Protect and Repair your Inflatable Boat Dinghy
If you have invested in a good inflatable boat, you’ll want it to last for years, this is for you.
For the purposes of this article we are going to make a distinction between cheap inflatable toy dinghys and good quality inflatable boats. Inflatable toy dinghys are made of plastic that is barely thicker than a balloon, they’re great for kids or to have some fun riding the waves at the beach. However, a toy dinghy will blow away or pop before long, so don’t get your hopes up. They are great fun for riding down carpeted stairs in, if my childhood memories serves me!
If the rubber is thinner than paper, you can stop reading now.
Hypalon Vs PVC
When you venture into the world of good quality inflatable vessels you will come across mainly 2 materials. The inflatable tubes will be made of either PVC or Hypalon. PVC is plastic material with some good tension, so at a high quality it shouldn’t stretch and should definitely hold air-pressure. PVC is still fairly thin, so it is not impossible to pop and will wear out after not too long. Hypalon is a totally different material, used by the military, much heavier and harder wearing than PVC. Hypalon on the other hand is less air-tight and you may find a significant amount greater loss of air pressure with Hypalon than with PVC.
Using that boat
Obviously the only thing keeping that boat afloat is the air inside and a puncture is all it takes to end your lake trip with a disaster. It isn’t too hard to imagine a fishing hook snagging on that boat and tearing a nice hole through the tubing leaving you with a long swim to the dock! But it’s not only fishing hooks. Ragged rocks and broken bottles floating in the water are just two of many hazards that could seriously dampen your weekend (pardon the pun).
In an ideal world you could just make the boat material thicker, much thicker and stronger. Adding more layers of protection to the vulnerable inflatable parts of your boats isn’t just a dream. This “paintable” inflatable dinghy cover is for you. You can upgrade your boat with the system used by the US Navy and US coastguard.
With some simple preparation you can easily apply a number of coats of Durabak to your vessel. Durabak is used by the US Navy on their Nuclear Aircraft Carriers and warships so you can be confident. When applied according to instructions Durabak forms an impermeable membrane. It protects your kayak or raft against salt water spray, UV rays and any harsh weather.
You can use a simple paint roller to add as many layers of polyurethane Durabak as you wish. You can chose from 16 colors to create a unique look. Choose textured Durabak for areas of the boat that need extra grip for or extra abrasion and impact protection from rocks etc.
Durabak is totally flexible and is ideal for an inflatable boat as it will help hold in the air. With Durabak's marine paint you protect the PVC or Hypalon from abrasion and impact to add years it’s life. You can also redesign your raft with your own look from the 16 colors. Durabak is also used as a bed liner where it withstands the impact of tools so you can be confident that your dinghy is being protected well.