How to Store an Inflatable Boat

How to Store an Inflatable Boat

If the PVC boat storage rules aren't followed, an inflatable boat can break down very quickly. At the end of the open water fishing season, it is critical to provide optimal storage conditions for the inflatable boat to extend its service life. 

Suppose the boat is stored during the off-season (in Canada, that would be winter). To preserve the durability of the boat and seams, it is crucial to keep the inflatable boat clean prior to storage and follow some easy rules when storing a PVC boat in the winter.

Later in the article, we will look at the basic requirements for preparing a boat and give some valuable tips.

Best way to store your Inflatable Boat

The first decision to make on how to store your inflatable boat is where to store the boat. If there's an oversized outbuilding garage, the craft can be stored airtight. If space allows, you could hang the boat under the roof to not take up space above the driveway. Often vessels are hung over the car not to clutter the whole garage during winter.

If you've got to store your boat in the pantry and there isn't enough space, then for winter storage of the PVC boat, you just have to fold the boat.

Prior to planning for winter storage of a PVC inflatable boat, there are a few steps to take: clean, dry, fold or hang the boat. Boats made of rubber or PVC are prepared for storage in pretty much the same way.

The 'algorithm' to store a PVC boat during the winter is this:

  1. Remove the supplied accessories.
  2. Uncover the seats and wash the fabric upholstery.
  3. Crabzz experts recommend a general cleaning of the inflatable boat. Get rid of the sand and grime that has been accumulating between the inflatable sides and the bottom, as well as fish scales and algae. Remember, a PVC boat doesn't like hot water, let alone boiling water. Clear all salts, grass, grit, mud, fuel oil and gasoline from the PVC boat. Stains not only make the inflatable boat look worse but can disguise severe damage. Remove stains with water and soap or some type of non-abrasive cleaning agent. Do not use gasoline or any other organic solvents for this purpose.
  4. Dry the boat thoroughly, paying particular attention to the fitting that connects the sides and bottom. Then you can drain the boat's air and flip it upside down. If there is no time to wait or there is no sun, a hairdryer with a stream of cold air would be the best option. Check all corners and seams. Otherwise, the remaining moisture will cause the PVC material to break down and appear mouldy over several months. To remove water or condensation inside the sides, leave the valves unscrewed for a while.
  5. As the boat is cleaned and dried, any damage to the materials – scratches, scuffs and cuts – should be noted and marked with a bright red marker. Patch as needed damaged areas. Upon discovering even the most minor flaws, please make the necessary repairs immediately, without delaying it until spring. Cuts and scrapes aren't repairable in time. How to safely operate on restoring a dinghy is most often described in the instructions.

Important: PVC material cannot tolerate abrupt temperature changes. Keeping your boat outside, and the first frosty weather will cause the structure to become frail and brittle. For PVC boats, it's essential to be in a dry, warm room, where even a severe frost will not be able to drop the temperature below +10 degrees. Many instructions state that the ideal temperature range is 6 to 16 degrees with a plus sign.

Store inflatable boats unrolled, preferably slightly filled with air. If this is not possible, store the boat in a special protect case.

How to Store an Inflatable Boat Inflated in Winter

After completing stage one, you'll have to hang the slightly inflated boat from the garage ceiling, bottom-up. The room has to be warm, well ventilated, and dry. It's safe to cover the boat with a boat's tarp or an old blanket. The boat can be hung from the bow to save space.

If you know how to store a rubber boat in winter, then storing your inflatable PVC boat will not leave any questions. One thing to note is that its PVC construction is also sensitive to low temperatures, making it quite fragile. If you have extra precautions to make the boat safe, then they shouldn't include silicone.

Storing the PVC Boat Assembled in Winter

When you pack your inflatable boat, it's important to fold it as loosely as possible to prevent tears in the hull. This is why it's helpful to change the boat around a couple of times over the winter season so that the old folds won't match up with the new ones.

how to store an inflatable boat

While you're doing this, ventilate the interior of the chamber by changing the air in it two or three times. Boat seats, oars, fur, and other parts need to be thoroughly cleaned, rinsed, and dried out before packing.If it's not possible to suspend an inflatable boat in a slightly inflated state, then you'll need to know how to store it folded in the winter.

First, it is absolutely impossible to store an inflatable boat in its assembled state under a cover at temperatures below zero. It will cause rubber or PVC to compress, which would result in the boat's seams being compromised.

The boat should be assembled on a clean and dry surface so that no moisture or dirt gets inside. Air needs to come out, and the cylinders/tubes need to be set, so they don't protrude beyond the transom but only touch it. Then the deflated boat is rolled up. Boating equipment has its own set of covers.

Important note! When assembling the craft, it's essential to avoid any creases. Otherwise, at low temperatures, the hall may crack and destroy the integrity of the structure. The boat can be turned over twice a month to keep it from getting stuck. 

When opening fishing season, it's important to first warm up the cover with the floating craft to the optimum temperature in natural conditions. Then, remove the rubber or PVC boat cover.

Benefits of Proper Storage of PVC Boat in Winter

The PVC-inflatable boat will last for over a year when stored according to the manufacturer's instructions. So experts point out the advantages of having competent storage:

  • safety of the boat for the next season;
  • initial cleanliness of the craft;
  • safety of additional equipment that comes with the boat;
  • no mold and mildew;
  • absence of PVC material creases;
  • protection of the watercraft from rodents.

Finally, some Tips from Crabzz

If it is unassembled, it's advised to store the PVC boat not on the floor or on a shelf where rodents have easy access, but in a secure cabinet or a hanger state.

When a vessel is made of PVC material, the covering over the hull should be in a position so that nothing presses against the cylinders. In the process of packing a boat into a case, many owners try to squeeze the structure with their knees. This absolutely must not happen. Even when properly assembled, the boat should look as loose as it can.

It's not recommended to store a rubber or PVC boat near heaters or open flames. When storage conditions aren't up to par, preservation becomes critical.

Let your care extend the life of your protected boat. We hope that it was helpful to you. Sincerely, Crabzz.

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