Inflatable Boat

How to select PVC fabric for inflatable boat and produce of the PVC boat?

How to select PVC fabric for inflatable boat and produce of the PVC boat?

The fabric for inflatable boat have many types, also it can be finish by welding or gluing.

  1. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) –
  2. Rubberized fabric
  3. Hipalon and neoprene are
  4. Polyurethane –

Each of the methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, so in each case choose the most appropriate.

With mechanical cutting methods, the time spent is 5-10% of the total boat manufacturing time.


In mass production, a flat cutting method is used, which allows you to simultaneously cut out 10-20 parts of the same configuration. Promising for the flattening method are laser cutting and cutting with a water jet, in which the contour of parts can be cut out according to a given program. Cutting material with a laser beam provides a cutting speed of up to 30 m/min and a cutting accuracy of ± 0.5 mm. With this method of cutting, the edges of parts made of synthetic fabrics are melted and have a clear edge. When cutting, the material is held in place by vacuum.

Recently, great opportunities have been opened up by the technique of cutting rubberized fabrics with a jet of water. The essence of the method is that water is compressed to a pressure of about 400 MPa, and then ejected in a thin stream through a sapphire nozzle with a diameter of 0.1-0.3 mm. The water jet, which has a very high speed, easily cuts the material. Polymer additives or abrasive particles are sometimes added to a system with ordinary tap water. The cutting speed can reach up to 60 m/min depending on the material. The reactive force in the nozzle due to the low water flow (0.5 – 4 l / min) is insignificant, therefore, industrial robots can be used with this method.

On the cut panels, the places of gluing together and the places of gluing parts are marked. To remove excess powdering material from the bonding areas and create a rough surface in order to increase the bonding strength, roughening is used, i.e., the removal of a very thin layer of rubber lining. Details with straight sections are roughened on roughing machines, and parts of complex configuration – with manual roughening elements. The duration of roughening in the overall process of manufacturing boats is from 5 to 15%.

However, the roughening process is time-consuming, and in thin shells of fabrics it can lead to a loss of textile strength and a violation of sealing. In recent years, especially intensive work has been carried out to eliminate this process by selecting new powder coating materials that are easily washed off by solvents and using stronger adhesive compositions. The rough surface, on at least one side of the fabric, may be formed by evenly spaced indentations in the form of intersecting lines, which are formed simultaneously with the vulcanization of the fabric. An interesting solution is when an abrasive material is introduced into the adhesive, which, when rolling the parts to be joined, penetrates into the surfaces to be glued like “rivets”.

The success of bonding is determined by good surface preparation and even, without wrinkles and bubbles, the bonding of the bonded surfaces. Before gluing, mark the border of the material overlay. The surfaces to be glued are connected starting from one edge of the seam to the other or from the middle to the edges so that there are no wrinkles and bubbles. The seam is smoothed by hand or rolled with a roller. On long seams, in order to avoid uneven stretching of fabrics, marks are applied in advance on both surfaces to be glued after 30–50 cm. Seams several meters long are glued in parts of 1–1.5 m. as the pieces are connected. Most often, the connection of the panels is carried out using a one-time or multiple lubrication of the glued areas with glue, mainly cold curing. In the manufacture of heavy trucksFor large-sized boats, hot-curing adhesives are used, followed by pre-pressing and vulcanization of the seam in a vulcanizing press. Spread the glue manually or with a mechanical glue spreader. Before smearing with glue, surfaces are refreshed for gluing with an organic solvent (gasoline, ethyl acetate, their mixture, etc.) – After refreshing with a solvent and after each spread, the surfaces are dried.

The assembly of the shell of a homemade inflatable boat starts from the sides and is performed in strict sequence. Separate parts are connected in the prescribed manner with various seams (mainly lap) along the smeared edges, to which, on both sides, to eliminate the effect of air filtration along the fibers of the fabric, pre-glued tapes 25–40 mm wide from rubberized fabric are glued, often thinner than the bead fabric. When using hot curing adhesives, seams are sealed with tapes made of unvulcanized rubbers or rubberized fabrics.

