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 Manuals & Maintenance for
Your Inflatable Boat
  Deluxe Boat Cover Instructions  

We have deluxe boat covers made exclusively for us by a local company.  Tap here for tips for using and securing your cover on your RIB.     To learn more about the covers, tap here.

  Boat Manuals  

Below are tips for caring for your North Atlantic Inflatable.  If you would like a hard copy of our manual, use the links below.   It includes instructions for assembling your air deck or aluminum panel floor and storage, care and maintenance tips.


  Roll Up Boat Manual - Tap here to view on the web

  RIB  (Aluminum or Fiberglass Hulls) Manual - Tap to view on the web

Like any other boat, inflatable boats need proper care and maintenance to function at their best and last a long time. Without maintenance, inflatable boats may only last a few years - particularly in the south where the sun is intense most of the year (we recommend Hypalon tubes in the south).  With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can expect to enjoy your Hypalon boat for 20 years and your PVC boat for 8-10 years.

  Choosing the Right Cleaning Products  

The first and probably most important step to properly cleaning an inflatable boat is to choose the right cleaning products. Using the wrong cleaners can end up damaging your boat/tubes instead.

While inflatable boats may be made of durable PVC or Hypalon, they are still susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh chemicals. They are not like fiberglass or aluminum boats and should therefore not be exposed to the same types of boat cleaners.

Products you should never use to clean inflatable boats include:

- toluene

- acetone

- bleach

- ammonia

- highly alkaline cleaners (pH greater than 11.5)

- abrasive scrub pads

- steel wool


These products can damage and/or discolor the fabric and attack the adhesives of your inflatable boat.

Household soaps or detergents can leave a sticky residue on the boat surface that attracts and holds dirt. Soap scum can also serve as food for mold and mildew, and you’ll have to figure out how to clean mold off your inflatable.

To properly clean your inflatables it’s best to use inflatable boat cleaners. These are made specifically for cleaning inflatable boats and can effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains without damaging the tube material. Some of these cleaners can also protect boat surfaces from the elements, keeping them in the best condition. 

  Cleaning Your Inflatable Boat  

Once you’ve got the right cleaning products and tools, cleaning your PVC boat becomes quite simple. You'll need a couple of clean cloths and some water. You might also need a soft brush for scrubbing. Most cleaners only require you to apply the cleaner on the surface of the inflatable boat for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Start cleaning the boat floor and work in sections, moving outward while applying the boat cleaner. This will make it easy for you to check for any damaged areas, and see where you’ll need to make some repairs. Flip the boat and apply the cleaner on the underside as well, as this area is most exposed to the water.
You will end up with a nice, glossy-looking inflatable boat.


Once the boat is clean, you should apply a UV protector such as 303 AeroSpace Protectant to protect the fabric from the sun's UV rays.  Typically 303 needs to get (re)applied every few weeks during the season - No worries, it only take about 5-10 minutes to treat a 10' boat.   Click here to order  
Click here to learn more about 303 AeroSpace Protectant

Cleaning your inflatable boat is something you should do regularly especially if you use your boat often. And even for brand new boats, there may be some lubricants left from the manufacturing process that you need to clean off before use.​

  Bottom Paint Suggestions  

We suggest you put an anti-fouling paint on your boat bottom if you are concerned about organisms growing on the bottom of your boat.   

  • For Aluminum RIBs, you must select paint that is Copper Free to avoid corrosion.   We suggest Pettit's Hydrocoat Eco water-based paint

  • For Fiber Glass RIBs, we suggest Aquagard Waterbased Bottom Paint for Inflatables.  

  • For Inflatable bottom boats, we suggest Pettit Bottom Paint for Inflatable Boats.


Here are suggested steps for prepping and painting your boat bottom:

  1. Using painters tape (that will peel off easily later), tape off the area of your expected water line.

  2. For RIB boats, sand the hard surface you plan to paint  (do not sand the tubes.)  Sand just enough to take the shine off and rough up the surface so paint adheres better

  3. For RIB and Inflatable bottom boats, wipe the area you plan to paint, very lightly, with acetone, including the area on the tubes you plan to paint.  This removes any chemical residue from the PVC and RIB bottoms.   DO NOT use acetone on any other part of your PVC or Hypalon tubes as acetone can damage the material.

  4. Paint first coat and let it dry overnight

  5. Paint 2nd coat, remove painters tape, and you are ready to go!

Bottom Paint Water Line Pictures - 
  Tap here for Aluminum RIB (rigid hull boats)   &  Tap here for soft bottom, roll up boats
  Boat Registration Numbers  

We suggest stenciling on your boat registration numbers as they last longer than the stick on variety.  We offer this paint kit made for inflatable boats 

Boat placards or number plates can be ordered from Boat Number Plate


Decals that are self-adhesive with a clear background and black letters can be ordered at Banana Banners  tell them the decal is for an inflatable boat. 

  Storage Suggestions  

To extend the life of your boat, keep it covered from the beating sun when not in use.  We sell boat covers (as well as console and seat covers for the larger boats.)   Tap here to see the deluxe boat covers made for our boats. 


 Even in a New England winter, boats should be covered if stored outside. ​If you are storing your boat in a beautiful New England barn, or any spot where you may be prone to a few mice visitors, we suggest you wash off all saltwater (mice love the salt) and leave your boat partially inflated (for some reason, mice love rolled up boats - more crevices maybe?)  


  Cleaning Glue off a PVC Boat   

The first step to removing glue from a PVC boat is to identify which type of solvent to use to clean your boat.  Personally, we recommend a mixture of a 50/50 ratio of Acetone and MEK. We like this mixture because MEK is a great solution for softening the glue, while Acetone helps dissolve it.

Before cleaning, make sure to wear gloves since all cleaning solutions are toxic if absorbed in your skin.

Apply some solution to the cleaning brush and then begin rubbing it onto the area with glue.  Be very careful NOT to touch other areas of the boat fabric.  The solution will damage fabric that is not being repaired.  Make sure to use a horsehair brush to prevent scratching your boat when scrubbing.

The solution helps to soften up the glue enough to where you can scrub the glue off. You may use a simply blunt putty knife to scrape the glue off.  Lastly and importantly, rinse your boat well with soap and water.

  Cleaning Glue off a Hypalon Boat 

Like PVC boats, you can use thinners and Acetone to remove adhesives off your Hypalon boat.

We recommend using a drill brush to help you clean the glue faster.

Especially with thicker glue pieces, it can take a lot of scrubbing to get rid of it.

We recommend doing good ol’ mechanical cleaning before resorting to chemical cleaning methods.

Simply abrade the surface area with glue until the adhesive bites.

Since Hypalon is much more durable, you won’t scratch or damage it from brushing too hard.

Solvents tend to be less effective on Hypalon material compared to PVC. If you were to use one, I’d recommend Acetone or toluene.  These are less aggressive solvents compared to MEK.

They are excellent agents to use for deactivation and reactivation of glue for Hypalon.

However, Hypalon boats can last you two or three decades if properly maintained.

For additional info & helpful videos, go to:

For Tips on Winterizing Your Boat and Motor Tap Here.

Boat Covers & Instructions
Boat Manuals
Correct Cleaning Products
How to Clean
Bottom Paint Suggestions
Storage Suggestions
Boat Registration Numbers
Clean Glue off Hypalon
Cleaning Glue off a PVC Boat
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