- Boat selection
- Boating advice
- Maintenance & care
- When you purchase
- Safety on board
- Repair advice
- Your engine
- Transport & storage
The main advantage of every inflatable boat is its inflatable buoyancy tube. This most important part of every inflatable gives some incredible features to them : The boat becomes about 2 times wider, which sufficiently increases stability. The combination of the inflatable buoyancy tube with medium-V or deep-V bottoms makes its seaworthiness really fantastic. The boat has a multi-chamber tube with an incredible buoyancy volume. It guarantees unbelievable safety, carry and passenger capacities.
The main body materials are light and flexible. It makes the boat light, portable, easy in storage and transportation. But all the inflatables have a bit shorter lifetime and need more care and maintenance in use. The reason is: the main flexible material is much more sensitive than the piece of metal. But with years this problem becomes less and less important: technical progress in chemical industry offers better and stronger materials.
|Features||Conventional Boat||Inflatable Boat|
|Maintenance & Care||LESS||MORE|
|Lifetime||15-20 YEARS||10-15 YEARS|
So, you have decided to buy an inflatable boat ! Congratulations !!! Now we’d like to give you some recommendation about your boat size matter. Please consider some things:
• If you need a tender for your yacht or power boat – make sure that you exactly know the maximum dimensions of the tender, available for your yacht and the maximum loading capacity of your boat lifting system.
• The size of the boat is in the direct connection with MAX engine power, MAX passengers & carrying capacity.
• If you are going to use your boat for water skiing – the boat should be able to be equipped with the engine 25 HP at least.
• Passengers : mostly the Maximum passengers capacity, set in Technical Specification for the boat, and a number or real seating places in the boat are different. First decide how many people you will need to carry, and then check how many seating places the boat has.
First of all some words about the materials for inflatable boats in general. To reach the maximum of air tightness the main material for high-quality inflatable boats usually has 5-layers design:
• One central internal layer: it’s a reinforcement cord – cloth base, made of strong synthetic fabric,
• Two internal layers: coating of cloth base with airtight flexible material, which makes the fabric airtight and has high adhesion level to the cloth base.
• Two external layers: coating with airtight flexible material, which opposes the abrasion and increases UV
resistance and air tightness.
The most popular material for reinforcement cord is POLYESTER cloth base with the density parameter 1100 DTEX for recreational boats and 1680 DTEX for professional ones. The coating materials can be different and it’s the main subject of your choice. At the moment there is a lot of different names and trademarks of the materials for inflatable boats, but all of them can be combined into TWO main groups: ELASTOMERS and PLASTOMERS.
Elastomers are the thermo-reactive materials, which never become plastic when heating after they have been produced – mainly they are all sorts of rubber. And there are two materials, which are undoubtedly leading elastomers materials for inflatables in the world: HYPALON and NEOPREN.
HYPALON has an excellent chemical resistance and stability against UV-rays, but it’s still the most expensive one. NEOPREN has no such outstanding stability as HYPALON, but its stability is high enough, which in combination with more than attractive prices for raw material, makes its use guaranteed. Mainly these materials are used in combination: NEOPREN – inside the boat and the tube, HYPALON – outside. Such combination is the most popular for recreational boats. Only HYPALON-coated fabrics (on both sides) are used for military or some commercial purposes, where the price is not so important as other characteristics.
One of the most important characteristics of the both materials is their high maximum working temperature up to 140 deg. C. Plastomers are the thermoplastic materials (they can become liquid when heating). The main specimens are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PU (polyurethane). PU has unbelievable abrasion resistance – an excellent material, but too expensive to be a leader. The leader is PVC. You can meet a number of different names of thermoplastic materials, but all of them are PVC with slightly different compositions. And the price is SUPER! So, speaking about the materials for inflatables the choice is : either HYPALON or PVC.
PVC vs Hypalon
|Features||PVC boat||HYPALON boat|
|UV resistance||HIGH||VERY HIGH|
|Temperature resistance||MEDIUM||VERY HIGH|
|Chemical resistance||MEDIUM||VERY HIGH|
|Lifetime||UP TO 10 YEARS||UP TO 30 YEARS|
In the number of parameters these materials are very similar: modern technology and improvements of PVC are minimizing the difference step by step. From the practical side the most important differences are : – TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE. It makes HYPALON very preferable in hot climate areas (equator, sub-equator, tropics and some sub-tropics), where the boat surface temperature can easily reach the level of 80-90 deg C. PVC is also very useful there, but you have to be more careful to your boat. In medium and cold climate areas this difference disappears at all. – LIFETIME. PVC is more sensitive to UV radiation than HYPALON. But now the special chemical additives in PVC have nearly solved the problem – 10 years lifetime for PVC boats is more than realistic. – PRICE. HYPALON materials now are 5-6 (!!!) times more expensive than PVC. As a result, in comparison with a PVC boat a HYPALON one costs nearly a DOUBLE (!!!) price for foldable boats and 40-60% more for boats with a rigid hull. The difference is more than sufficient.
ASSUME : Take HYPALON if you are going to use it in HOT areas, if you are looking for the HI-END and do not care about the price. In all the other situations PVC will serve you perfect !
Foldable boats are the classic examples of inflatables, which originate from the first inflatable rowing dinghies and army rubber boats. Of course modern foldables have been sufficiently improved: transoms for engines, solid floorboards, V-shaped bottoms and a lot of excellent features appeared. Everything is fine, except one point – the bottom. It’s soft! In some situations it can be good, but in some – bad. Soft bottom gives you a chance to land on a wild coast line and do not worry about hull damage – it’s soft! All the foldables are collapsible and very portable when stowed. Super! But … But every foldable just dreams about the features of RIBs : RIGID INFLATABLE BOATS – INFLATABLE BOATS WITH A RIGID HULL. RIB is a combination of inflatable and conventional boats – something in the middle. RIB is an attempt to combine all the advantages of inflatables and conventional boats and eliminate all their demerits. And it seems like a successful and very promising attempt.
• The resistance of soft bottom move in water is higher than any hard material like metal or plastic – so, a foldable is not the best racer. Top speed is for RIBs.
• The soft material nature allows only quite simple forms of foldable boat bottoms. Even if the bottom is V-shaped, a number of great ideas of hydrodynamics theory are not available in foldables. But it can be easily realized on RIBs.
• Another point: comfort and feeling of rigidity. Foldables are excellent for sporty use, when there’s nothing extra and everything is quite ascetic. But you can find a real comfort on RIBs – they have much more possibilities for that.
• Next point: assembling! With a RIB you do not have to train you muscles every time you go boating – everything is ready, just inflate and go!
A RIB is not just another type of inflatable boat – it’s another level of enjoyment. In practice most people became the RIB fans after they tried them ones. Of course, a RIB is more expensive and heavy, takes more space and care, but it’s a thing to think about.
