The Strongan Duotex Difference

As I walked around the shop “topping off” all the CSM/Hypalon boats this morning I thought to myself, “How come no one talks about air retention on Strongan vs Hypalon?”. This is a very valid question to the person looking for a tender or stand alone inflatable boat.

Let me put this into other words, Strongan is what we casually refer to as PVC here at the shop when discussing boat materials and manufacturing processes. To be so casual is actually kind of detrimental to a degree. When discussing PVC inflatable boats many makers will spec out their fabric in mils (equal to a thousandth of an inch) or millimeters also expressed as “mils” on various websites albeit incorrectly in efforts to dupe the customer. The other manufacturers count on you being uninformed to swell their bottom line. Further use of incorrect terms along with drawings and lots of text that “sounds official” on their many websites plus dubious reviews means you end up with a cheap boat that came with free shipping and absolutely no support. Any boat deal that comes with free shipping should be a red flag just so you know.

Cutting down on the volume of calls we receive here at IBC from Amazon or Ebay bargain shoppers means it’s time well spent to bother with this topic.

Obviously we don’t sell brand X nor do we offer free shipping. I can’t understand why other brand/site customers call us all day long for support of someone else’s product. Weird huh? The simple answer is those sites like Amazon or Ebay don’t have a support structure, they offer cheap products with free shipping to capture the bargain shopper. They don’t have a store, or a phone, or employees to take the millions of calls about their junky products and their failures.

Going back to formula we’ll first educate you about what Strongan is and what PVC and Hypalon isn’t. Using our time machine let’s go back to the polyester years of the 1970’s! 😉

Strongan Duotex is a fabric originally developed by the Espace Division of Zodiac France as part of a joint project with CNES (National Space Research Center). Developed to be better at air retention and water intrusion than ordinary PVC it was further refined and developed to be Thermobonded by purpose built machines existing only in Zodiac France.

Basically PVC was a truck cover material that was semi-water tight but not airtight, (more on this later). The Zodiac answer from the joint space research project took 8 engineers and technicians and a support staff of 14 to tackle.

“Welding” of PVC used in the knockoff industry is a lap seam. One layer is placed on top of another and heated under pressure to make the bond. This technique will make most PVC materials watertight but leaves something to be desired for airtightness.

To accomplish this technical feat Zodiac developed their thermobonding process where two precision cut pieces are butted up edge to edge and overlayed on the outside for mechanical strength, and the secret internal layer overlayed on the inside defeated air leaks and made the bond airtight.

Zodiac Strongan Duotex outside seam
Zodiac Strongan Duotex inside seam

While seeming relatively simple to the layman, the material science and process engineering was very difficult and very costly. Zodiac invested heavily in the engineering of the process and at the time it was considered a gamble. The old guard of neoprene sand and glue construction people never thought PVC could have the air retention of Hypalon/Neoprene. Zodiac’s gamble paid off, and dramatically lowered the costly labor process involved by 75% while producing a boat unparalleled in air retention and strength. This hyper-technical approach catapulted Zodiac’s aerospace and leisure products divisions to the forefront of their respective industries. Yes from the humble beginnings of Maurice Mallet’s sewn and varnished balloons in 1896 to 21st century space exploration and Strongan Duotex inflatable boats Zodiac reigns supreme.

To sum it up in a few words Zodiac’s Strongan Duotex fabric is the gold standard for air retention and modern inflatable boats.

Saying that all boats are not cut from the same cloth is a gross understatement. Buyers should beware the great pretenders in the market today all vying for your hard earned dollar.

Today when I went to IBC’s repair shop to measure the differences in thickness from one brand to the next I was amazed at the startling differences between the Zodiac Strongan Duotex and the ordinary PVC from the other manufacturers. The average measurement in mils or thousandths of an inch of the most basic Strongan fabric was .040″ and the next best competitors came in at .015 to .029″ or one to two thirds thinner. The average thickness of a Thermobonded seam was on the order of 1/8″ or .125″ compared to a seam of .030″ to .060 for the others .The Zodiac fabric is thicker by it’s self than many other manufacturers seams! So thickness of the Zodiac Strongan coupled with the additional thread in the scrim or substrate of the Zodiac Strongan fabric adds additional strength and resistance to forces such as torsional loading over all other manufacturer’s samples compared.

