stronger bond:
– For PVC, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is the best choice.
– For Hypalon, you may want to use toluene.

Step 4 – Gluing

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 4

Make sure you are using the right type of glue!

PVC boats:

If you have a PVC boat, use the HH-66 vinyl cement (Amazon link). Apply 2 thin, even layers of this glue to the boat and the patch waiting around 5 minutes between coats.

Hypalon boats:

In the off chance that you have a Hypalon boat, use the Clifton Hypalon Adhesive with some NRS Hypalon Accelerator mixed in (to increase the strength of the bond and speed up the glue’s curing time). Apply three coats of this Hypalon glue mixture to both the boat and the patch. Wait for 10 to 30 minutes in between each coat.

Step 5 – Remove masking tape

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 5

After the glue is dry to the touch, remove the masking tape. You don’t want it to get stuck underneath the pad.

Step 6 – Heat gun

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 6

Lightly go over the glued area on the boat and the pad with a heat gun on the ‘low’ setting.

Make sure you don’t overheat!

You just want to dry the glue completely and give a bit of flexibility to the bottom of the mounting pad.

Step 7 – Place the mount onto the tube

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 7

Position the mount onto the glued area. Remember that once it is in place, the mount cannot be adjusted or removed!

Rub and press it down thoroughly to ensure all surfaces have adhered properly.

Use a blunt spatula to go over the edges of the mounting pad, making sure the pad is in full contact with the boat.

Step 8 – Drying

Glue On Mounting Pad Step 8

Clean around the edges of the pad with a rag and the cleaner you used, and let the glue fully dry for 24 hours.

Here is a great video ffrom Railblaza demonstrating how to glue a mounting pad onto your inflatable boat.

Now that you know how to install a mounting plate, here comes the fun part; browsing through all of the things you can pimp your boat with!

Have a look at all of the accessories you can mount onto your SIB, RIB, inflatable kayak, or even SUP.

Fishing Rod Holders for Inflatable Boats/Kayaks

If you are a fisherman who uses an inflatable fishing boat or kayak, having several fishing rod holders on your boat is very useful. Most purpose-built inflatable fishing boats have them, but in case yours doesn’t (or you need more), you can use a mounting system to attach as many rod holders as you like.

Railblaza Rod Holder II

The Railblaza Rod Holder is 360° adjustable and has a rotating collar to lock your rod in, but still allow easy access to the reel.

Railblaza Rod Holder

Price check

Scotty Rod Holders

Scotty has a plethora of rod holders, have a look at them on Amazon here. The Scotty Powerlock 230 is their most popular one.

Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder 230

Price check

Cup Holders for Inflatable Boats/Kayaks

Having a cup holder in your boat on longer trips is a blessing. You can reach it easily, and don’t have to worry about spills.

Of course, you can use the cup holder to hold anything that fits into it, like your phone, fish bait, or slingshot if you need to.

Railblaza DrinkHold

The DrinkHold fits Railblaza’s Starport mounting system. It can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

Railblazza Mountable Cup Holder

Price check

Scotty Drink Holder

This Scotty mount drink holder is compatible with the Scotty base, or the smaller Scotty #442 mount.

Scotty Drink Holder 310

Price check

D-Rings for Inflatable Boats/Kayaks

You just can’t have too many D-rings on your boat, right? They are useful for securing your gear, bags, or even a bimini top.

D-rings are not part of mounting systems, you need to glue each one on separately.

Standard D-Rings

This package includes 4 stainless steel, glue-on D-rings, each with a diameter of 11 cm.

mountable D Rings

Price check

Scotty 443 D-ring

The Scotty D-ring is 8.4 cm in diameter, and includes a 3M stick-on pad for easy installation.

Scotty 443 Stick On D Ring

Price check

Camera Mounts for Inflatable Boats/Kayaks

If you want to take a GoPro, or any other (preferrably waterproof) camera on your adventure, you’ll need a sturdy camera mount.

Railblaza Camera Mount

The R-Lock camera mount by Railblaza swivels 360°, can be adjusted single hand, but will still hold your GoPro securely. It has a universal 1/4 20″ screw and a GoPro adaptor.

Railblaza R Lock Camera Mount

Price check

Scotty Camera Mount 135

Scotty’s camera mount will also safely handle standard cameras and GoPros. It rotates full, and like Railblaza, is portable.

Scotty Camera Mount

Price check

Other mountable accessories

You can probably see by now, that using these mounting systems, you can quickly add or swap accessories on your inflatable watercraft as easily as on a fiberglass boat.

Here are a few you might now have thought of.

  • navigation lights to comply with nighttime boating requirements
  • double or triple rod holders
  • camera booms
  • hooks
  • paddle holders

Are you new to the world of inflatable boats? Then my Getting Started Guide is for you. You’ll find tips, tricks, and how-to articles to start off right.

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