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Old 02-10-2011, 10:54   #1
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Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

After spending a couple month tied up at the dock, my hypalon inflatable's bottom (soft, not rigid) turned into a garden of barnacles, weeds, slime, and other horrors . I'm contemplating pressure wash, but is it likely to lift the seams? Any experience with using inflatable bottom paint?
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:28   #2
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Re: Pressure washing inflatable dinghy?

i used a plastic scraper on mine with good results--might wanna wear rubber gloves and goggles....then after the scraper, a green 3m pad. let dry, then bottom paint according to instructions. there is a paint for inflatable boats, results are iffy at best.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:35   #3
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Clearly this depends on the power washer. The one the marina uses would probably cut right through if you get close. If the pressure is high enough to touch a barnacle I'm quite sure it will tear the fabric, not just lift a a seam. Power washing is not better than scrubbing, it's just faster and cheaper on labor.

I would consider using a liberal and lengthy soaking with an acid cleaner to loosen the hard growth before I started, probably with a scraper. Zeehag's got it about right.

Yeah, I painted a tender...
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?b...83&from=pencil
.. and I would judge the durability acceptable but not good. I think of it as sunscreen, and for that it is suitable, since it is sticking very well on the top. To get good adhesion I think you would have to sand the fabric, which seems like a bad idea.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:49   #4
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

once ye get the junk off, try lifting it at night to keep it out of water so junk stays away--is what i found worked best. pita, but works.
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Old 02-10-2011, 13:59   #5
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Zee and Thinwater,

Thanks for the comments. I guess there's too much risk of damage with the pressure washer.

I managed to scrub most of the growth with a TSP-CLOROX solution, but there's still a brown residue left.

Zee,
For many years I used to pull out the dinghy and store it on deck. Recently though, the launch service in my harbor disappeared. Since the boat is on a mooring and I'm not a liveaboard, my alternative to keeping it at the dinghy dock is to deflate it and take it with me every time I go home! That is just too much pain in the butt.
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Old 02-10-2011, 14:05   #6
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

ziggy-- that is more pita than lifting it!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 14:33   #7
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
ziggy-- that is more pita than lifting it!!
Yeah, I can live with lifting it, but not deflating and rolling up every time we go home.
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:02   #8
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Maybe a small trailer to take it home still inflated?
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:08   #9
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Maybe a small trailer to take it home still inflated?
This is a good idea. You can pick up something like a Karavan trailer pretty cheap just make sure it has high speed wheels on it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:24   #10
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Like all pressure washers you start back at a distance and then move in slowly. I would just be really careful and experiment with the right distance.
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:49   #11
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

OK, now LISTEN UP FOLKS, 'cuz this REALLY WORKS. I have kept my dink in the water for years and used to struggle with cleaning the bottom. One day, an old timer passed along a great trick which I will now pass along to you. Go to a carpet store and buy a piece of jute-backed carpet. I just get a door mat sized piece and cut it up so it's about 1' square. Now, just scrub the bottom growth with the jute side of the carpet and watch the barnacles and other cr@p disappear. No soap, no chemicals, no prep, just scrub it and you're done. The jute backing is so tough, it just saws right through the toughest growth without harming the dinghy material. It actually is just like magic.

Mike
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:54   #12
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

The member Maine Sail just went over this with fantastic results. You'll have to search through his projects........i2f

Compass Marine's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
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Old 02-10-2011, 16:09   #13
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Pettit Hydrocoat works great as inflatable anti-fouling. It's a water-based multi-season ablative and will not harm the seams. I have been using it 9 years. Use it on my sailboat too. I do get some slime which wipes off easily, but no hard growth. It's also half the price of comparable ablatives. (I have no affiliation with Pettit)
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Old 02-10-2011, 19:15   #14
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA;788312[...}
It actually is just like magic.

Mike
That's worth trying.
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Old 02-10-2011, 19:17   #15
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Re: Pressure Washing Inflatable Dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
The member Maine Sail just went over this with fantastic results. You'll have to search through his projects........i2f

Compass Marine's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
Is it one of his "How to" articles? I couldn't find it...
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