No doubt as an inflatable boat owner you would like to see your boat last as long as possible. The truth is inflatable boats are designed to last a long time. This is, if they are properly maintained. If you don’t take the time to properly clean and store them, you may find yourself buying a new boat every few years.
In this post, we will discuss some tips to keep in mind when cleaning and storing your inflatable boat so that your boat will last you many years to come.
How to clean and store your inflatable fishing boat
Please keep in mind that the following tips are not limited to only cleaning/storing your inflatable fishing boat you can also apply them to cleaning and storing your inflatable fishing paddle boat (SUP).
Protect yourself. Before we continue I cannot stress enough the importance to protect yourself when cleaning your fishing boat. No doubt, you will be working with chemicals that can hurt your eyes and skin. It is always important to read the instructions and take the necessary precautions such as goggles and gloves when cleaning with these chemicals.
Choose chemicals wisely. The first tip and possibly one of the most important, is to choose your cleaning chemicals very carefully. We say this because choosing the wrong chemicals can actually damage your boat.
For example, chemicals such as bleach and ammonia work great when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. However, they can eat away at the materials your boat is made of and over time they can weaken the structure of your boat. It is always important before applying new chemicals to your boat to read the instructions to make sure that it is approved to be used on PVC materials.
One cleaning product I can recommend for most inflatable boats is Star Brite Inflatable Boat Cleaner . This cleaning product is specifically designed to work on inflatable boat fabrics. It is strong enough to get out the toughest stains and yet will not damage or weaken the material itself.
Use water liberally. Many people believe, it is the soap that cleans the boat. This is far from the truth. Water is the cleaning agent, soap helps to allow the water to stay on the surface longer. Using a lot of water when cleaning your boat will ensure that you won’t leave behind soap scum. Soap scum can attract dirt and grime, particularly mold and mildew. So when preparing your boat for the winter it is important to use a lot of water along with your boat cleaner.
Protect your boat from the sun. You may not think of it, but the sun over time can damage inflatable boat fabrics. For that reason, it is important when storing your boat to store it in an area that is cool, dry and most importantly dark or at least out of direct sunlight.
However, there is another measure you can take against the sun’s harmful rays. After thoroughly cleaning your boat you can apply a protectant to the inflatable boat’s fabric. One such product that I would recommend is 303 Protectant . This product is designed to block harmful UV rays and prevent the fabrics from fading or cracking.
Simply spray onto your boat, and wipe off. It is that easy. I would recommend this to be done at least once a year preferably before putting your boat into storage.
Keep in mind that this product is not designed for all types of inflatable boats and excessive use can damage your boat’s fabric. As we mentioned earlier before applying new chemicals always read the instructions to ensure that it will not damage your boat.
How long do inflatable boats last?
When properly maintained an inflatable boat can last you a long time. We are talking about 5- 10 years or possibly many more.
As you can see, it is worth the time and effort to apply the above tips and properly clean and store your inflatable boat (or your inflatable fishing paddle boat).
For more information you may find the following resources helpful:
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