Once again, the season has come to an end. Your PVC boat made you truly happy and served you faithfully in the warm season. Unforgettable picnics, exciting water hikes, fishing at dawn and moonlight on water are now left behind. You still have lots of unrealized plans, hikes, but winter is coming. So how to save your boat in winter before the new seasons begin? Prolong its life as much as possible? Eliminate the need for repair for decades?
Preparation of a PVC boat for winter storage
Before the start of winter storage, you need to prepare your PVC boat properly.
- First, you need to remove seats, oars, a hinged transom from the boat, possibly a floorboard, etc.
- After that, you need to clean the boat from dirt, sand, algae and grass residues. Remove the remains of fish scales and fragrant fishing bait — their smell can attract rodents that can damage the PVC material.
- The boat should be washed, especially in places where the side is jointed with the bottom, using a sponge or a soft brush. Make sure that there are no oil or gasoline stains on the boat. Do not use abrasive compounds, a detergent without aggressive components is enough.
- Then you need to thoroughly dry the boat. Pay special attention to the seams and other hard-to-reach places in your boat that accumulate moisture.
- Also check all boat accessories – oars, pump, seatы. Wash and dry well, repair if there is any damage.
- Also, if while preparing the boat for winter you find any damage (cuts, scuffs, scratches), mark them to eliminate them by yourself using a repair kit or contact the service center of KOLIBRI company.
- If you store your boat in a bag, it is very important to fold it correctly. Put your boat on a flat surface, drain the air from the chambers of the tubes and the inflatable keel, if your boat is keeled. To do so, open the valve cover, press the valve stem so that it locks to the lowest position, release the air. A PVC boat should be folded at temperatures above zero in order to avoid sharp corners and creases. If your boat is a rowing one, then it does not matter how to fold the boat. But if you are the owner of a motor boat with a stationary transom, then we recommend starting from the stern. Put the boat on a flat surface, align the sides, wrap them inside the boat and press the transom against them so that the width of the boat becomes the width of the transom. Wrap the cones in the transom and start smoothly folding the boat. At the same time, keep an eye on the valve cover so as not to damage the valve and its cover when folding the boat.
Places to store a PVC boat in winter
It depends on the room where you plan to store your boat. If it’s a garage, shed or attic with is enough space in there, then it’s better to keep the boat inflated. Usually it is hung horizontally under the ceiling, although it can be stored both vertically – when the front of the boat is up, and horizontally – on the side. It is not advisable to put the motor boat vertically on the cones – much better to lean it on the transom, so that the cones do not touch the floor.
If you cannot store your boat in an inflated state, you can carefully fold it and store in the original bag from the manufacturer. At the same time, the main rule is to observe the folding sequence and temperature regime when folding the boat.
It is generally believed that boats made of modern PVC materials can be stored at temperatures up to -20 °C and below. If, after all, you keep the boat in a bag at subzero temperatures, it is highly discouraged to exert physical influence that can change its shape and position before the temperature rises. Do not put other things and heavy objects on top or add them to the packed boat. Incorrectly folded PVC material loses its elasticity at low temperature, which can lead to creases.
As mentioned above, if you have enough space in the garage or other enclosed space, your boat can be stored there. If there are heating devices in the room, the boat should be placed as far away from them as possible.
If you do not have enough space, then you can store the boat folded. A bag with your boat can be stored on the balcony or in the pantry.
Ways to store a boat
The main preparatory stages of storing an inflatable boat in the off-season.
- thoroughly clean the boat from dirt, algae, fish scales, etc.;
- wash the boat;
- dry the boat well;
- check the PVC surface for possible defects and mark them for subsequent elimination before a new season.
Next steps depend on the way of storage:
Storing an inflated boat
An inflated boat is stored indoors (horizontally or vertically):
- place the boat as far as possible from the heating devices;
- eliminate the influence of gasoline vapors, oils, etc.;
- consider the risk of contact with nearby sharp objects, tools, etc.
Storing a folded boat
The boat should be stored in a packing bag from the manufacturer
- if an inflatable boat is stored folded at a negative temperature, then its shape and position should not be changed until the temperature rises;
- if there are heating devices in the room, the boat should be placed as far away from them as possible.
These simple rules will allow you to keep your PVC inflatable boat in working condition for many years without any need to repair. With the beginning of the next water season, your boat will bring you the joy of new trips, fishing and relaxing with friends in nature again and again.