FAQ: How come my side rails developed cracks with a hard material floor?
The first thing you should check every time you take out your inflatable raft is that the tubes and keel are as hard as rock. This is the number one mistake of inexperienced inflatable boat enthusiasts and can cause irreparable damage to your inflatable dingy. Most of the experts agree on one thing, make sure you know how to inflate your inflatable boat, raft or kayak. Read the instructions carefully and follow those directions as closely as possible.
Usually a chronically underinflated raft will cause cracks in the side rails on the marine grade aluminum or plywood floor. The best thing to do is care for your inflatable raft from the beginning. Inflatable boats, rafts and kayaks are fun, easy to care for water craft. They take up very little space and stow away in storage for winter – no bulky trailers or shrink wrap necessary.
Leaving you inflatable boat out in the elements, or not inflating it properly will cause problems right away and catastrophe down the road.
Some things to keep in mind while inflating the motor raft.
• Inflatable boats come in many shapes, sizes and designs. Make sure you are inflating yours properly according to the manuals directions.
• Always check for small holes with a soapy water mix, if you get bubbles, stop, the boat is not safe to go in the water.
• Whenever you are ready to remove a pushpin flat valve cover be sure to number it, so you know which one goes where.
• Always try and inflate the dingy in sequence so you get every chamber filled properly.
• Each chamber should be filled equally with air, or the inflatable raft will be off balance
• Once the inflatable motor raft is inflated test the surface of each tube by tapping on it. If you hear hissing, or feel air coming from a chamber, use the soapy mixture to test for a leak.
• Check each valve to make sure none are loose or open, then make sure they were put back on in sequence.
Remember inflatable boats are made of lightweight fabric and should be treated with care when not in use. They should be deflated when not in use and stored in their carry bag. If you find there has been exposure, be sure to check it carefully for leaks. You can expect an extended life if you keep the boat deflated and stored when not in use.
The boat tubes and keel should be inflated in the order laid out in the directions and instructions that came with your inflatable dingy. If your motor raft has an air deck, you inflate the tubes, then the air deck, then the keel. Deflating the inflatable river raft completely, and folding into a small package will keep the boat in like new condition. The care you take now, will show the benefits down the road. This attention will keep your inflatable raft in good shape and provide you with days of enjoyment and fun.
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