Several factors will affect how long your inflatable boat will last. However, the three biggest are the quality of the boat, care you put into maintenance, and how you plan to use your boat. A low quality boat cannot be preserved no matter the level of maintenance but a high quality boat will also break down without proper care.
However, this does not mean that you require the absolute top end, most expensive option in order to get value and many uses out of your inflatable boat. If you want a boat that lasts without breaking the bank, focus on purchasing a boat that is well constructed and made of quality materials but might have less features.
Here, we will look at the basics of how long an inflatable boat will last, how you can maintain an inflatable boat, and what to look for in a quality inflatable boat.
What Makes a Quality Inflatable Boat?
Inflatable boat quality is largely dependent on material and, perhaps even more importantly, construction. When shopping for a quality boat, look for one that has welded seams as opposed to glued seams.
Inflatable boats with glued seams are flimsy and rarely good for much more than being a pool float or similar application. When glued, seams are much more prone to breaking down from exposure to the elements as the adhesive will weaken.
With Perun Outdoor inflatable boats, every model available has welded seams. As boaters ourselves, we understand the importance of construction in getting the max enjoyment from your time on the water.
Material: PVC Vs Hypalon
Modern inflatable boats come in two main materials: Hypalon and PVC. PVC is a kind of lightweight plastic while Hypalon is a trademark name given to a synthetic rubber developed by DuPont.
When it comes to longevity alone, Hypalon has the advantage, lasting anywhere from 7 to 15 years and often more. PVC, depending on quality and care, will last anywhere from 2 to 10 years.
However, Hypalon is no longer manufactured by the original maker, DuPont. While you can still find Hypalon for sale, it is much more expensive than PVC, comes in fewer styles and colors, and is also more difficult to care for.
Note: Due to the disadvantages and difficulty of finding Hypalon, this article will focus on the longevity and care of PVC inflatable boats.
What Makes a Quality PVC Inflatable Boat?
Not all PVC is created equally. Look for a boat that is specifically designated for use in the conditions you plan to use it. For example, a whitewater boat or fishing boat.
At Perun, our hot air seam welding method creates superior quality seams that can stand the test of time and many uses. Along with looking for welded seams, you should also consider the strength of the PVC. Perun PVC inflatable boats are manufactured in Europe using the highest quality PVC sourced from South Korea.
Our sourcing and manufacturing allow us to bring you the best quality items at competitive prices. Additionally, Lightweight PVC makes our boats easy to transport but strong enough to hold up to some of the toughest conditions.
How to Maintain Your Inflatable Boat
Proper maintenance of your inflatable boat can dramatically increase its longevity. Here are the main care tips you can take to extend the life of your PVC inflatable boat.
Storage: Ideally, an inflatable boat will be stored partially inflated and out of extreme conditions. However, if you do not have the room to store your inflatable inside while partially inflated, you can also loosely roll it up. Avoid compacting the material too much.
While rolling the material does create more strain on the material, it creates less issues than leaving it out in the elements.
Cleaning: Clean your PVC inflatable boat after each use and always before storing it. Even light grit and dirt can wear on the material if left too long so take the time to do this as often as needed.
Repair and Inspection: Along with cleaning your boat regularly, you will also want to inspect and repair it as needed. Depending on where you get a puncture or other damage, it may not affect the boat right away but can get worse if left unchecked. Keep a repair kit on board at all times for emergencies and make more secure repairs as needed later.
How Much Can You Expect to Spend on a Quality Inflatable Boat?
Inflatable boats come in a wide range of price points, from a few hundred to several thousand. One of the biggest factors is whether or not you want a rowing boat vs. a motor boat. A high quality rowing inflatable boat like the Perun 190 Rowing 6'3" comes in at just over $400 while a motor boat can be closer to a few thousand.
Capacity will also affect price. Inflatable boats range from personal crafts for one or two people up to an eight person boat great for a party on the water.
Consider How You Plan to Use Your Inflatable Boat
Along with quality and maintenance, another big factor in how long an inflatable boat will last will depend on how you plan to use it. Inflatable boats have come a long way over the years and there are now models that are tough enough to take on whitewater conditions.
If you plan to take your boat out on rough waters, look for a boat that is specifically designated as whitewater safe to ensure it can hold up to these conditions.
However, it is important to note that these models are more expensive, much heavier, and harder to transport. Therefore, while you do not want to fall into the trap of getting a cheap boat for rough waters, you also shouldn’t seek out a whitewater inflatable boat for casual trips on the lake.
Find the Right Inflatable Boat for You
The right boat is not always just about the absolute top of the line quality. You should also consider your personal usage, maintenance needs, and budget. At Perun Outdoors we offer a range of both inflatable row boats and inflatable motor boats to meet the needs of all water adventurers. Get started by visiting our selection of PVC inflatable boats.