Rigid Inflatable Boat vs Foldable Boat
|Features||Foldable Boat||Rigid Inflatable boat|
|Features||BASICS MAINLY||VERY MANY|
|Assembling time||MEDIUM||VERY HIGH|
|Storage space||MEDIUM||MUCH MORE|
A foldable inflatable boat with a hard deck (wooden or aluminum floorboards) is a tradition of inflatables. Usually it includes some floorboards (made of marine grade plywood or aluminum) joined by means of some cross and ateral aluminum profiles, which also work as a reinforcement. Slatted deck is the most simple version of boat flooring : wooden strips on flat bottom. It’s very light, do not need much care, but has quite low performance as the bottom is flat. An air deck (or an inflatable floor) is an innovation, which came to us just about 10 years ago and quickly became very popular. The heart of an air deck is so called a “double-wall ” or “drop-stitch” fabric” – a brilliant technical idea, which allowed to realize this project on a high technical level. Two airtight layers of reinforced PVC (or HYPALON) coated fabric are fixed 40-50mm away by an innumerable quantity of threads (2-5 threads on every sq.cm). After the perimeter is closed airtight it becomes a very hard and strong plate, when inflated. To inflate it, you need a special high-pressure pump, because the nominal pressure for air decks is 4-5 times more than for the inflatable tube. Two best features of air decks are:
• Low weight ( 7 kg – 15 lbs air deck for a boat of 3.5m(12′) long against 24 kg – 53 lbs of a floorboards set).
• You can forget the mechanical assembling of the boat at all – just inflate to make it ready! But unfortunately these are the only pluses. The reverse side of this medal is not so good:
• Air deck is a very delicate, being sensitive to intensive use and abrasion, which sufficiently decrease the lifetime. With an air deck the boat is not so solid as with floorboards.
• And finally the air-deck boat is 20-30% more expensive than the boat with floorboards.
Florrboards, Air-Deck and Slatted Deck comparison
|Features||FLOORBOARDS||AIR DECK||SLATTED DECK|
|Bottom type||V shape||V shape||FLAT|
• You may choose the foldable boat with Air deck just in case you need something VERY LIGHT and do not want to spend your time for boat assembling. Maximum care and delicate use – that’s what this boat will ask you for !
• Slatted deck is good alternative to air-deck as it’s also LIGHT and PORTABLE. It allows much harder use than an Air-deck. Think about that if you need a small PRACTICAL tender and if the speed performance is not the most important point for you. • A boat with floorboards is certainly the best choice for the most of other applications !!!
Remember : inflate the boat only after the assembling has been totally completed! Every inflatable boat always has some inflatable parts like a multi-chamber tube, an inflatable floor (air deck), an inflatable keel and the order to inflate them is very important:
– Boats with wooden floorboards and inflatable keel: TUBE => KEEL
– Boats with an air deck and an inflatable keel: TUBE => AIRDECK => KEEL
The tube always includes some chambers, separated by flexible partitions. The order of tube chambers inflating is quite important. The general rule is: FROM THE REAR TO THE BOW – inflate the rear chambers first, the bow chamber should be last. For example: see the only right way how to inflate the tube with 3 chambers, 4 chambers, 5 chambers:
• Inflate all the chambers except the front one ONLY UNTIL 90% OF NOMINAL PRESSURE, AND JUST THE LAST ONE – THE FRONT ONE – UNTIL THE NOMINAL PRESSURE!!! As the partitions of the tube are elastic the inflation of last front chamber until the nominal pressure will move all the partitions to the medium lax condition. As a result the last chamber inflating will increase pressures in all the chambers to the nominal level ‘automatically’!
• Pay special attention to close all the valves with plugs properly and tight without wrap after you inflate the boat : without closed plugs the valves will not keep pressure for a long time !
The problem of balance and space organization in a boat cockpit is quite serious for inflatable boats. The reason is very simple: the total weight of an engine, a driver, passengers, a fuel tank and luggage is MUCH MORE THAN THE BOAT WEIGHT. So, what can we do with the balance ?
THE RULES ARE VERY EASY :
• TRY TO DISTRIBUTE ALL THE LOADS UNIFORMLY ALONG THE BOAT !
• AVOID CONCENTRATING THE MAIN LOAD IN THE REAR!
ENGINE – Engine is fixed on the transom, and there’s nothing to do with it.
DRIVER – In case of an engine with the tiller control the driver is mostly sitting in the rear. That’s not so good for balance. The best solution would be to use the steering console with a remote control system, which can be installed in the middle or closer to the bow part. If it’s not possible, then the different kinds of tiller extensions can be used, but this solution is not so comfortable and nice as the previous one.
FUEL TANK – Some types of engines have a especial place for fuel tank installation. But very often it’s a matter of your choice. The best way to compensate the rear part weight concentration is to place the fuel tank in the bow part. This will be very helpful especially when you drive an empty boat and the tank is full. Of course it is not necessary to do so when the tank is empty.
PASSENGERS – In order to reach the balance just place all the passengers evenly in the cockpit and do not allow them to crowd in one place.
LUGGAGE – Bow part, only bow part is the place! By the way – do not forget to take a kind of cover with you to protect the luggage from water sprays when you go for a ride!
At last everything is ready to go and you have the last moment for a final check. It’s much better to recognize a problem on the shore than in a ride, when it can be too late. So, before you start, please make a final check and make sure of the following:
– There’s no storm warning and the weather forecast is positive
– Wind and waves are not too strong for you and your boat
– Ask all the passengers if anybody can not swim
– All passengers should know how to operate the boat in general, and at least one of them must be able to do it well
– Everybody has the Personal Flotation Device (PFD) clothed properly
– Everybody has the correct clothes for boating, which corresponds to the current weather conditions. Explain to your passengers that it is always colder on the water than on the coast.
– The luggage is carefully closed and securely fixed inside the cockpit. If necessary, take a cover with you to close the luggage against water sprays and rain
– Luggage doesn’t impede passengers to move inside the boat.
4. THE BOAT:
– The pressure in the tube and other inflatable compartments is nominal, and all the valves are closed with caps tight
– There are no any defects/damages in your boat, especially in the transom area
– You have the oars (paddles), an inflation pump and a repair kit with you.
5. THE ENGINE
– Motor clamps are tightened hard and the engine is attached to the transom with the safety lanyard
– You’ve got at least two ENGINE STOP SWITCH LANYARDS with you (one main plus a spare one)
– You’ve served your engine in time and you’ve got the oil in reduction gear.
– Fuel and oil tanks are full.
ATTENTION!!! In case you go far from the coastline, the quantity of fuel you take should be enough for a double distance to the place of destination to turn back in case of emergency. If your tank volume is not enough – take more fuel tanks/cans with you.
– All the fuel tanks you have are strongly fixed in the cockpit
– Fuel tanks, fuel lines, a fuel pump and connectors are in good condition without ANY FUEL LEAK.
– You’ve got with you your boating license and boat documents
– You’ve got a marine map of your boating area (if necessary).
If everything is OK – YOU CAN GO !
Speaking about the operation of inflatable boats it’s necessary to say some words about such important things as aquaplaning and prancing effect. What are they? To understand it just let’s look how the boat moves on the water.
There are three typical stages of every boat run: a DISPLACEMENT STAGE, a TRANSIENT STAGE and a PLANING STAGE.
Some more details:
On a displacement stage the boat floats just due to the Archimedes force as a result of water displacement. It’s a stage, when the boat stays or moves slowly. The water resistance here is quite low.
