If you are a new user of inflatable boats, it’s important that you get your SIB ready for the winter seasons. In case you leave it neglected in the winter times, it might eventually lead to severe damage to the dinghy. So, in this article, we will be giving some tips on how to store your blow up water vessel properly in the cold months.
Wash the inflatable boat properly
Before you just wrap the SIB up and throw it in a corner, make sure you wash it with extra care. Getting rid of dirt and debris is very important for preventing the occurrence of any damage to the fabric. You are going to keep it in there for quite a while so you want it to smell like crap when you take it out.
Don’t clean it with anything of your choice, get a cleaner which is specifically made for cleaning inflatable boats. When you are done washing it with a cleaner, go ahead and give it a coating of 303 protectors. Avoid bleaching or using high alkaline cleaners for the cleaning process. Such products tend to damage and discolor your blow-up water vehicle.
Store it dry
If you leave your inflatable boat wet, you will be in for a great mold party after the winter rolls off. So, if you don’t want that to happen, dry every part of it completely before storing it. Follow the below steps to make the cleaning easy and effective.
● Separate bags, seats as well as other stuff on your dinghy.
● Use a dry cloth or a towel to wipe out the wetness on the outer side of the SIB.
● Now, it’s time for you to deflate the floor and then tilt it to one side and drain out the water.
● Wipe out the remaining water again.
● You can use a different cloth for cleaning the debris, dirt, and other stinky stuff.
● When you are done with that, deflate it completely.
● Again, use a dry cloth or towel and dry all of the places where you see the water.
● After that look around and check for any damp places and dry them as well.
● Roll up and keep drying damp areas if you see any.
● Now, pack and put away the inflatable water vessel in a dry area.
If you are feeling a little lazy, just take the air out of the dinghy and leave it in the sun for a day or so. Check on it once in a while and flip the SIB so that the sun hits all the areas and everything is dried. Some excess water will be left in the hollow places so you will have to wipe that out.
How to fold your SIB for the old months?
After cleaning and drying, you will have to get yourself to work once again for folding it properly. You can follow the below steps to fold your boat from ZeBoats properly.
● Firstly, take the air out of it and leave all of the valves in an open position. After deflating, pull the bow ropes, this will give shape to the SIB which will make it easier to fold.
● Now, close all the valves and make sure you leave a little bit of air in there, this will prevent the fabric from scrunching together.
● Keep pulling the side ropes as you deflate, it will help flatten the dinghy easily. Keep doing it again and again until you see the results you’d like.
● After you’ve deflated the pontoons, press them down to make sure that they are not larger than the transom. When the pontoons are bigger than the transom it gets difficult for rolling it as well as folding the cones.
● Lastly, roll the deflated SIB, but make sure you start from the transom. Now, fold in the nose, and then you are all done.
● After you are done folding it’s time to wrap everything up in the carry bag.
Where should you keep the dinghy in winter?
You can put the deflated water vehicle anywhere you please but make sure the area is not very humid as moisture will lead to moulds settling in. Don’t just throw it into the attic, make sure that the area is well ventilated. Avoid storing in environments that are either too cold or too hot, find a medium temperature area.
In some areas, winter months can last for long periods of time. So, if you are going to keep the SIB there for quite a while, pack it up with moisture absorbers or dryer sheets.
Is it better to store the SIB inflated or deflated?
Some people tend to have confusion about whether to store the inflatable dinghy inflated or deflated. We’ve shown you the steps to store it deflated but if you can, store it inflated. If you store it deflated, is it very easy for the boat to get punctured? Whereas if it is stored inflated, the surface is very strong and is not very easy to be punctured.
In the same way, if you store it deflated, the mice in your house and other situations can damage the boat. But if it is completely blown up, the mice will not be able to bite through it as the surface is very strong.
One thing you need to keep in mind is to keep checking the blow-up water buddy once in a while. Take a look at least once a week, check if it needs some air pressure or if anything has happened. When the temperatures are changing and the inflatable is being stored for a long time, air pressure in it might slowly decrease.
Don’t leave it in the attic just like that, consider covering it with a big sheet or anything of that kind. Buying an inflatable buddy from ZeBoats or anywhere is not enough, you should take care of it properly. As the seasons change, it will need a lot of care. Especially in the cold months, not storing the dinghy in a proper manner can damage it severely.