How to Maintain an Inflatable Boat

How to Maintain an Inflatable Boat

Inflatable boats are one of the best options when it comes to boating and water sports, but without proper maintenance, they can wear out faster than you might think! Here are some tips on how to maintain an inflatable boat so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Clean your plastic floor

Cleaning your boat floor is a bit different than cleaning your home. When you have a leak or spill on your plastic base, you must clean it up quickly. If you let mildew set in, it will create permanent damage. To prevent and remove mould:

  1. Mix three cups of vinegar with one cup of water.
  2. Soak a sponge in the mixture and use it to wipe down any stains or spills on your boat’s flooring before they develop into more significant problems.
  3. For best results, clean all areas where mildew grows: under seats, around hatches and entrances, and by standing poles.

Check your seams

Seams are a significant concern for inflatable boat owners. You must regularly check your seams to ensure they’re intact and don’t have any small holes, rips, or tears in them. If there are any holes, you should patch them immediately. Otherwise, water will begin to seep through and into your boat. The best way to ensure all of your seams are secure is by inspecting them at least once a month.

Be extra careful in hot water

When in hot water, inflatable boats are even more vulnerable to punctures. To make sure your boat stays as good as new, look for these signs of wear and tear. Check the floor regularly—if you see any tears or holes, fix them immediately. In case if they’re not minor issues that you can patch up yourself, don’t use your boat until you have it repaired professionally.

Keep it dry when you store it

If you’re going to store your inflatable boat for an extended period, you must keep it dry. If possible, store it in a covered area where no rain or sunlight can reach it. The sun’s rays can damage an inflatable boat just as they would any other plastic material, and water (rain or otherwise) can cause mould growth. Always cover your inflatable boat if you aren’t using it regularly.

Get rid of smells with vinegar

Cleaning your inflatable boat with vinegar is a great way to freshen up your vessel and eliminate odours. Mix half a cup of white vinegar and a quarter-cup of baking soda together, then scrub it into any areas that have begun to smell. Rinse with warm water after letting it sit for 15 minutes, then use clean paper towels or rags to dry out anything still wet.

Don’t let UV rays deteriorate it

Newer, high-end boats can be damaged by sun exposure, so keep them out of direct sunlight or UV rays and away from saltwater. Reseal cracks in vinyl regularly, and wash down your boat with a sponge or soft brush instead of using a hose, which can wear away materials. If you’re storing your boat for long periods—the end of summer is a common one—consider spraying it with a protectant. It will help guard against dust and dirt build-up and protect against mildew on inflatable rubber products such as tubes and rafts.


The average inflatable boat owner doesn’t maintain their craft. Sure, they clean it and store it away when not in use, but most of them don’t know what makes a suitable inflatable and how to keep one that way. If you’re going to invest your time, money, and energy into a boat or are going out for pleasure boating with your family and friends, learn about maintaining your vessel. Your experience will be more fun for everyone involved!