This stage is between planing stage and displacement. Have you ever seen how jet plane starts? It’s something similar. To pass this stage through you need the full throttle (or nearly full). In case the engine is powerful enough the boat starts moving quicker, lifting the bow part up (same as a plane!). At this moment the water resistance grows up the maximum with the highest angle of a bow part lifting up (this effect is called as “prancing”). And then it looks like in a moment the boat “JUMPS” out of the water and starts planing very fast and easy.
On a planing stage the boat floats just due to hydrodynamic lifting force, caused by the contact of water with moving boat bottom. The water resistance is lowest, whicht allows to reach the maximum speed.
For an illustration please look at the drawings above.
The first picture shows which engine power is necessary to keep the different speeds. You can clearly see a hump – hump of resistance. After the boat reaches the maximum it starts planing and needs less power to keep the speed. It means that the boat needs more power for speed of 10 km/h than for 15 km/h. A paradox? No, it’s TRUE! On displacement and transient stages the contact area of the boat with the water is more than on planing, which means much higher resistance, so it takes more power.
There are two curves: the green curve corresponds to a boat with a good balance, or a heavier one, and the red curve – to a boat with a bad balance or a lighter one. Do you see the difference?
The second picture shows the change of a boat attack angle as a function of speed. The red curve shows the boat with a bad balance or a heavier one. The green curve – a boat with a good balance or a lighter one. The “prancing” effect is very clear here. It is typical for all the planing boats. Unfortunately it’s quite dangerous. At this moment the risk of boat overturn is highest. BE CAREFUL!!!
There is also one mistake, which stimulates this effect – wrong space organization, when the maximum load is concentrated on the rear. And there’s only one recommendation to minimize the prancing effect: TRY TO MOVE THE LOAD TO THE BOW PART.
Every boat is very sensitive to the the angle of the engine shaft, set by trim. When it’s wrong this either sufficiently decreases the performance, or makes your boating much more risky. By adjusting the angle of the trim try to find the most optimum and stable position for your engine.
A) When the Engine is fixed too low – the bow part goes down, splashing a lot.
B) When the Engine is fixed too high :
• The bow part goes up
• The boat hull starts loosing the contact with water, decreasing stability and increasing the risk of overturn
• The propeller starts taking air, what causes the propeller Aeration
C) THE OPTIMUM TRIM :
THE BOAT GOES STRAIGHT, FAST, WITH GOOD CONTACT WITH WATER WHEN THE ENGINE SHAFT STAY VERTICAL
The AERATION effect, sometimes by mistake called as “Cavitation”, means taking air by propeller with the following sudden engine RPM increase over the limit. You may know that due a sound of sudden motor howling on sharp turns or some similar situations. First of all Aeration is quite destructive for the engine by itself and disturbing to all the people around. There are some reasons, which cause or stimulate Aeration:
|REASON||WHAT TO DO WITH THAT|
|Wrong transom / engine shaft length or installation||Check if the lowest boat bottom point (closest to the engine shaft) is at least 25-50 mm (1′ – 2′) higher than the engine anti-cavitation plate surface. If it’s less – reinstall the engine lower, or use the engine with the longer shaft. In a matter of Aeration the rule is : THE DEEPER – THE BETTER!!!|
|Wrong trim angle: engine shaft is lifted up too much||It’s one of the most typical mistakes, which lead to Aeration. To solve the problem just lower the engine, using trim or adjustable stop|
|Foldable boats: the bottom is not tight enough||When the bottom is dangling it change the water movement in the rear and stimulate the aeration. To solve a problem make sure that the bottom is tight. For that:
• Inflate the boat tube and inflatable keel to nominal pressure
• Check if the floorboards or airdeck fits tight
|Wrong boat balance – overloaded bow part||Check the balance and do not allow overloading of the bow part of the cockpit. This misbalance may also cause Aeration|
If you face the aeration effect, which seems to be non-acceptable, and the transom height is right, then try one of the following steps:
• Make sure the engine is installed in lowerest position on a transom possible,
• Lower the engine shaft with trim to one of lowest positions,
If this will not help, then you can try some other steps:
• Install a hydro-foil on the engine. The hydro foil makes the nose trimmed down, because now the angle of attack of the bottom vs water line is less, the air bubbles are pushed less downwards
• Install a higher pitch prop and 1 size bigger diameter. The standard installed props are normally designed for normal fibre glass or alu boats with much more water displacement. A bigger and a higher pitch has a calmer hydro flow around the prop.
Of course, you can just fix the rope to the bow ring and go, as usual. And there’s no problem to do it when you have to pass 100m from one place in your marina to another. But when you are on a long distance cruise in the open sea – the matter of towing becomes top important as the chance to find just empty rope instead of your lovely dinghy in the rear is more than realistic. So, how to tow the boat? What is wrong, what is right:
1) PRIMITIVE towing. This way is the worst of any possible. It can be used just for a very slow move (till 5km/h) on calm water for a short distance with the direct supervision. With a faster move the boat can loose stability and start oscillatory motions, which can cause the destruction of towing eyes, boat overturn or damage. Be cotious doing that.
2) SMART towing. In this case a tow line is connected with a boat via a loop or an eye and the rope, which is fixed to two towing eyes on tube sides and moves free in the towing line loop as a “bridle”. This way totally excludes any possibility of out-of-control moves of a boat and gives a possibility to tow the boat with the maximum speed available without any problems. We recommend you this way of towing as the main one.
3) “TOP SAFE” or “STORMY” towing. We recommend this manner to you especially for long-distance cruises in the open sea, where there’s no chance to find a towed boat if it’s lost. By this method the ends of a “bridle” rope pass the bow tow rings through, go under the bottom, and are fixed to the transom directly. This is the strongest and safest way to tow a boat (even the normal towing eyes are quite strong, but in rough waters the possibility of sudden and extraordinary strong hitches, which can broke the towing eye, is quite high – it’s better to use the strongest solution.
4) In case you have to tow someone : fix the bridle loop on your transom and and joint it with the main towing rope by means of metal ring / eye, or any other way, when the main towing rope can easily move along the bridle loop. It will give you a chance to stabilize your movement, especially when you change the direction.
Anchoring the inflatable boat is easier then the conventional, because the inflatables are lighter. For effective anchoring you need some things : anchor, some steel chain, couple of shackles and the anchor rope.
• ANCHOR TYPE. There are a lot of anchor types in the market and mainly all of them are good. But having an inflatable try to choose the type without sharp edges / parts to avoid the buoyancy tube damage.
• ANCHOR WEIGHT. Having the small boat till 6 m (20′) long and with the total weight up to 1000 kg (2200 lbs) you can use the simple formula to choose the acceptable anchor weight
FOR BOATS TILL 3.0 m LONG = 4-5% OF THE TOTAL BOAT WEIGHT
FOR BOATS FROM 3.0 m till 6.0 m LONG = ABOUT 3 % OF THE TOTAL BOAT WEIGHT
FOR BOATS OVER 6.0 m LONG = 1-2% OF TOTAL BOAT WEIGHT If you are in doubt – choose the heavier one. It will pay you !
• CHAIN. The chain is not necessary for small boats, BUT MUCH PREFERRED !!! Take 1.5-2 meters (5′-7′) of proper chain and you will see the difference: it increases the effectiveness up to 1.5-2 times.
• ANCHOR ROPE. There’s nothing special, juts make sure that it’s strong and long enough. If you need the anchor to hold you on place firm – the length of the rope should be at least 10 times more that the depth under the boat. In this case the anchor will do his best for you.
