Inflatable tube’s air leakage

Air Leakage is kind of a problem that all the semi rigid inflatable boats have. The air pressure gives strength and safety to your boat, to lose it means to put yourself in danger. You need to know though, that there is NO 100% AIRTIGHT inflatable boat in the world – every RIB boat is leaking air, so the question really is how badly? Commonly, a loss of less than 20% per day is considered to be OK – this way your RIB can live 3-5 days without additional inflation. In case it lasts only 1-2 days that means the pressure loss is higher than 20% each day and you should be looking for a leak!

The most effective way to find the leakage is using soapy water. Prepare the mixture: take 50% of liquid soap and 50% of water and mix them. Then inflate the tube up to the maximum pressure allowed. Paint the mixture rich over all the places to be checked and for effective search use the following sequence:


In case there is a leak you will see it immediately with a stream of little bubbles coming out of it.

Considering that about 50% of all leak problems are caused by inflation valves(the valve is not closed with a cap, non-tight, wrong or distorted closure, a damaged cap sealing ring, etc) the way to solve it is just to replace the valve as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

However, the other 50% of the cases are caused by the leaks concentrated in the seam areas (about 20%) and problems with the main surface of the fabric that are usually caused by damages such as pin-holes, cuts etc and abrasion (about 30%). If one of these happens to be the case, the best way will be to take your RHIB boat to the dealer for a repair or replacement(if needed) of the whole inflatable tube. In emergency cases do it yourself following the recommendations in the next paragraph.

Inflatable tube’s air leakage
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