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Care and Maintenance

Do I need an extra layer of material on the top of the tubes to prevente frame wear?
No. Without fail, there are only two reasons why a frame would wear the fabric on the top of the tubes.

  1. There is a burr in the weld that has not been removed, and the frame is not smooth.
  2. Dry straps have been pulled through between the frame and the tube causing the coating to melt off due to heat of friction.

If necessary, 10 minutes before getting to the takeout, tell you passengers who are eager to help, "IF YOU PULL DRY STRAPS ON MY BOAT, I WILL BREAK YOUR FACE". Now that you have their attention, you may tell them that the friction will melt the coating off of the fabric. At the take out you may wish to observe these other precautions...

DERIGGING: BEFORE ARRIVAL AT THE TAKEOUT, INSTRUCT PASSENGERS ON DERIGGING ETIQUITE. Do not allow DRY STRAPS to be pulled through between tubes and frame. A dry strap can product enough friction to melt the coating off of the tubes. Wash as much of the mud and sand off of the tubes as possible. Always roll the boat on a tarp, Paco Pads, or deck boards and tables. Dirt can get into valves and make them malfunction. Scan the area for sharp vegetation like goat head thorns and cactus. Cracks can develop on boats that are rolled too tightly. Try to avoid winkles and try to fold the tubes.

What can I do to keep my boat as new as possible, and provide me with a lot of use over the years?
Maintenance on inflatable boats can be classified into 5 different areas. In order of importance they are: 1 Transportation, 2 Rigging, 3 Derigging, 4 Storage, 5 River Use.

TRANSPROTATION: When transporting a raft make sure that they are free of mud and sand, and that they are placed on top of the gear load, in such a way that other heavy objects can not rub holes in them. If necessary pad potential wear spots with soft objects to minimize wear problems. If transporting on an airline, it is a good idea to place the tubes in a bag or tarp so that the tarp or the bag takes the wear. Clear plastic sheeting, 6 mils thick (available at hardware and lumber stores) is excellent material for protecting boats from abrasion, but not from puncture. You will have no control over how your boat is loaded in an airplane.

RIGGING: Rig boats with straps not rope. Ropes have a small contact area on the surface of a raft, and can wear the coating off of a boat. Inspect frame parts for any sharp metal, fiberglass, or slag left as a result of the welding process. A rough surface on the bottom of a frame can rub a hole in a raft.

DERIGGING: BEFORE ARRIVAL AT THE TAKEOUT, INSTRUCT PASSENGERS ON DERIGGING ETIQUITE. Do not allow DRY STRAPS to be pulled through between tubes and frame. A dry strap can product enough friction to melt the coating off of the tubes. Wash as much of the mud and sand off of the tubes as possible. Always roll the boat on a tarp, Paco Pads, or deck boards and tables. Dirt can get into valves and make them malfunction. Scan the area for sharp vegetation like goat head thorns and cactus. Cracks can develop on boats that are rolled too tightly. Try to avoid winkles and try to fold the tubes.

STORAGE: When storing a boat, wash it off with soap and water to remove any trace of food particles that may be left from the summer's use. Hungry rodents will eat flavored PVC. If rodents are a problem, in the storage area, use Dcon or other rodent deterrent. We recommend the use of 303 protectant. This product acts like sunscreen for your boat. It reduces dry abrasion wear, and helps boats slide over rocks in the river easier. Use caution walking on the top of tubes. They can be very slick after applying protectant. NEVER USE ARMORALL OR A SILICONE BASE PROTECTANT. Keep boats covered to protect them from the UV rays of the sun. STORE IN A COOL DRY PLACE. Never store a boat in a hot attic. Warm up a boat before inflating it if the temperature is below 0 degrees F.

RIVER USE: During river use, avoid parking in places where wave action causes wear on rocks. Be aware of water level changes due to dam fluctuations. Inspect the area where you are parked before pushing off to avoid damage from sharp rocks. It is advisable to pull a boat up on shore to minimize the wear on the bottom due to the rocking action on the sand and rocks. Like bicycle tires, small tubes need more pressure than large tubes. Stiff tubes perform better. Inflatable floors and tubes can take more abuse if they are not inflated rock hard. Discuss this issue with others to determine how much pressure you should use in a given situation.

WARNING: White water activities are inherently dangerous. Before using any boat or cataraft in white water or moving river, get proper training in the type of craft you will be using. And for the river you will be boating. Always wear an approved personal flotation device while on the water.

FOR ANSWERS TO ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS CALL
1-800-742-1904

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