In case of anchoring in bad weather (rough waters with strong wind) or when you need to keep your boat position fixed – it’s likely to use two anchors. it will take a bit more time to set them , but you will be really on place.
The question “How to lift the boat?” means “HOW NOT TO DAMAGE THE BOAT AND KEEP EVERYONE AROUND YOU SAFE, WHEN YOU LIFT IT?”. Very often wrong lifting causes the boat or its parts damage and may be dangerous for you and people around you. There are some pieces of advice how to lift the boat properly and safe, and some typical mistakes to avoid:
• Never lift the boat with people onboard.
• Never lift the boat with the running engine.
• Never lift the boat, when there are any people in the water close to the boat.
• Maximum load capacity of your lifting system should be more that the total boat weight.
• For lifting use only the eyes intended for lifting : lifting eyes on the transom, lifting eyes on the rigid hull, lifting eyes specially installed in the buoyancy tube. If your boat doesn’t have them – install them before go boating.
• Never use the towing eyes to lift the boat.
It’s not difficult to do. The most difficult is to make yourself to do it!
• Clean and Dry your boat every time after you take it out of the water
• After the boat is disassembled, wash the boat and its parts with a plenty of water and some soap
• If the boat is too dirty – wash the boat with cleaners, specially made for cleaning PVC or rubber
• DO NOT USE ANY SOLVENTS, ACIDS OR OTHER CHEMICALS, WHICH ARE NOT SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR CLEANING PVC OR RUBBER – it will damage the boat and this case is definitely not covered with the Warranty
• To clean the boat use pieces of cotton fabric or cellular (sponge) to avoid the main material damage
• Control your energy when you clean the boat – the fabrics are very sensitive to abrasion. Too active cleaning can harm it more than normal boat use. Do cleaning gently!
• Always dry the boat after you wash it. In case it is impossible to do it directly after use – do it as soon as possible. In case the boat stays wet stored (especially in a warm place) – it can cause problems to wooden elements, laminations, paintings, anodizing, fabrics etc.
• To avoid serious damage of your boat never dry it under strong direct sunlight, especially when it’s inflated hard. Always deflate the boat to dry, leaving some air inside just to keep the form.
All the wooden elements of inflatable boats are made of special marine grade plywood or wood, which are resistant to the influence of water. All of them are covered with marine paint or varnish or laminated. Marine paints or laminations are also very stable against water. While used a paint or a lamination can be destroyed somewhere, water comes inside the wooden part, and it starts swelling. If the ply is a marine grade you have nothing to worry about – the layers of ply are glued together with water-resistant resins. Actually the damages of paint or lamination are not dangerous to your boat, but if you care about your boat lifetime and outlook – it’s better to repair it. For repair:
– Inspect the condition of all wooden parts at the end of a season, and mark all the damaged places.
– Leave all the damaged parts to dry somewhere in a well-ventilated and dry place.
– Grind the damaged place and adjacent area with emery paper.
– Paint all the damaged spots with 2-3 layers of a marine paint.
For painting it’s better to use two-component polyurethane paints, as they are the strongest and most wear-resistant.
There are three main metals, which can be used on boats: stainless steel, brass and aluminum, and the main problem for all metals in wear is corrosion.
Stainless steel is the best against corrosion and does not need any protective coating. A number of different stainless steel alloys are used in marine business, and all of them have different grades of corrosion-resistance and prices. For example:
– Alloy 316 (DIN) – or A4: one of the best alloys, which never becomes rusty. Quite expensive.
– Alloy 304 (DIN) – or A2: in the long run some rust spots can appear, but they are easily removable from the surface by means of traditional cleaning agents with no abrasives. The price is very reasonable.
Brass is also quite resistant against corrosion, but mainly all brass elements are nickel or chrome plated. On one hand this plating makes a stainless steel outlook illusion (!!!), but on the other it protects brass against oxidation (oxidation makes brass dirty, and it starts staining quickly).
Aluminum is not so corrosion resistant as stainless steel or brass, and protective plating is absolutely necessary for it. The most popular protection of aluminum parts is anodizing, which mechanically prevents corrosion. All the other ways (painting, varnishing, etc) are not so effective. You can clearly recognize the moment when anodizing is gone – aluminum starts staining. Unfortunately if it’s happened there’s nothing to do with it – anodizing of aluminum (as well as plating of brass) is restorable in industrial conditions only.
So, in case the plating of your aluminum or brass parts is gone and corrosion has progresses sufficiently there’s only one way to solve the problem – replacement of damaged parts.
Pay especial attention to electrolytic corrosion too : for that it is better to avoid any joints of different metals together (like brass and aluminum, steel and aluminum …), because in case of such contact the electrolytic reaction starts immediately and it is even more harmful than usual corrosion.
There’s a lot of different plastic elements on the inflatable boats: oarlocks, oar stops, oar paddles, valves, handles, rub rails, etc. They are made of different plastics, such as PVC, ABS, Polypropylene, Polyester, synthetic resins, etc.
The main problems, which may happen to the plastic parts, are:
– Surface cracking, discoloration and turbidity caused by UV radiation.
– Inconvertible deformations. All plastics have no crystal structure and in the long run all of them “flow” more or less.
Keeping clean prolongs life time of plastics, of course, but it doesn’t stop their destruction. Mainly all plastics already have special additives, which increase the UV-resistance and slightly retard ageing. Be careful choosing chemical products for cleaning – in case of a wrong cleaner the parts can be easily destroyed in seconds. So, if you want to use something different from usual and top-safe soapy water, make sure that the cleaner you are going to use is applicable for the plastic you want to clean.
On the market you can find so called “restorative agents” – chemicals, which can restore the surface of plastic elements. Unfortunately they just can make a temporarily better outlook.
Also be very careful with restorers, which contain silicones, because:
– The surface coated with silicon containing restorers or cleaners has a sufficiently lower ability for gluing.
– Very often the silicones can be a main reason of seams destruction – their penetration into seams areas sufficiently decreases the adhesion level.
The best way to prevent the destruction of plastics is to protect the boat against an active UV radiation by means of an overall cover and to minimize the time, when a boat should stay under direct sunlight.
All possible problems with fiberglass are similar to other plastics. Decorative gelcoat coating of all the fiberglass parts can be polished easily up to mirror shine, using the proper polishing pastes. Servicing the fiberglass parts also be careful with the cleaners, which contain solvents and other active chemicals. They can melt the gelcoat and damage the shape.
There is just one main problem for all kinds of electric equipment, which can damage it – corrosion. Even though most of electric parts are corrosion-resistant, the contacts (their electric resistance) are extremely sensitive even to the smallest stains. Of course it’s much more serious in salt waters. So, the maintenance for the electric staff is quite easy:
• To keep all the contacts as dry as possible. For this purpose it’s good idea to put all the cables into the protective looms.
• To check all the cable headers and connectors for corrosion and clean it if something appears.
• Check the battery clamps. Dry, clean and tighten them !
• Open, clean the navigation lights, check if they are water tight and the bulbs are in good condition. Change the lights bulbs EVERY season.
• In case you do not have the circuit backers – just fuses : open the fuse holders and check every fuse. It will be also good idea to change them every season.
