I get alot of calls every day from people who want to know how to assemble an inflatable boat. Since I was breaking out a new Zodiac Zoom 450 SP AL for the showroom I figured this was as good a time as any to take some pics and write a few words on inflatable boat assembly. Almost every inflatable boat will assemble the same way from the military, commercial, and recreational to the cheap “shower curtain” copy cats out there.
1. Remove your boat from it’s bag or box, unroll it and inflate it without the floorboards. Do this for the very first assembly of a new boat to “stretch it” out and let it stand for at least an hour. (not required if your boat is not brand new)
2. Deflate the hull and begin placing the floorboards.
3. Place the aft floorboard into the hull and slide it back under the batten on the transom. (take care to align the drain plug cutout if present)
4. Install the forward bow board into the hull making sure it’s seated against the forward seam and the keel tube is centered in the keel valve access hole.
5. Add remaining floor boards (the number of floor boards will vary from boat model to boat model) leaving the last board out to form a teepee.
6. Add the last floorboard to the boat and fix one end into the tongue and groove leaving the other end to overlap the remaining end.
7. Lift open floorboard ends up and place the tongue and groove ends together forming a “teepee”.
8. Push down on the “teepee” with your foot taking care not to pinch your fabric.
9. Install your stringers (the extruded metal floorboard locking pieces) over the floorboard joints. The Zodiac Zoom 450SPAL has 3 per side for a total of 6, your boat model will vary.
10. Inflate your boat to shape equally in each chamber starting at the bow and working your way aft. Do not inflate to full pressure on any single chamber until all chambers are to shape equally.
Note if you are installing the seat on your boat be sure and install it before you get it up to pressure or you will have a hard time.
11. Inflate the chambers to pressure (generally 3.5 psi)
12. Inflate the keel last (generally 3.5 psi) then place the cap on the valve. The valve caps are the actual air seal on the boat so ensure they are in place prior to getting underway.
13. Assemble and install the oars or paddles depending on your model.
14. Enjoy the ride!
If you have questions give us a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online to buy your next Inflatable Boat www.inflatableboats.com