|All SATURN inflatable products are
made of 1,100 Dtex (0.9mm) New Generation PVC fabric with polyester
support, having excellent resistance to tearing, tension and
boats, inflatable kayaks, kaboats, river rafts, etc are all hand-sealed at the seams for perfect seaming, the most expensive and reliable method used
today. Each seam is strengthened with four layers of
bonded fabric for maximum strength and durability. SATURN
seams are virtually indestructible and will not fall apart,
even after many years of use in any weather. All
seams are quadruple overlap for better protection as shown
There are currently two major methods constructing an inflatable boat: welded and glued seams.
And there is a lot of misunderstanding about "hand glued" PVC
seams vs. "welded". In fact, hand glued PVC is actually solvent-welded, whereas
other method is a heat-welded, and both methods result in a similar fusing of the membrane.
But, heat welded PVC may be more susceptible to damage from folding than
hand glued, cold welded PVC.
Furthermore, the four layer bonding construction used by Saturn actually provides more overlay and reinforcement of the seam than the simple overlap of welded construction of welding.
Glued seams on a PVC boat are fundamentally different than glued seams on a rubber (Hypalon/Neoprene) boat.
Hand Glued Seams
Vs. Welded Seams
Strength/Bond type: Strong -- Chemical/Molecular bond
Durability: Good -- Problems with old PVC boats falling apart have been resolved for over 10 years.
Strength/Bond type: Strong -- Molecular bond
Durability: If temperature, feed rate, and other factors are ideal: Good. -- Welding combined with folding a boat can cause microscopic fracturing of the coating resulting in the boat loosing air over time. Welded seams are not advisable with polyester base fabrics.
PVC Fabric Vs.
Pro: significantly less expensive then Hypalon.
Con: won't last as long in the direct sunlight as Hypalon. (if left unprotected).
Pro: will last significantly longer than PVC when exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight.
Con: significantly more expensive then PVC.
Con: looses air over time due to its structure.
There is no doubt that PVC fabric won't last as long as Hypalon fabric if the boat
is subjected to prolonged periods of direct sunlight and no measures have been taken to protect the PVC fabric from the sun (i.e. boat cover or UV spray). After a number of years in direct sunlight the PVC fabric
can become sticky. After that it can also become
When not in use, it is highly recommended to store PVC
inflatable products in a well ventilated, shaded area. Humidity
and heat are killers for PVC glue used in the assembly of
inflatable boats. Do NOT store PVC inflatables in closed
containers, boxes or storage areas with no ventilation and under
direct sunlight. Humidity will accumulate in tightly closed
storage areas and will weaken the chemical bond of PVC glue once
significant heat is present.
Here are some things to consider:
1) PVC is not a problem unless your boat is going to be outside and unprotected all summer, every year. If you only use the boat occasionally such as on weekends or while on vacation then it isn't a factor at all. Even if you leave your boat outside all the time the issue can be solved by putting a sun/rain cover on your boat when it isn't in use or by applying a UV protective spray periodically. If you are willing to take the necessary steps required to protect your PVC boat then you can take advantage of the significantly more attractive pricing points that we are able to offer with our PVC boats.
Regular usage of boat cover will significantly improve life
expectancy of your boat.
2) Hypalon inflatable boats are significantly more expensive. On average a Hypalon inflatable boat will cost you 50 to 75 percent more than a PVC inflatable boat that is comparable in size and equipment options. However, if the intended use for your boat will involve very long periods of exposure to sunshine and if you are not inclined to cover or protect the boat when it
isn't in use then perhaps the added expense associated with a Hypalon boat will make practical sense for you. If you are
planning to leave your uncovered dinghy on a dock or in a water 365 days/year for several years, then Hypalon is for you.