If you choose GRAND, the best way is to contact the official representative (Importer) of GRAND in your country first. You can find all this information here in CONTACTS . All of them are experienced and well-known professionals, which can give you the right recommendations about the type of a boat, its dimensions, characteristics, features etc., to inform you about the availability of products and the contacts of the nearest to you GRAND dealers.
Now GRAND is represented in more than 30 countries all over the world. So, there should be no problem to contact. If on any reason you have a problem to find a Dealer, to order and deliver your GRAND boat – please feel free to contact the Headquarter of Grand Marine Group and we will be happy to assist you! Just click here to send your message.
Sales conditions, Prices, completeness, boats shape of same model may vary by country due to the differences of local regulations, traditions and other details. From the authorized Dealer or from the Distributor you will always get the latest & up-to-date information.
After you get your GRAND the first step you have to do is TO FILL OUT THE BOAT WARRANTY CARD and send it to the factory. You can do it yourself, or with the help of your local Dealer. From this moment you owe a real warranty. DO NOT FORGET TO DO IT !!! In case you buy “ready-to-go” boat with installed engine – do not forget to take the engine warranty confirmation as well. Also please make sure that you keep the original Purchase Receipt from your Dealer : in case any warranty covered problem will happen – the original Receipt and Warranty Card will be requested.
At last the boat is delivered to you. There are some easy but important things to do after you have received your boat:
• Check if the boat transportation packing in not damaged. In case there are any damage we kindly suggest to make some pictures of the damages – it will definitely help you in case of any problems with the boat.
• Open the package.
Unfold the boat on flat clean surface, take the User’s Manual and CHECK IF THERE ARE NO ANY PARTS MISSED. In case you find out that some part is missing – contact your Dealer immediately.
• Read and understand the User’s Manual!!!
• Assemble the boat and inflate it, following User’s Manual instructions.
• Check the hull of the boat for any damages and inflatable tube for airtightness. In case you find out something is wrong – contact your Dealer immediately. In case everything is fine – we wish you to enjoy your GRAND!!!
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN YOU OPEN THE BOAT PACKAGE WITH ANY SHARP TOOLS (KNIFE, SCISSORS ETC.) – YOU CAN EASILY DAMAGE THE INFLATABLE TUBE, AS IT’S VERY CLOSE TO THE PACKAGE SKIN !
Your boat registration is also a very important step – you have to contact your local government authority for all necessary official registration formalities. These rules vary in different countries and areas. And thereвЂ™s only one thing weвЂ™d like to recommend – do not forget to check that and complete all the formalities. In some areas you may need a license. Alsocheck it with your local authorities.
And finally it will be great if you could take any Boating Safety Course, especially if you are a beginner.
1. PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (PFDs).
PFDs are strictly required by all the maritime laws in all the countries all over the world. There are a lot of different types of PFDs:
• off-shore life jackets with neck support
• near-shore buoyant life vests with neck support
• light-weight life vests without neck support
• throw-able devices: cushions, life rings, horseshoe buoys
• buoyant life-saving clothes (jackets, trousers, etc.).
To choose the right and legal PFDs it’s better to contact your boating safety office to check for the concrete requirements. In every case the PFDs should have an official approval for use. AND REMEMBER – IT CAN BECOME YOUR ONLY AND LAST CHANCE TO BE ALIVE!!!
2. LIGHTS AND SIGNALS.
Operating a boat at night without proper lights is just dumb, and against the law. So, look after your running lights to keep them in a good condition. Check your local navigation rules for the current regulations about the navigation signals and all necessary approvals for the navigation equipment – as they are different in different countries.
Also sound signals, such as a whistle, a horn and visual distress signals, such as distress flares, smoke flares or even a simple electric torch are very reasonably to have on board – do not forget them!
3. HANDHELD VHF RADIO.
Of course the radios have nothing to do with inflatables, but every boater should remember about them. A radio now is very portable, not heavy and it’s not so complicated in use as it seems.
There’s a number of reasons to get it in your boat – do it. This thing is not for saying “HELLO!” – you may need it to say “HELP!!!”.
Using the VHF channel No16 in case of trouble you will be surrounded by rescuers or nearest boaters in minutes.
4. FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
A fire extinguisher (even the smallest one) is recommended for every boat. Of course, for small dinghies with adjustable engines it’s quite complicated. But for bigger boats, and especially for the boats with built-in fuel tanks it’s quite necessary.
Even if you never use it for your own boat – somebody else may need it in the sea or in the marina.
Of course, boating is a great enjoyment, but you must always remember that your life, lives of your passengers and the other people around are under the risk. Just some of the most common advice which will help you to avoid problems and enjoy boating:
1. KEEP OUT OF MARKED SWIMMING AREAS, DIVING AREAS AND COMMERCIALLY USED AREAS.
2. BE TOP ATTENTIVE NEAR ANY SWIMMING PEOPLE IN WATER AND FLOATING DIVERS BUOYS WITH “DIVER UNDER WATER” FLAGS. DO NOT APPROACH THEM WITH A RUNNING ENGINE.
3. WHEN BOATING ON HIGH SPEEDS, KEEP ALL YOUR PASSENGERS SEATING ON THE BOAT SEATS OR INSIDE THE BOAT. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO SEAT ON THE BOARD, ESPECIALLY ON THE BOW.
4. Driving power boat ALWAYS WEAR THE ENGINE EMERGENCY STOP LANYARD ON YOUR HAND !!!
5. DO NOT MAKE SUDDEN TURNS WITHOUT ADVANCED WARNING OF PASSENGERS.
Most of incidents / accidents are caused by: persons falling overboard, collisions with other boats or objects in the water and boat damage or destruction underway. What to do in these moments ?
A. Falling overboard.
In case it’s one of your passengers : do not fuss! Slowly turn the boat back and take him out of the water.
REMEMBER: AT THIS MOMENT THE PROPELLER OF YOUR ENGINE IS A BIGGEST DANGER TO HIM!
In case it’s you (driver) and there’s nobody in the boat you have only two possible ways: – if at that moment you wear the engine emergency stop lanyard – the engine will immediately stop and you can reach the boat easily. – if you did not wear the engine stop lanyard and engine keeps running – you will need lots of LUCK…
B. Deflated tube.
In case you have deflated up to 50% of buoyancy chambers – the problem is not too serious. Just switch the engine to neutral gear, fold the damaged part of the tube into the boat, replace the passengers and luggage from the deflated part to balance the boat, and go to the neatest coastline SLOWLY. Every inflatable has enough buoyancy reserves to float perfectly even with some empty chambers.
As an inflatable boat is almost not sinkable at all – NEVER LEAVE THE BOAT IF YOU ARE WITHOUT A PFD, OR IF YOU ARE QUITE FAR FROM THE SHORE !!! Stay with the boat and keep the lifeline – in most cases another boaters will see it and help you. If you feel yourself confidently, you can try to overturn the boat back. In every case remember: your boat is your best life-raft.