Much has been written about the dreaded UV rays and the havoc it wreaks on boats. Myths abound on the internet of UV radiation turning boats brown and causing them to “pop” while exposed to the sun. I would refer you to the earlier paragraphs to note that Zodiac’s Strongan was developed with the space program in mind. Believe me there is far more UV in space than at the waterline.

UV damage mechanisms of the various materials here on Earth generally cause what’s known as “photo-bleaching”, whereas the material in question turns white not brown. The mechanism is virtually the same for PVC, Hypalon, and even diamonds! Look at an old car dash, did it turn brown, or is it whiter and bleached looking? I thought so! Short wavelength high frequency radiation in the UV regime and it’s interaction with matter is well understood. One simply can’t take a random website’s claims as truth these days, we’ve even added “fake news” into our language to define this phenomena.

Generally speaking all inflatable boats are called Zodiacs today due to commonality in conversation, but all inflatable boats are not cut from the same cloth. If it doesn’t say Zodiac on the boat it’s not a genuine Zodiac, ask for it by name.

Note: Bombard and Avon are both Zodiac products.

Edit: Richard Meister (Technical Support Manager at Zodiac Nautic) added to our Facebook page “Environmental positives too! Strongan plastomer is thermoform and can be melted and recycled. No wasteful and annoying dust generation either.

What Richard means by dust generation is Hypalon/Neoprene fabric requires sanding and scuffing prior to cleaning with toluene solvent, then finally several applications of adhesive are added to make a seam or install a simple patch. This dust, solvent, and adhesive is a potential hazard if improperly controlled during the assembly and repair process. While Zodiac leads the world in green environmentally sound practices, those other boat builders, errr…. not so much.

To see what Richard means about recycling of materials one only needs to look as far as the Bombard Air Ethic. The Bombard Air Ethic is made utilizing green manufacturing processes, novel materials and recycled materials. This represents a first in the boat building industry.

Thanks for bringing up those valid points Richard!

Hypalon/Neoprene or as it is generically called CSM is a man-made artificial rubber coating over a substrate or scrim. It offers some advantages over plain PVC with the foremost being resistance to solvents and fuels. UV absorption is virtually identical to PVC and several other materials such as Urethane and with all of the hype and misinformation this is a hot button topic for the web forums and novice yachtsman. If you had any doubt just look at the multitude of aftermarket products that claim UV resistance and protection catering to the hyperbole.

Hypalon performs slightly better in the drum test for abrasion resistance than PVC but in terms of air retention it fails miserably compared to Zodiac’s Strongan Duotex. Hypalon inflatable boat manufacturing is a very dirty and labor intensive process taking up to three times as long to complete when compared to a Zodiac Strongan Duotex inflatable boat of the same dimensions. This labor comes at a cost and this added cost is much of what the customer assumes is quality when simply comparing prices. Remember the statement that not all boats are cut from the same cloth? This holds true for Hypalon boats as well. That “good deal” for a brand X  Hypalon boat will cost you in the long run on repairs. You are much better off sticking to the brand that started it all…Zodiac, Avon or Bombard when asking about Hypalon inflatable boats.

Questions?

Confused?

Give us a call and we’ll sort you out! (503)235-2628

 

 

 

 

 

 

NW Sportsman Show Booth #1143

Adam and Mike will be on hand for the 2017 NW Sportsman Show the Portland Expo Center February 8-12 in booth #1143. The Inflatable Boat Center will be showing one of their Special Boat Division’s packages called the “RECON”.

This model is based on the Bombard Commando C3 with added Scotty Fishing attachments, a fish finder/GPS, Scotty strong back oar conversion kit, adjustable oars, collapsible paddles, bimini top, Yamaha F20, bench on rail seats, and more.

Setup with the outdoorsman in mind this package can be broken down and packed for transport by, auto, truck, or plane and reassembled on site to go where the sidewalks end. Suitable for waterfowl hunting, fish, crabbing, big game, or even just a fun day trip. With the Bombard Commando C3’s wooden keel assembly is easy and choppy water is a walk in the park.

The Yamaha F20 four stroke motor operates very quietly and barely makes a sound at idle. The clean and efficient Yamaha F20 can make your precious fuel supply on back country hunts seem to last almost indefinitely when used smartly thereby extending your reach. Full throttle operation brings the “RECON” on plane with three to four men aboard and tops out around 25 mph at sea level. Two separate shallow water settings on the Yamaha F20 will make possible entry into sloughs and creeks while fully laden with a hunting camp gear a breeze and make you wonder why you didn’t think of the “RECON” sooner.

