Punctures and leaks on inflatable boats are rare, but risky and unpredictable. It is wise to inspect your boat on a regular basis, otherwise you may find yourself on a sinking ship.
To check if your dinghy has a leak, you can simply leave it inflated for a period of time. A dinghy in good condition will remain tightly inflated. But if it is losing air pressure and has become soft over time, it might either be caused by cold temperature or by a puncture or tear that is slowly leaking air.
If you suspect that your dinghy has a leak, below is a complete guide on how to find leaks and how to correctly use boat sealants in repairing your SIB.
Inflatable boats are durable, but like any other equipment, proper maintenance is a must to keep your dinghy in good condition.
However, accidents do happen.
Punctures and leaks are rare, but can be problematic. A slow air leak can be especially annoying, especially when you can’t find the source of the problem.
If your boat is losing air pressure – which is not caused by cold temperature – then, read this guide on how to fix punctures and slow air leaks in your inflatable boat.
A pro tip: Before you go out on the water, check your dinghy for punctures, leaks, or any other problems. Small problems can generally be fixed easily, but larger issues might need professional handling. Either way, it will be easier to locate the problem area in your home rather than on the water.
Now, that leads us to the first step:
During off-season or winter season, we usually bid farewell to our inflatable boats temporarily. But, storing an inflatable boat for a long period of time can be risky if not done correctly.
Here is a checklist of what you have to remember about storing your beloved dinghy.
Inflatable boats are hard wearing, but without proper care, your inflatable boats will not last as long as they were meant to. As durable as they may be, we have to take necessary precautions to keep them in good condition.
One of the problems that inflatable boat owners face is the formation of mold and mildew in their boats.
Mold can cause your inflatable boat to degrade over time.
Not to mention, it smells really bad.
So to keep your inflatable boats in top condition, here are a few clever tips and advice on how to properly dry your boat and how to keep mold and mildew away.
One of the first things you must consider when deciding which inflatable boat to buy is the type of material it is made from.
Choosing the right kind of material is crucial as it will certainly impact your inflatable boat experience.
If you’re considering buying an inflatable boat, be it a dinghy, pontoon boat, kayak, or just an inflatable raft, you are probably curious about its lifespan, so in other words, how long you can expect your boat to function safely.
Knowing how long inflatable boats last is especially important if you are considering buying a used inflatable watercraft.
What is the average lifespan of inflatable boats?
On average, the life expectancy of a properly kept inflatable boat is 10-15 years.
With that said, know that it’s hard to give an average lifespan because there are several factors at play that will shorten or lengthen it.
Here are the factors that can lengthen, or reduce the lifespan of an inflatable boat:
- age of boat
- material used (PVC vs Hypalon)
- hand glued vs machine welded seams
- amount of UV rays the boat was exposed to
- how the boat was stored when not in use
If you want your inflatable boat performing at its best, you need to keep it inflated at the correct air pressure.
But as with many things in life, the answer isn’t simple.
Read this entire article to find out what the correct air pressure is for an inflatable boat, be it a dinghy, kayak, SUP or a pontoon boat.
Recommended air pressure for the different parts of an inflatable boat
Here is the data you are primarily looking for. Mind you, these are averages. Be sure to read the rest of the article as well.
|Main tubes||2.5 – 3.5|
|Keel||4 – 4.5|
|8.5 – 11.5|
|SUPs||10 – 20|
With that said, keep in mind that the recommended PSI for your dinghy, kayak or pontoon boat may vary slightly. Read more
After buying an inflatable boat, you need to get it to the water of course.
How you will transport your inflatable will depend mainly on the type and size of your boat, and your car.
How hard is it to transport your inflatable boat to the water?
People with traditional boats have it tough. They either need to rent a dock, or have a trailer and winch ready to put the boat onto water.
Inflatable boats are much simpler to transport than bulky traditional boats. If you have a car, boating with an inflatable is literally just a drive away.
But what is the best way to transport your inflatable dinghy or pontoon?
Let’s have a look at several methods. Read more
If you’ve got the skills and a few tools, you can convert your inexpensive inflatable raft to a full-fledged hard floored inflatable by building a hard floor. This popular mod requires some handy-man skills, but it is definitely worthwhile if you are looking for more stability on your raft.
But why would you want to DIY a hard floor?
- It’s much cheaper than buying a hard floor dinghy.
- It adds stability.
- You’ll be able to use your raft in new ways, like fishing, long river boat trips, or just to have a cooler in your boat while you’re out on the lake.
- And perhaps most importantly, floating on your own DIY floorboard will fill you with manly pride 😉
Let’s have a look at how to build a hard floor for your inflatable boat. Read more
Most people don’t realize that many soft inflatable boats (SIBs) can be equipped with an outboard motor. But why would anybody want a motorized propulsion system, when you have oars?
There are loads of practical and recreational reasons to equip your inflatable boat with a motor:
- Gliding on the water in a boat with a motor feels great!
- Getting from A to B is quicker than using oars.
- Traveling longer distances.
- Dinghies used as tenders for larger boats may need to be seaworthy.
- Fishing boats need a motor, since they are packed and heavy.
- And most importantly, sometimes you would rather relax than row.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of soft inflatable boats that can be equipped with an outboard motor, what you need to know about motors and my recommendations on boat-motor pairings. Read more