The repair kit is a thing, which should always be with you, when you go boating. The most necessary things are:
• An assortment of patches of different sizes – normally you get some from a boat complete set and some from your dealer or distributor. 10-15 different patches are enough. Be sure that the patches you have are made of the same material as your boat (PVC or HYPALON)
• A two-component glue (100ml set), which is appropriate to the type of the boat fabric you have: PVC or HYPALON. Check if the volumes with ingredients are full and closed tight. Read and understand the instructions how to use it
• A small polyethylene cap (appr. 50ml) for preparing a glue mixture
• 1-2 middle-size acid brushes
• Small scissors, a knife or razor blades
• Waterproof sandpaper and masking tape
All these things are very easy to get, just do not forget it!
The damage of inflation valves is one of the most typical defects. Problems can be different: the calve cap lost, air leakage through inlet opening, air leakage between the valve body and tube fabric. In most cases the only way out is to change or reinstall the valve. You can do it at a service station or by yourself (in this case you need a especial tool for valve replacement).
To dismantle the valve you must:
• STEP 1. Deflate the boat
• STEP 2. Squeeze the valve nut through the tube fabric by hand or by any mechanical means (something like vice) gently, without damaging the tube material
• STEP 3. Insert the valve tool and screw out the valve body from the valve nut (the nut stays inside the tube) After dismantling inspect the condition of the valve for damages, cracks, deformations. As a rule it’s better to take a new one for exchange
To install the valve :
• STEP 1. Insert the valve nut inside the tube, or use the old one if it’s in a good condition – just clean it
• STEP 2. Put some marine sealant onto the valve treads and the surface, which contacts the fabric
• STEP 3. Screw up the valve body to the valve nut by hand, and tighten it then by means of a valve tool hard, holding the valve nut through the fabric (same as when dismantling)
• STEP 4. Leave the valve for a 24-hour sealant cure
• STEP 5. Check the air tightness with the soapy water.
Air Leakage is of the problems of all inflatable boats. The air pressure gives strength and safety to your boat, and to loose it means to loose everything. You have to know:
THERE’S NO INFLATABLE BOAT IN THE WORLD WHICH IS 100% AIRTIGHT ! EVERY BOAT IS LEAKING, AND THE ONLY QUESTION IS HOW MUCH!
How to recognize that your boat is leaking:
• IN CASE THE PRESSURE LOSS IS LESS THAN 20% PER 24 HOURS – THE BOAT IS OK, IT’S ACCEPTABLE
Such boat can stay without inflation for 3-5 days.
• IN CASE THE PRESSURE LOSS IS MORE THAN 20% PER 24 HOURS – LOOK FOR LEAKAGE
Such boat becomes soft much quicker – in 1-2 days.
Till now the best and most effective way to find the leakage is soapy water.
• STEP 1. Prepare the mixture: take 50% of liquid soap and 50% of water and mix them
• STEP 2. Inflate the boat hard till maximum pressure allowed
• STEP 3. Paint the mixture rich over all the places to be checked
In case there’s a leak you will see it immediately: there will be columns of tiny air bubbles
Very often the leak source is very small and it’s a real problem to find it. Use the following scheme for search:
INFLATION VALVES => SEAMS CROSSES ON TUBE CONES => ALL CROSS SEAMS => ALL LONGITUDINAL SEAMS => FABRIC SURFACE.
– About 50% of all failures with leakages are caused by inflation valves, and the main reasons are: the valve is not closed with a cap, non-tight, wrong or distorted closure, a damaged cap sealing ring, etc. Check it first.
– About 20% of all the leaks are concentrated in seam areas.
– Last 30% are on the fabric surface: all kinds of fabric damages (pin-holes, cuts etc.) and abrasion.
After you’ve found the leakage – mark it with the permanent marker and clean the area for repair.
Here are some words about glues in general. First of all the glue you are going to use should be recommended for inflatable boats repairs. You can get it either from an inflatable boats Dealer, Distributor, or from any marine shop.
Depending on the type of the fabric your boat is made of you will need glue for PVC or for HYPALON. They are different. So, choose the right one for your boat and always check it in the glue description before you buy it.
Glue can be one-component or two-component. What is the difference?
One-component glues are mainly for a very common use. They are easier in use than the two-component ones. But the strength of one-component glue joints is not high, especially when the weather is hot.
Two-component glues have the second component, called “hardener”. This ingredient stimulates the polymerization of glue, which sufficiently increases the strength and temperature stability of joints.
In this connection the recommendations are:
– One-component glue is applicable for very easy and momentary repairs, when you have no possibility to repair the damage with two-component glue.
– Two-component glue is a preferable one in any case – use it as the main one!
The technology of glue application in case of repair is quite easy:
• STEP 1. Locate the place of repair and choose or cut out the proper patch
• STEP 2. Prepare the glue mixture: add the exact quantity of a hardener to the glue and mix them hard. The ratio of a hardener is always mentioned in your glue application instructions. In general the hardener ratio is about 4 – 5%: 4 – 5 parts of a hardener to 100 parts of a glue. Use the mixture within 1 hour maximum as it cures quickly
• STEP 3. Bound the gluing area on the boat with the masking tape in order to minimize the glue excess
• STEP 4. Carefully clean and dry both surfaces to be glued. In case you have a HYPALON boat it’s absolutely necessary to rough the fabric and the patch with sandpaper to make the surfaces 100% mat (for PVC it’s not necessary)
• STEP 5. Apply the first thin layer of a ready mixture on both surfaces and dry them for 20-25 minutes
• STEP 6. Apply the second thin layer of ready mixture on both surfaces and dry them until it is tack-free (about 5 minutes)
• STEP 7. Take off the masking tape, put the patch onto the previously marked place and press it
• STEP 8. Place the ready joint onto any flat and hard surface and press the joint AS HARD AS POSSIBLE using a metal roller or any other hard round thing (a glass bottle, scissors rings etc.)
• STEP 9. Leave the ready joint to cure for 2 days without move before you inflate the boat
In case of an emergency repair leave it for 2 hours without move at least, and then inflate the boat till the pressure is less than nominal. In 2 hours the seam reaches about 70% of strength, which can be satisfactory to reach the place of destination driving with care.
Pinholes and scratches can appear as a result of abrasion or a direct puncture. As it doesn’t seriously damage the fabric core it can be repaired with a single patch outside.
Choosing the patch size, follow the rule: it should be at least 12-15 mm (1/2 inch) bigger than the damaged area as minimum. So, the patch diameter for pinhole should be not less than 25mm (1 inch). A patch for scratches should have the form of the scratch plus 12-15 mm (1/2 inch) around.
Through fabric cuts are the serious damages of the fabric core, which sufficiently decrease its strength.
The best way for correct repair is to glue two patches: one from inside, one from outside. In case it’s a problem to install the internal patch properly – sew up the cut with nylon (polyester) thread and install only an external patch. The patch size should be 25-40mm (1-1.5 inch) around the damaged place as minimum.
The cuts up to 50 mm (2 inches) can be repaired by a customer using the repair kit materials.
In case of a bigger damage the best way is to repair it by professionals at an authorized service station.
Damage of seams is the most serious problem, which may happen. The only place to repair it is the authorized service station. In case of emergency :
• Try to put the patches outside to reach air-tightness as much as possible
• Give the glue as much time as possible to cure
• Do not inflate the tube hard – keep just lowest pressure, which allows to float at a low speed to go ashore
• Rerepair the boat at a service station as soon as possible.