This boat is quite possibly the best boat package ever made for the Northwest Territories and coastal regions because of it’s carrying capacity, ease of use, and safety.

You can see one in person at the NW Sportsman Show booth #1143 and talk to Adam or Mike about what you want to do or where you want to go and get one made for yourself custom. We love the water and the woods and it’s very likely that’s where these two guys would be if they weren’t there to meet you and talk about exciting times to be had with inflatable boats.

For more information on the NW Sportsman Show Click here

For more information on inflatable boats call one of our friendly staff at (503)235-2628

Zodiac MK2 Classic Fastroller

Today we’d like to mention a little known Zodiac gem that does not disappoint, the Zodiac MK2 Classic Fastroller. Mike and Adam were going to shoot a video on how to setup the Zodiac MK2 Classica Fastroller but then they realized it would be utterly boring. You see with the Zodiac MK2 Classic Fastroller all you do is unroll and inflate. That’s It! No fitting floorboards or struggling with stringers anymore just unroll and go.

The Zodiac MK2 Classic Fastroller fits the bill for a premium dinghy, exploration boat, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. because it’s so easy to use. One thing the guys love around the shop here at IBC is the Zodiac Classic Series of inflatable boats performance. While we don’t constantly show them online, we constantly love them on the water. They are such well thought out boats they are often our first pick for many missions and outings.

Manufacturing is done in France by the same people who build the Bombard Commando and Zodiac Futura models. All Zodiac Classic inflatable boats are made of stronger stuff, i.e. Zodiac’s “Strongan™” fabric that is thermo-bonded by the same machines the ESpace Division developed. ( yes Zodiac is an aerospace company too)

The Fastroller airfloor is an option on the Zodiac Futura series and for small tenders in the Zodiac Cadet series. Lightweight and ease of use make this the ultimate portable boat. Don’t get taken by some cheap imitation airfloor from a company that you never heard of, get a real Zodiac, made from the real fabric, with a real Zodiac 5 year Warranty.

Get your next Zodiac simply by shopping in our online store, or by calling the pros at The Inflatable Boat Center (503)235-2628.

You’ll love your new Zodiac almost as much as us!

 

 

 

Full Steam Ahead For 2017

It’s full steam ahead at IBC right now as we rig and receive boats daily for the upcoming season. The 2017 NW Sportsman’s Show is right around the corner and we’ll be there showcasing models that fit the mission of hunting and fishing. Tubesets are coming and going every time I blink it seems and new sport boats and Avon tenders seem to be all the buzz.

We are open despite the weather so give us a call (503) 235-2628 or stop by the Portland Showroom on 2041 SE Powell Blvd. and talk face to face with one of our pros.

Now is the time to be thinking about your new tender, your old boat that needs repair, that motor service you put off, basically anything that needs doing or buying so you’ll be ready when the weather turns nice again.

Remember Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax so our prices are even better than you thought! Find out why more boaters come to IBC than anywhere else (503)235-2628

 

Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR 380 Surf Rescue Boat

If you’re living near us you know the weather has been a bit cool lately with lows in the 30’s, but if you’re near the river you know this is the time of year we get to play too.

Recently IBC’s test pilots Adam and Mike went out to hit the water with Depot Bay’s Fire and Rescue to demo a few boats of which the Zodiac ZMSR 380 Surf Rescue was one. Zodiac MILPRO’s ZMSR 380 is an easy to assemble and use inflatable boat designed for the challenges rescue personnel face in coastal operation zones. From the water up the Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR takes lessons learned from across the globe’s surf zones and puts technology and know how into the very core of the design.

Features such as the stringerless composite deck with integrated foot straps and soft non-skid come to meet the eye when you peer into the boat. To address the surf zones ability to move a city block of water per wave Zodiac MILPRO’s approach to dewatering is simple yet elegant utilizing dual ovoid scupper trunks that dump the water out almost as fast as it can come in. Rounding out the integrated bow dodger is a co-pilot handle making punching thru the surf safe and easy.

The Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR 380 is also available in a racing version for the lifeguard competitions in Australia and South Africa. If you’re not a competitor or a surf lifeguard don’t fret the Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR 380 performs exceptionally well in swift water and flood water rescues making it a top level pick for inland rescue teams that need a high performance rescue platform.

To schedule a demo with IBC in the Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR 380 have your department’s training officer or chief give us a call (503)235-2628 and get your space reserved. To order the Zodiac MILPRO ZMSR 380 shop online via our secure website or give the pros at IBC a call (503)235-2628.

