Originally Posted by boicatr
Watch out for those gauges. I've never used one. But I did try one once and found it's pretty uncomfortable to want more than about 2.75 psi in one of my boats. That and I would not replace my own judgement with what 'feels right' to what the dial says. Have seen a couple brand new gauges that did not work.
Drum tight. Thump thump. Press hard but still depress fabric just slightly.
I've been seein alot of people recently say "just thumb test it" to these questions (on here and boatertalk-where a guy chimed in to say that he had been a guide for so long that he is awesome and u are dumb if you use a gauge), but there is lot of variance...and it doesn't hold true (or to the same degree) across all boats. A gauge helped me quantify what I was feeling.
I got a gauge after I got my 4th (5th really) boat and they all had different pressure recommendations for different materials.
My 14' NRS revo (urethane) recommends 2.5-3 I think. I found upon my first gauging I was grossly underinflating because I was used to my hyside and what it felt like. I usually take it to about 2psi at first and let the sun do the rest (and usually bleed later in the day). At this psi it is ROCK solid (and I love it!). The thumb test here barely gives at all
Now my 14' hypalon hyside @ 2.5 is very squishy...especially compared to the NRS. The thumb test really gives in IMO...and I believe that is still the recommended pressure for it. If I were to get it to the point where it felt like the properly inlated NRS, it would probably be near 6lbs and be ready to burst at the seams! (1981 hyside, so I baby her).
My ducky is pvc and I think it recommends 4? It is somewhere between the NRS and hyside in squishiness at THAT psi.
My cheap chinese pvc bucket boat is about the same as the ducky when properly inflated...and I think it is more like 2 psi.
I did check my gauge vs another brand and we both read the same FWIW. So I inflate to what I think it should be and then check. With all these different boats it's hard to keep my thumb gauge calibrated when I switch so often.
Kinda like when I exclusively ride my motorcycle for a week then go back to my subaru. The subaru feels all squishy, comfortable and soft (hyside) where as the MC is responsive, nimble and rock hard(NRS) yet they are set up like they should be.