Novice questions about raft maintenance - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-19-2010   #1
 
Hawkeye, Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 76
Novice questions about raft maintenance

Hello I had a couple of questions. First off I wish I had found this site before buying a raft. I didnt realize there was such a difference amongst brands.

So I bought an aquamarine. Used it twice so far and it got into a lot of rocks but held up fine. My concern is its durability after reading the saturn threads

I did a search for 303 UV protectant but only getting large general results. Can somebody give me the basics for caring for this raft and help prolong its life

1. 303 How often do I put this on and where is best place to buy it?

2. Storage- Should it be left inflated in storage?

Any other tips and tricks to try getting a few years out of it would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 08-19-2010   #2
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 253
I don't know anything about aquamarine boats. What material are they made of? I use 303 at least twice a year. Once at the beginning of the season, and once before storage. If I boat more than normal, I may do another application or two. You can purchase it at any boat store. I get mine in a large container and refill my spray bottle with it. I go to a local boat dealer, non raft type boats BTW. They are a bit cheaper than the local rubber boat place.

If you can, I would suggest storing it inflated. If not, loosely rolled or folded.
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Old 08-19-2010   #3
 
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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If you have the space to leave it inflated, that will make all the difference.
I have a hypalon boat and a pvc boat. I use a LOT of 303 on the hypalon boat, but I was told that you really shouldn't use much on the pvc. I don't know how good the source was, but it made sense when she explained it. I only put it on the pvc rig once a year. I never roll that boat, and that seems to help. I can't really find an answer on the web, so that's what I'm going with for now.

Kim
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Old 08-19-2010   #4
 
Hawkeye, Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 76
Thanks for the response. I believe it is made of PVC. My friend can probably store it inflated in his basement. Not sure where I should buy the 303. Not much around where I live. Any good online stores?

As for when we raft should I have it inflated to the max?
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Old 08-19-2010   #5
 
Hawkeye, Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 76
Wow ok thanks. Interesting to find out what is best. I will try storing it inflated for sure but we have to roll it up each time we use it. Just want to get as much out of it as possible since it probably has zero "REAL" warranty
Quote:
Originally Posted by kclowe View Post
If you have the space to leave it inflated, that will make all the difference.
I have a hypalon boat and a pvc boat. I use a LOT of 303 on the hypalon boat, but I was told that you really shouldn't use much on the pvc. I don't know how good the source was, but it made sense when she explained it. I only put it on the pvc rig once a year. I never roll that boat, and that seems to help. I can't really find an answer on the web, so that's what I'm going with for now.

Kim
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Old 08-19-2010   #6
 
Hawkeye, Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 76
This is item description

Heavy duty 1000 denier polyester re-enforced- PVC - Weight - 1100 g/mę¸ Thickness - 0.9mm
These boats are made with an extremely rugged material that is very difficult to puncture or tear. Our Fabric is made with the STS (SOL Type System) process. This does not merely coat the internal reinforcement fabric with an outer layer, but forces the outer material into the thousands of tiny gaps in the base fabric weave to form a single homogenous material
Four separate Air Chambers. The boat features 4 separate air chambers in the main hull, unlike many small inflatable tenders that have only port and starboard chambers
Eight carrying handles
Inflatables are handmade from the finest quality fabrics
It is handmade with high quality materials and carefully supervised during its manufacturing process.
Hand sealed is the most reliable and traditional way to make perfect inflatable boat
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Old 08-19-2010   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 27
Aire boats are pvc. I have called the factory a few times and they say you should never apply 303. Apparrently 303 removes the plasticizers from the fabric. Unlike hypalon, which is made of rubber, pvc is plastic on fabric. 303 keeps hypalon supple but dries out pvc.
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Old 08-19-2010   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrylion View Post
Aire boats are pvc. I have called the factory a few times and they say you should never apply 303. Apparrently 303 removes the plasticizers from the fabric. Unlike hypalon, which is made of rubber, pvc is plastic on fabric. 303 keeps hypalon supple but dries out pvc.
Either that, or 303 makes pvc last for eternity and Aire needs to keep selling boats to repeat customers.
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Old 08-20-2010   #9
 
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,344
No 303 on PVC????? That's a new one. The NRS website recommends 303 for Hypalon & PVC. So I checked the Aire website and it recommends 303 once or twice a year, but not more than that as it can dry out the material. Wow.... learn something new everyday. I use 303 twice a year on my Maravia.
Boat cleaner & 303 can be ordered online from NRS or Cascade Outfitters.
KJ
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Old 08-20-2010   #10
 
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
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The storage debate is as old as time - I've got a 30 yr. old Avon (hypalon) and two Aire cats (pvc with eurathane bladder), one 20 yr. old, one 10, and I keep them all rolled for storage and transport - never have to top them off. I think the key to storage is keeping them indoors and out of the direct sun.

As far as quality of your boat, it's all about the construction method, specifically the seam construction - glued seams will eventually de-laminate (the more you use it, the faster it will occur) and will not last as long as welded seam construction. That said, if you take care of your boat and are not on the river every weekend, you should get years of satisfaction out of your purchase. Good luck.
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