To glue any fittings or parts on a boat use the standard recommendations for gluing. There’s nothing special. The only problem is to choose the right fitting (seat holder, lifting eyes, towing eyes, etc.). In this case it’s better to get the advise of the Dealer
In case you are an owner of RIB – some words about fiberglass repair. The technology of fiberglass repair is not so easy and professional knowledge and skills are necessary. For this reason we’d like to recommend you to ask the professionals for the repair of the hull damage. With non-professional work you can make the problem even bigger than before.
But if you still want to try – some words about fiberglass in general. Fiberglass is a composition of two main components: polymer resin and glass fiber. For better outlook every fiberglass part is covered by an exterior decoration layer – gelcoat (also a kind of polymer resin). The resin by itself is a liquid, but after adding a hardener it becomes hard irrevocably. Glass fiber works as a reinforcement and makes the composition strong and resilient.
There are two most popular types of resins: epoxy and polyester. The polyester is more usefed in marine industry for boat hulls production, so if you have a RIB – 95% that you have a polyester. It’s very important to know the type of resin of your boat before starting the repair, because the different resins are not compatible. So, check it with your Dealer first.
Glass fiber manufacturers make glass of some sorts: rawing (glass fiber wound to bobbins), glass mat (no woven material made of pressed 50-70mm length cut pieces of rawing) and woven glass fabric. Rawing is mainly for industrial machines use, but mat and fabric can be easily used in hand repair. Now just some common recommendations for the most typical defects:
– Gelcoat scratch. If the scratches are not deep (till 0.2mm depth), but you worry about outlook perfection – you can just grind it with the emery papers (grades 800, 1200, 1500) and polish it to mirror with a polishing paste. In case the scratches are quite deep and a gelcoat layer is damaged sufficiently it’s better to rough the damaged area, apply a portion of gelcoat (you can get one either from any marine shop or from your dealer – do not forget to check the color !!!), and then grind it to flat and polish it to mirror.
– Gelcoat crack. When you find a gelcoat crack – the first thing to do is to check if it’s only a gelcoat crack and the hull body is not damaged. Gingerly gouge the crack area to 4-5 mm wide till you reach the polyester and inspect if the body is undamaged. If the polyester is OK – fill the groove with the gelcoat, and grind & polish after the polymerization.
– Through-hull crack & through-hull hole. Such defects are the most complicated to repair and some special knowledge is needed. So, in case you’ve found a through-hull crack or a hole – it’s better to repair it at any service/repair station by professionals.
WHICH ENGINE POWER IS THE BEST FOR YOUR BOAT? It’s a good question! Your boat has one top important characteristic: MAXIMUM ENGINE POWER ( Pmax ). It doesn’t mean that you have to install only an engine with maximum power. Here we’d like to offer three most typical choices you can make and their characteristics :
|Engine power in % of Max. power allowed||40 – 60%||60 – 80%||80 – 100%|
|Safety level of boating||Highest||Very high||Acceptable|
|Top speed in % of Max. performance||Up to 60%||Up to 90%||100%|
ECONOMICAL CHOICE – engine power is up to 60% of maximum engine power, allowed for your boat. It’s really a choice of economy, safety and care to your boat. With such an engine the boat is quite slow with a full load, but performs up to 60-70% of maximum speed when it’s light.
OPTIMAL CHOICE – engine power is about 80% of Maximum Engine Power.
• With this choice you have: Highest safety of boating,
• Reasonable fuel consumption,
• Nearly maximum performance – the difference of 10% from the maximum is not sensible at all (if you are not a racer, of course!),
• It sufficiently prolongs your boat life.
With this choice the boat demonstrates its possibilities in a best way.
WE RECOMMEND IT TO YOU AS THE BEST AND MOST OPTIMAL CHOICE YOU CAN DO!
EXTREME CHOICE – engine power is about 100% of Maximum Engine Power. With this choice the boat will work on the EDGE OF EVERYTHING: safety, performance etc. Mainly it’s a way for racing and for people who love extreme situations, strong wind in their hair and usually take EVERYTHING from their life. It’s really great feeling , but just in case you are strong and experienced enough to control the boat safely !!!
POWER LESS THAN 40%:
The use of a boat with engine power less than 40% of Max is also possible, if the performance is not important to you at all and you enjoy different things. Nature is so beautiful if not to disturb it too much!!!
POWER OVER 100%: The use of a boat with the engine power more than Maximum Engine Power allowed is ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS. Please think twice before you decide the take this way, because :
• it’s a matter of your own life and lives of people around you,
• using overpowered boat you immediately loose your Warranty Coverage,
• you may face real problems with the Law.
Normally the required engine shaft length is clearly mentioned in the UserвЂ™s Manual of your boat. The shaft length is standard and it can be:
|SHAFT LENGTH||Boat transom height required|
|SHORT shaft||380 mm – 15′|
|LONG shaft||508 mm – 20′|
|EXTRA-LONG shaft||625 mm – 25′|
After the engine has been installed just make a final check to be sure if everything is correct: the anti-cavitations engine plate should be 25-50 mm (1-2вЂќ) lower than the lowest transom point.
Mainly all outboard engine set include a standard propeller. Some engines suppliers sell them separately, so it will be a good idea to ask the engine Dealer about that when buying it. Otherwise you can be surprised! Actually it’s nearly impossible to give one and exact advice about the optimum propeller you need for your boat as it depends on a lot of different things. Basicly it’s a part of precise boat tuning and it’s better to ask the professionals for that. If you decide to try it yourself – just follow the easy steps below:
Step 1. Install the engine, and let it work for 10-12 hours until it reaches its nominal power.
Step 2. Load the boat with a number of people you are usually going to have aboard and check the RPM number on a full throttle on top speed.
• In case the maximum RPM you’ve reached is less that Maximum RPM set for your engine – REPLACE YOUR PROPELLER WITH ANOTHER ONE WITH ONE-STEP SMALLER PITCH and check your RPM again.
• In case you easily reach the maximum RPM even when not on 100% throttle – TAKE THE PROPELLER WITH ONE-STEP BIGGER PITCH and check your RPM again.
• Try to play with propellers in order to get the best performance on full throttle, but in any case it will be better NOT TO OVERLOAD your Engine with the extremely speedy propeller (too big pitch).
For practical reasons it’s better to get at least two propellers for your engine: one – for heavy load (with short pitch), and one – for boating light (with long pitch).
Single or Twin engines ? One engine 200HP or two engines 100HP each? Which is better ?… This is a very old question, which has not just one answer. Mainly that’s just a matter of subjective preference. But some things are definitely clear : two engines have MUCH MORE WEAK POINTS, PROBLEMS AND DISADVANTAGES compared to a single engine :
• One central internal layer: it’s a reinforcement cord – cloth base, made of strong synthetic fabric,
• Twins cost 60-80% more,
• They perform slower : power equivalent of two 100HP engines is always 10-20% less than single 200HP,
• They are 70-80% more heavy, which becomes even more dramatic in case of 4-stroke engines,
• They take 20-40% more fuel, having more complicated and expensive fuel system,
• They are more difficult for steering,
• They need 2 times more space on the transom.