How Thick Are Your Boats?

Boat material thickness can be a tricky one with all the hyperbole that is continuously published by here today gone tomorrow inflatable boat manufacturers from Qingdao China. Here at IBC our boats are measured in “decitex” no matter who made them Zodiac, Highfield, Avon, Bombard etc.

When shopping for your next inflatable boat it’s best to come to the table armed with information so you can ask the relevant questions. Many of the calls that come in to us from customers who have obviously spent alot of time “researching” on the web focus around thickness of fabric. The misinformed customer will ask “How many mils is the boat fabric?”. This question alone tells us which website they were on as we’ve seen most of them by now here in the repair shop. We have to try to find parts for angry customers that didn’t receive the support from brand X they were promised.

Let’s answer what a “mil” is first:
Mil is equivalent to .001″ (one thousandth of an inch) and is a sheet or film measurement, not to be confused with the metric measurement of millimeter which equals .03937″ (just a hair more than 1/32″)
Basically when the website you’re on says mils they are talking about a shower curtain, not something I personally want to be in with my family.

The next measurement we often hear over the phone or in email inquiries is “How many deniers are the boats you sell?”.

Denier is a unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured, equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the yarn and often used to describe the thickness of hosiery.
“840 denier nylon”
So what we are talking about here is panty hose, or if it’s 840 denier maybe a back pack. Yet another thing I’m not comfortable with is taking the family out in a floating backpack! Worth mention is often when a boat brand states denier they are actually taking about a nylon sheath with a unreinforced sheet material or bladder inside for air retention. Remember the shower curtain statement above?

Last but certainly not least is the standard measurement of decitex:
Decitex is the count grading for filament and spinning yarns recognized by all international bodies in the man-made fibres industry. Decimal multiple = mass in kilograms per 1000 meters length.
As stated decitex is only the weight or mass of the thread per kilometer, and this is where it gets a little trickier, any of the major brands will spec out in decitex and generally it’s very legit. When comparing apples to apples you’ll find that an additional measurement comes to play alongside with decitex and that’s weight per square meter. What this boils down to in the recreational market isn’t really that relevant but when you start comparing commercial and military models with specs that say 1670 decitex you also take a look at the weight per sq meter which gives a better understanding as to what thickness and density it really is. THIS MATTERS FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Since Zodiac, Avon, Bombard, and MILPRO are all under the same roof and use a propietary fabric for each of it’s models you’ll see a higher weight per sq meter than competitors and that’s where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
If I can get a free day in my old advanced materials lab I’ll do some micrographs of each of the fabrics so you can see exactly what this means visually and empirically.

Since it’s the decitex value that gives a boat it’s strength not the thickness of it’s coating much of this becomes alot easier to digest in the recreational market. Thickness of coatings will impart abrasion resistance to the fabric so look less to thickness and more to which descriptor is used to describe the fabric, dtx or decitex is the standard and it’s this descriptor that matters. Boats made out of “duotex” will be double the strength of similar fabrics and that translates to more rigidity and better use of available horsepower due to diminished torsional and flexure thrust loses.
Whew that sounds technical!

Remember it’s up to you to make the right decision on your next inflatable boat and there are alot of people trying to squeeze you out of a dollar. The real question you should be asking is, “Where can you take your budget boat when you have a problem?”. Shop smart and boat safe, we will be here to guide you in the process and get you in a boat that meets your needs within your budget.
Give IBC a call (503)235-2628 or visit us online http://www.inflatableboats.com

 

The Tale Of Two Tenders

I get a great many calls here at IBC from people looking for a good tender, or asking my opinion on what tender I would use. I’m not an expert sailor, and really didn’t learn how to sail until I moved to Hawaii in 1989. In Hawaii I was faced with the dilemma many face which is there’s no fuel between the mainland and Hawaii so your range with a powerboat is severely limited, hence the sailboat.

As a sailor you are pretty much limited by your abilities, your vessel and fresh water/stores aboard for the adventure. Most of my friends would call me “old school” as I learned how to read a chart, use parallel rulers, dividers, sextant, compass and watch to figure where I’m going and where I’ve been. Being an “old school” sailor I definitely formed opinions on which tender I prefer for any given body of water. As I said above I learned how to sail in Hawaii, and tenders were notoriously hard to come by back then on the islands, you used what was on hand and available. In those days it was all about the slat floor Zodiac and Avon donut boats and dinghies. They got the job done and were easy to unroll and inflate on deck. Other boats would radio me to come over and transport them and their dinghy to the beach so they could put their much too large tenders together. They were like many beginning sailors today, they wanted to have the biggest their money would buy even though it was the wrong boat for them. I always wondered why so many people would get a dinghy that was too big for their boat, and after all of these years it seems this is still a trend.

