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Inflate your boat until it is hard to the touch.

Posted by   Eliot
09/26/2010

Many of our customers ask: “How do I know if the boat is fully inflated?” For every boat larger than a play boat, get used to inflating it as hard as you can with the standard foot pump. Don’t worry about damaging your boat by putting too much air into it; quality boats will withstand pressures above what you can generate with a manual pump. Some boats come with a pressure gauge, but they generally aren’t necessary. Also Saturn inflatable boats have safety release valves installed on all of their boats so do not worry about overinflating the boat. The maximum pressure attainable with a standard foot pump is likely to be very close to the optimum operating pressure. Boat should feel hard to the touch and bouncy when you jump on the gunwales; any softness means you need more air. It is amazing how much more responsive a properly inflated boat is compared to the same boat underinflated.

When you inflate your boat on a hot beach or launching ramp, putting it in the water cools the air and reduces the volume. Once the boat has been in the water for a few minutes, release some of the air pressure. Coming the other way, if you drag your boat up onto the hot sand for a day in the sun, release off enough air to reduce the pressure by about 25 percent. The pressure in a fully inflated boat can double when you take it from cold water to hot sand. No, your boat won’t explode, but the additional stress on the seams of the boat can shorten its life.