• Look at that – there’s not a single serious reason to choose twins. Sometimes people can say that :”…in case of twins there are much more chances to be back safely in case something happens with one of the engines in the open sea…”. Maybe in some situations it can be true, but if you look at all the list of most popular problems, which may happen, you will see that IN 90% OF ANY POSSIBLE SITUATIONS THE PROBLEM WITH ONE ENGINE IMMEDIATELY CHOKES THE SECOND ONE. For example : any serious problem with the fuel system (water, mechanical damage, etc), steering system, electric & control system suppresses both engines, one by one.
The most well known advice in this situation is : YOUR INVESTMENT TO HIGH-QUALITY VHS-RADIO CAN BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE AND HELPFUL TO YOU INSTEAD OF THE SECOND ENGINE. It can be even a regular cellular telephone, if you are in costal waters !!!
The matter of overall covers is very important for inflatables. Of course the good cover protects your boat from the rain, dirt etc. But first it should protect the buoyancy tube from the abrasion and damages – that’s the main function of overall cover. In order to prolong the lifetime of your boat we hardly recommend you to use the overall cover.
Normally every well established manufacturer of inflatable boats supply the proper overall covers as an optional equipment. With GRAND you can get the overall cover for every model from the smallest to the biggest. And every cover fits perfectly any boat model. You have also another option – to order the overall cover somewhere else. But here we’d like to give you some thoughts, which come from our experience:
• The cover should protect all the upper surface of the tube and the cockpit, including the cones.
• It’s better to use firm fixing elements, not rubber rings, loops, etc.. which do not hold the cover 100% tight. It’s especially important if you use the cover to protect the boat when you transport it in trailer on highway.
• All the edges and corners of the cover should have additional reinforcement.
• The material of the cover should be water-tight, but breathable. It’s not a good idea to use non-breathable materials, because it will cause the high concentration of water vapor, which can be harmful to some parts and equipment inside.
• About tent color. In a matter of surface temperature under the direct sunlight – the white color is the best, at the same time it is absolutely not practical as it immediately becomes visually dirty, and looks really bad quite soon.
So, for hot climate areas the best choice will be the light-grey color. In medium climate areas we suggest to use grey or blue as they look rich and are still very practical.
• Pay special attention to the quality of the fabric and particularly to the stability of its color agent. In case of the poor fabric quality it can soil the boat horribly with no chance for cleaning.
• The preferable way to transport rigid boats or even foldables is using a trailer. With the right trailer all the manipulations with the boat become very safe and easy. How to choose the right trailer? Just some advises :
• The trailerвЂ™s size and carrying capacity should correspond to your boat size and weight. Check the manual of your boat for exact parameters. It’s not a good idea to choose the bigger ones for вЂњsafety reasonsвЂќ вЂ“ you will remember your choice each time you have to pull the trailer by yourself on a beach or slip.
• The bigger area of a boat hull and a trailer contact, the better! It means it is better to choose the trailers with more rollers or bigger bolsters. Always prefer bolsters to rollers: contact spot of rollers is much smaller than of bolsters.
• Adjust the rollers or bolsters to fit the shape of the boat. Keel line is the best area for contact as normally it is the strongest place of a hull.
• Better buy a heavy-duty trailer with heavy-duty springs, larger wheels and heavily galvanized for marine use.
After you get a right trailer вЂ“ some advice for use: • The boat must be properly inflated.
• Haul the boat onto the trailer using the bow eye on RIBs, or lateral towing eyes on foldables.
• Lift the engine shaft down and fix it to the support provided on a trailer.
• Leave the self-bailer open.
• Tie down the boat with straps securely and tightly, using bow, lateral and rear eyes for that.
• In case of a long distance carriage close the boat with the overall cover in order to avoid the abrasion or damage of the tube and the hull with dust and stones on the way.
Sometimes such a procedure as folding can become a real problem if you do not know how to do it in a right way. Unfortunately, such situation sometimes occurs, when your deflated and turned boat is bigger than its carry bag and doesnвЂ™t want to go inside no matter what you try to do. Of course, mainly itвЂ™s a question of your practice and be sure that after some attempts you will realize that. To be more successful try to use the following:
• deflate the boat and remove everything what can be removed: floorboards, seats, oars (after removal itвЂ™s a good chance to clean and dry your lovely boat)
• close the oarlocks pins with caps to avoid damaging the tubes
• vacuum the boat, using the deflation hose of your foot pump
• fold transom towards bow and collapse tubes onto transom
• fold the tubes inside the boat
• fold the boat body from bow to the transom (there can be some folds)
• fold transom onto bow folds
• press the folded boat by yourself or leave it for 5-10 min with something heavy on it to remove the rest of air out of the boat
• tie the folded boat with a rope or strap.
In case of RIB boats the recommendations are similar. But the only difference is: just fold the tube onto the hull and take care to protect the perimeter of the boat against the tube damage.
Also do not forget to leave all the inflation valves open, when you pack the boat.
In-water storage of a boat during the season time is very popular вЂ“ every moment itвЂ™s ready to run. At least we want to keep it ready. To avoid any surprises just follow some simple rules:
• securely fix your boat to a berth or marina pontoon every time you store in-water
• learn some easy marine knots to fix the boat вЂ“ it will save you a lot of time to undo them
• always leave the self-bailer open
• lift and tighten the engine
• if you have a chance itвЂ™s better to remove the fuel tank and oars from the boat
• do not forget to cover your boat with an Overall Cover. ItвЂ™s better to use the standard Overall cover for your boat (see the boat accessories list)
• in case you expect the boat to stay in water under the sunlight for a long time itвЂ™s quite good to bleed a little the pressure in the tube and other inflated parts: it will minimize the risk of boat damage as the result of a thermal pressure increase.
For indoor storage use dry, shaded, place away from heaters with a stable temperature. If you have enough free space itвЂ™s better to unroll the boat and slightly inflate it. It is THE BEST WAY. In case you have no such a possibility weвЂ™d like to recommend you to open the boat from time to time (once in 2-3 months) for inspection. Do not roll the boat tight : the less folds the boat has, the better.
Try to avoid any folds as much as you can. Of course the boat should be clean and dry, when you put it for storage. It’s likely to store all the parts, which can accumulate moisture (textile parts, cushions etc.), separately to make sure that they dry up well enough.
Of course the best way is not to store the boat outdoor вЂ“ just imagine your lovely boat under the snowвЂ¦ ! ItвЂ™s just a suggestion. But in case thereвЂ™s (unfortunately!!!) no choice and a boat has to be outdoors, remember some important things:
• Low temperatures. Low temperatures are not dangerous for fabrics (the lowest working temperatures for most of boat fabrics are -30 deg.C.) but some serious limitations take place : as the fabrics loose the flexibility at low temperatures the problem may appear if you move or deform the fabric when itвЂ™s still frozen. Warm it up first indoors if you want to move it.
• Cover. For long term storage the standard cover is not enough вЂ“ it should be bigger with more free space all around the boat for ventilation. The cover size should be big enough to close all the boat, not only a top. The very good idea is to make a kind of frame around the boat for cover, which will look as a tent around the boat вЂ“ a boat small house for winter time.
• Trailer. In case the boat is on a trailer, try to install it on any hard and firm pedestal just to unload the wheels and springs.
• Engines. Winter time is a good opportunity for your engine maintenance in a service station. In any case to keep the engine outdoor in winter is not the best solution and itвЂ™s better to take it off the boat.