For me, being a blue water guy, I’m not in the habit of doing a crossing with a boat on deck or languishing in davits. This simply wasn’t done in my days of learning with the Hawaiian masters for the obvious reasons of damage or loss to one or both of the vessels. You probably didn’t learn sailing in the Alenuihaha Channel, or picking your way thru the reef on any given day with my salty mentors looking over your shoulder like me so you escaped the Hawaiian trial by fire. Here on the mainland in the age of auto helm and gps, there is a great propensity for getting a giant RIB dinghy and putting it on davits to die a slow death. I take a page out of the “old school” book and keep it rolled and stowed just like high latitude sailor Skip Novak does on his adventures. Skip knows the lay of the land and has sailed a lot of the same latitudes I have, he is a true master. This being said there are two dinghies I feel are perfect for any mission over the horizon.

My first pick of the bunch is the everlasting Zodiac MK1 Classic HD. There isn’t a better boat for the yachtsman who wants a heavy duty aluminum floor and high performance quality roll up dinghy. The Zodiac MK1 Classic manages all aspects of being a dinghy with stellar performance and supreme confidence in it’s ability to accomplish mundane tasks like fetching water or doing laundry ashore to extended dive or fishing missions. It’s just plain fun to pilot and big enough to get you and your gear where you want to be. If an HD floor system seems too daunting to put together you could always opt for the air floor version, it’s as easy as unroll, inflate, and go! The Zodiac MK1 Classic is built in France and is the patented thermo-bonded construction that has become legend since it’s inception in 1977 on the “ZED” or Zodiac Espace Diffusion. (a note to those of you who don’t know, Zodiac has always been an aerospace company ever since 1896) I still see those original models here at IBC going strong after all those years of uncompromising service. The product was considered “hyper technical” in 1977 and even more so by today’s standard when compared to cheap Chinese imitations.

My second pick is anything in the Zodiac Fastroller model range. Those of you who want a quality French thermo-bonded boat like the Zodiac MK1 Classic but in a smaller and lighter platform should be looking at these. In my early days I would have swam though shark infested waters (again) just to lay my dirty calloused hands on one of these beauties. Making the most out of material science, and advanced process engineering Zodiac has made it possible to fit the interior space of a 14′ inflatable into a model that measures only 11’10” overall, I.E. the Zodiac Cadet 360 Fastroller. Sure there are smaller versions such as the Zodiac 325 Fastroller and the Zodiac 285 Fastroller and I would certainly consider either of those depending on how much stuff I want to jam into the boat in one trip. The Zodiac 285 Fastroller is a perfect choice of an airfloor tender but I like them small and easy to stow/deploy especially on smaller yachts, boats, and RVs. Questions? Comments? Give us a call here at the shop (503)235-2628 during business hours on the West Coast and we’ll do our best to get you the right dinghy for your boat, It might even be a big RIB!

 

 

 

 

What Makes A Bombard Special

L’ Angeviniere was formed in 1937 and specialized in equipment for the Navy. After an encounter with Dr. Alain Bombard in 1953 (this is after he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a Zodiac MK3 prototype) the company went in a new direction, lifeboats.

Dr. Alain Bombard is credited with development of the liferaft and the definitive guide to surviving at sea. Dr. Bombard’s own journey of over 65 days at sea with no food or water was in fact an experiment to prove that a castaway could survive at sea with only what the ocean could provide. Based on this successful experiment and his unique designs for boats Dr. Bombard joined the company and that’s where one legend led to the development of another.

The world would see the introduction of the first class IV line of inflatable boats in 1964, and the Commando series of inflatable boats (another Bombard innovation) in 1972.
The Commando line has been in service continuously ever since it’s introduction and remains as one of the most capable boats afloat today for professionals.

Being the world leaders in lifesaving, lifeboats, and of course the Commando series of inflatable boats doesn’t go unnoticed for long. In 1980 Zodiac came forward and purchased the rights to the Bombard line and name outright to capitalize on the vast knowlege and manufacturing techniques used by Bombard.

