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Old 02-07-2014, 17:50   #1
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Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

I have a PVC inflatable and don't have an owners manual.
PVC inflatables should all be similar in regards to cleaning and maintenance.

What cleaning products should I use and most importantly, what should I NOT use.
Are there any types of waxes or finishes that will help protect and prolong the life of PVC other than a cover?

Thanks in advance.

Tony B
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Old 02-07-2014, 21:08   #2
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Hi, Tony,

In all our years of cruising, we have never heard of a product that extends the life of PVC dinghies. They seem to last about 5 yrs. in the tropics, and then the fabric starts to go.

The mix of fuel + oil is quite detrimental to them, as well, if you're using a 2 stroke..

Using a cover will help some, but the problem is that the plasticizers are volatile and come out, so the fabric changes.

Ann
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Old 02-07-2014, 21:23   #3
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Ann, sorry, I have to disagree this time! I have a 14 year old PVC aquapro that was one of the original Kiwi Made ones. Still going strong despite about 4 years of this being in the tropics, the rest being subtropical.
Never found anything much good at cleaning them though, sorry to say! I have been know to use Jif (Cif, whatever) and it works about as well as any special product I have found. A bit abrasive though!
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Old 02-07-2014, 22:16   #4
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

In my other posts. I have a 1994 (20 years old) Seaworthy dinghy that looks like hell but still holds air all year long. Up until the last several months, it lived in Houston, Tx. area all of it's life. I guess you can call that sub-tropical.
It don't leak, but I think it is beyond cleaning.
The black oar locks were a hard black rubber that oxidized so bad it would come off black on your clothes and skin. I would wash it good and for a while and it would stay clean for a few days and then come off on you again. I recently discovered through a new friend, to use 100% pure silicone. Rub it in with your finger and remove all excess. The oar locks are shiny black and don't oxidize anymore. I'm sure I will have to re-do them every so often, but for now I am happy because my biggest problem with the dinghy has been solved. I only wish the rest could be cleaned up.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:10   #5
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Temporary sun (UV) protection can be achieved by applying AeroSpace 303 Protectant, or Aurora Polyguard. These products are fairly effective, but must be re-applied periodically.

303 Protectants and Cleaners is the premium choice for car enthusiasts, avid boaters and home owners since 1980

https://www.auroramarine.com/catalog-poly-guard.php
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:16   #6
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Thanks Gord.

Only problem is that I cant figure out how to order the Poly Guard.
None of the important buttons seem to work for me and the only other place I can find Poly Guard is on Ebay and none of the advertisers have For inflatable boats on their auction., I will eventually have to contact the dealer in Canada and find out how shipping will be on the $35+ what looks like an aerosol can.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:09   #7
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Another vote for the 303 or other vinyl UV protector. West Marine has a store brand I picked up locally and it seems to work. Doesn't need to be marine specific- try a auto parts or home improvement store.
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Old 03-07-2014, 13:54   #8
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Can I assume 303 contains NO silicone?
I was told that silicone is an enemy of the inflatable adhesives. Is that true?

Anyone ever use Starbrite Inflatable Boat and Fender Cleaner/protector?
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Old 03-07-2014, 15:08   #9
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Neptune's Gear,

Hey, that's great to hear! My problem is that I have seen too many trashed PVC dinghies!

Gordie,

That's interesting about the polymerizing protectants. Thanks for the input.

Ann
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Old 03-07-2014, 15:12   #10
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Tony_B,

Sometimes dinghies accidentally go walkabout. We make "dots" from retro-reflective tape, put them for and aft, port and starboard, and on the outboard, with one on top. When you shine a flashlight on it, it's easy to find. Just a thought.

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Old 03-07-2014, 16:10   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

I used Mop and Glow on the imitation wood on 70s and 80s station wagons, it removed that white haze and looked almost new for 2-3 months.
I know its not a boat but someone might want to experiment on an old Dinghy.
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Old 03-07-2014, 16:23   #12
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Do what I do, and go back to the last century.

Call them on their 800 number!

I use a couple of their products including the Poly Guard. It's in a spritzer bottle. Works well, I guess, but I've liked 303 as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Thanks Gord.

Only problem is that I cant figure out how to order the Poly Guard.
None of the important buttons seem to work for me and the only other place I can find Poly Guard is on Ebay and none of the advertisers have For inflatable boats on their auction., I will eventually have to contact the dealer in Canada and find out how shipping will be on the $35+ what looks like an aerosol can.
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:19   #13
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Aerospace 303 for sure.


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Old 03-07-2014, 20:42   #14
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
...... We make "dots" from retro-reflective tape, put them for and aft, port and starboard, and on the outboard, with one on top. When you shine a flashlight on it, it's easy to find. Just a thought. Ann
Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:52   #15
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Re: Inflatable Dinghy Maintenance

Thanks Guys for all of the suggestions. Looks like all of the recommended products are pretty much the same. My biggest problem was where to get it.
I had to put an order in to partman.com for unrelated stuff and they just happened to have Starbrite Inflatable Boat and Fender Cleaner/Protector and so I ordered it.
I think I can get the 303 Protector from OReillys Auto.
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