Advice on life extension for geriatric raft? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-03-2018   #1
 
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1960
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Advice on life extension for geriatric raft?

I bought a 34-year-old 15-foot hypalon raft which had been very well cared-for by the previous owner -- no patches or leaks and looks good. I would like to get some more years out of it. I'm keeping it out of the sun, applying 303, and avoiding overinflating. Any other advice for keeping this codger going? In particular, I'm trying to decide between storing and transporting it inflated or deflated. Thanks.

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Old 06-03-2018   #2
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 429
maintain the seam tape. If it starts to peel back, re-glue it or replace it. Of course, keep it out of the uv for as long as possible. Make certain that there is no moisture trapped inside the tubes. Clean it well and dry after trips and 303 like you are doing.



As for storage and transportation: It is probably best to store inflated, but I feel like the difference is negligible for hypalon. Transportation is a different debate. I have seen more damage happen to rolled rafts being loaded, unloaded, pushed, dropped, ect. than I have seen to trailered rafts, but road gravel, dirt and additional uv exposure are concerns for transporting trailered rafts.


Personally, I feel like a hypalon raft is built to be very tough and I just do what works best for me. I don't have room to store mine inflated over the winter, and I like being able to float my already rigged boat off my trailer at the ramp and get on the water quicker.
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Old 06-03-2018   #3
 
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Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 80
It sounds like you have the right idea. In my experience with old hypalon rafts is you cant hurt them if you keep them shady, mostly full, and watch the valves. Some of mine had been replaced and they are a nightmare to source for Avon original valves. I also make a point of getting down in the seam between the floor and tubes to remove rocks and sand but only once a year unless we take on a lot of sand in a trip. The rest of the time just make sure you USE IT! Love it and save it from the landfill. It is with much regret and remorse to say tomorrow my new RMR arrives and will largely replace my now 36 and 40 year old Avons. I cant see me getting rid of either of them until the lady makes me. Both of those boats were pulled out of a shed wrapped in a tarp, for who knows how long, and only required a patch or two and some 303.
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