The Zodiac offering grew with the addition of Avon and Bombard from it’s roots in 1886 as an aerospace company to the world leader in inflatable boats and advanced materials to what the world calls all inflatable boats, “Zodiacs”.

This heritage and support world wide ensures that any Zodiac/Bombard inflatable boat dealer can supply parts and service for any Bombard or Zodiac boat anywhere in the world on any water.

The introduction of the Bombard Typhoon series is aimed at the recreational user who demands a first quality boat at a bargain price, and is supported at every level by over 120 years of experience and a vast dealer network. Compare that to any other inflatable boat manufacturer and understand why Bombard ranks as #1 for first time buyers and seasoned professionals alike.

The Zodiac/Bombard Typhoon series of inflatable boats represents the best quality for the money in a world of ever changing cheap internet knockoffs. Demand the lineage and quality of a Zodiac/Bombard and get the very best boat for the money.

For the more professional users IBC still offers the Bombard Commando series as well as the easy to love and use Typhoon series under one roof.
Order your first boat online thru our website or come in and talk to people who use these very same boats themselves everyday.
Ask about a boat and motor package and find your own little slice of Heaven in a Bombard.

Inflatable Boat Maintenance

Let’s spend a few minutes to talk about inflatable boat maintenance and it’s role on the life of your boat.

Proper inflation is the best preventative medicine you can do for your inflatable boat. By running a “floppy” or “soft” boat you are putting stresses on the seams and hardware that otherwise would be mitigated by the rigidity of a properly inflated boat. Remember to keep your boat tight and it will perform better, use less fuel and live a longer life.

Sand, we know it from beaches and from the sand paper on our workbench. There are many types and grades of sand but we’ll just concern ourselves with two for this article. The first type we are all familiar with is SiO2 better known as silicon dioxide in the form of quartz. The second type is CaCO3 or calcium carbonate that comes from biological sources (think pearls and shells). Sand by it’s self isn’t a problem but it sticks to feet and gets into the nooks and crannies of your inflatable boat where the grains do work (sanding) because of the action of the boat. Now if you don’t have enough air in your boat like mentioned above then you are speeding up the wear process. Remember to clean & rinse out your inflatable boat frequently and before it goes into storage every time. IBC sells patches and glue for those of you who think this doesn’t matter!

Sun exposure or as it is more correctly stated, radiation exposure. People online are always talking about the Sun’s UV radiation and how it it made their tubes sticky or brown or why you have to have Hypalon to beat it. Let’s go back a step and mention that UV radiation is absorbed at the same amount for both materials. I’m not making this stuff up it’s well understood from the fields of physics and it’s twin sister chemistry.  As a rule UV radiation at the correct energy density causes electrons to be liberated from atoms causing a decomposition and ejection of said atom. IBC’s very own Mike capitalized on this well understood phenomena as a laser engineer for the hi-tech and nano-tech fields in a prior life. Since he has many patents in directed energy and material science we tend not to argue about it with him. UV radiation damage is most commonly seen as photo bleaching, this is true for PVC or Hypalon or just about any other material under the Sun.Even a diamond will down convert to CO2 given enough exposure to the sun, nothing is forever. If your boat is chalky or frosted you have UV damage and it needs 303 or Polyguard. When stuff is left to die in the sun it does so very predictably and without fail.

The “brown” you see on vinyl compounds such as PVC and even Zodiac’s nigh indestructible Strongan™ , even the much touted Hypalon, is from long wave radiation exposure (you know this as heat) from around the 10.6 µm wavelength. Brownian Motion (named after Robert Brown from experiments in 1827), and cascading radiation absorption due to brownian motion is the mechanism here. Basically the more exposure the darker it gets, the darker it gets the more exposure it sees until decomposition and failure occurs. Leaving your boat, car or anything else out in the elements to die will provide those results. If you are keeping your dinghy on a davit for the whole year unprotected, until that one weekend when you decide to go boating, you can’t complain. It’s your own fault!

My suggestion to all of you who want to keep your boat for many years to come, is to properly inflate, clean and condition your boat.

Mike uses Aurora Speed Clean and Polyguard sold together as a kit from IBC as well as Aerospace 303 spray protectant for those easy on quick applications.

Speed Clean rinsed off
After proper cleaning with speed clean and rinsing/wiping down
303 applied
After applying 303 protectant

Remember no one likes a dirty floppy dinghy!