When you live near the coast, especially the Gulf of Mexico in Bradenton, Florida, a world of activities opens up to you. Many people on Florida’s Gulf Coast choose an inflatable boat as their watercraft of choice. Just as many choose an inflatable kayak, more or less for the same reasons. However, when thinking about how to store an inflatable boat or kayak, there are a few things to consider.
What’s the best way to store it to make sure your inflatable boat stays buoyant for years to come? How can you prevent mold and mildew and keep the rubber from rotting, drying out, and cracking? All of these are excellent questions, no doubt. To help answer them, we’ve put together this list of tips on how to store an inflatable boat or kayak! Enjoy!
Tip #1: Store Your Inflatable Boat Inflated
Interestingly enough, it’s recommended that you store your inflatable boat inflated. Yes, it takes up more storage space that way, but it also protects your boat in several different ways:
- It protects the tubing from getting punctured by a sharp object, which is easier when it’s deflated.
- Storing your inflatable boat inflated protects the seams and attachments as they hold up better when you pressurize the boat. (From the air inside.)
- An inflated boat protects against the damage rodents cause. (Rubber is easier to nibble when deflated.)
- Inflated is better than half-deflating as inflatables are tougher when inflated.
Yes, storing your boat inflated means it will take up a bit more space, it’s true. Still, if you want your boating investment to last as long as possible, keeping it inflated is best. That’s true, even if it costs a little bit more to rent a storage space for your inflatable boat.
Tip #2: Store Your Inflatable Kayak Deflated
As for inflatable kayaks, deflating them is the best way to store them. It’s easier, they take up far less space and, if needed, you can fit them in your car or truck. If you plan to use your inflatable kayak regularly, keeping it inflated might be a better choice. You also might need to find a place to store it. A storage unit would be a great choice, especially if you had more than one.
Tip #3: Wash Your Inflatable Boat or Kayak Before Storing
As with any boat, washing your inflatable boat or kayak before storing it is an excellent idea. That way, you can remove all of the salt residues that will naturally a crew due to using it in saltwater. You’ll also remove oil or other liquids that might leave a stain or damage the rubber or plastic. Washing will also reduce the chance of mold and mildew, which can badly damage your boat’s rubber surfaces. There are plenty of products available to wash an inflatable boat, but plain, old dish soap works well.
Tip #4: Don’t Wash Them With These Products
One thing to keep in mind when washing rubber is that some products and chemicals can damage it. (Some can destroy it, too.) To make sure that never happens, here’s a list of cleaning products you should avoid:
- Steel wool
- Any type of solvent
- Any kind of abrasive Scrub
- MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)
Tip #5: Spray Inflatable Boat or Kayak with UV Protectant
While we don’t usually advertise specific products, 303 Marine UV Protectant is, in a word, awesome. It’s safe for rubber and plastic, has powerful UV blockers, and even restores your boat’s color and luster. We recommend that you spray your entire inflatable boat or kayak from stem to stern. This will keep everything protected and ready for your next adventure.
Tip #6: Store Inflatable Boats and Kayaks Indoors
This tip is essential! Rubber and plastic don’t last well in sunlight. That’s especially true here in Florida, where the sun can be much more potent. Storing your inflatable boat or kayak indoors, entirely out of the sun, is best. Indoor storage will increase the useful life span of your inflatable by several years at least. It also helps to store it in a very dry place to reduce the chance of mold and mildew forming.
If you don’t have a big enough garage (or any garage at all), renting a storage unit is a good choice. The right size storage unit can easily fit an inflatable boat and trailer, no problem. That way, it will be completely protected from the sun, rain, bird poop, and other damaging stuff.
Tip #7: If Outside, Cover Your Inflatable Boat or Kayak Well
Some people choose to store their inflatable boat or kayak outside. It might be too large, or their garage is too full. Whatever the reason, it’s imperative that you cover your inflatable boat or kayak exceptionally well. That way, it’s protected from the sun as well as critters and other inclement weather. It’s highly recommended you fasten the boat cover extremely well so It won’t get ripped off by the wind.
HideAway Storage Has Boat Storage and Storage Spaces
Here in Florida, HideAway is the preferred choice to store inflatable boats and kayaks. To start with, we’ve got clean, secure storage units and trailer spaces. With our keypad-controlled front gate, you can come and go as you please. (Just in case you want to leave early or get back late from a day on the water.) No matter what your watercraft of choice happens to be, we wish you all the best out on the water. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy everything Florida has to offer!