Inflatable boats are rowing and motor. The difference lies in their design. The first ones are quite simple. Their sides are usually divided into several compartments, which gives them greater safety: even if one compartment is damaged, the boat will not sink. The bottom (payola) of the boat is semi-rigid and rigid. In the first case, plastic or plywood is inserted into it, and in the second case, it is completely reinforced with plywood or a light alloy plate. In addition, sometimes, to make the hull more rigid, it is equipped with a rigid bench, which is installed between the sides. In addition to it or instead of it, inflatable pillows are also used as seats.

From boats of the first type, models with an outboard engine differ markedly in design. The nature of the differences depends on the power of the installed engine and the operating conditions of a particular model. The main difference between these boats and rowing boats is the presence of a rigid transom on which the engine is installed, and stronger elements for attaching it to the hull.

Boats with a small engine up to 2-3 horsepower have either an inflatable bottom or reinforced with transverse rails. They, like conventional inflatable boats, can be easily folded into a bag for transportation. Boats with a more powerful motor are equipped with hard floorboards.

Production technology of inflatable boats

In the production of inflatable boats, several basic materials are used: reinforced and non-reinforced PVC materials, rubberized fabric, polyurethane, hipalon and neoprene. All these materials differ in properties and operating conditions. Most domestically produced boats and cylinders for them are made of reinforced PVC. This material consists of several layers. It is based on a synthetic woven fabric, which is covered on both sides with several layers of PVC. Since polyvinyl chloride in its pure form is a non-plastic substance, polyurethane is added to it during production. There are such types of PVC fabrics as fabric, special for boats and construction. Special “boat” PVC material has several advantages. It is resistant to dirt, abrasion and UV radiation. It is easy enough to repair if suddenly the boat leaked. The only negative: this material does not lend itself well to local staining. It can be painted only completely and only at the production stage: special dyes are added to polyvinyl chloride.

The second most popular material that is used for the production of boats is rubberized fabric. Its main advantage is its low price. Unfortunately, among the shortcomings, experts note a slight resistance to fading, abrasion, susceptibility to decay, etc.

Hipalon and neoprene are relatively new materials, but they are already actively used in the production of sports equipment, including wetsuits, boats, etc. They are also multi-layered and are made on the basis of synthetic fabric. But unlike PVC, the first woven layer is covered first with a layer of neoprene, and on top of layers of hypalon. This technology is expensive, so it is not used by domestic companies. In addition, the specificity of the raw materials used does not allow welding such material, which further increases the cost of the finished product. Nevertheless, boats made of such material are of high quality and long service life.

Inflatable boats are also made from polyurethane itself – the same one that is added to polyvinyl chloride to increase the plasticity of the latter. This material has a high porosity, so it is easily glued to the fabric base. Boats made of this material are ideal for use in extreme conditions.

PVC boats are becoming more and more popular every day among the fishermen. Every fisherman at least once thought about having his own swimming facility: a boat or a boat. No one needs to explain how significantly a PVC boat expands the possibilities of an angler in catching fish. Owning your own boat or boat is not cheap, but there is an alternative: a PVC inflatable boat.

An inflatable boat, unlike a regular one, has a large number of advantages:

  • An inflatable boat takes up significantly less storage space, it can be stored in a garage, utility room, even in an apartment.
  • It is much more convenient to transport an inflatable boat to the place of fishing, there is no need to purchase a car trailer, install a tow bar.
  • There is no need to look for a special place to launch an inflatable boat, an inflatable boat weighs much less, so even one person can easily launch it into the water.
  • The price of an inflatable boat is several times cheaper, so a large number of people can afford to buy it.

In the 90s, the first inflatable boats appeared from a new, more modern material, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC fabric was a nylon mesh coated on both sides with a layer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is an elastic and airtight material. PVC boats were significantly superior to rubber boats in terms of performance, but at first they cost much more than rubber boats. A little later, an increasing number of manufacturers began to appear on the market and the prices for PVC boats dropped significantly. Today, PVC inflatable boats have become the most popular type of boat of all.

Advantages of PVC boats


  • Easy to store PVC boats. Before storage, the rubber boat must be thoroughly washed, dried properly, sprinkled with talc and stored, if possible, deployed, in a partially inflated state, so that the boat does not rot and become moldy. There are no such problems with the PVC boat, I rolled it up and put it in storage until spring: in the garage, on the loggia, in the basement. PVC boat storage temperature from -40 to +50 degrees. It is advisable to store a rubber boat at a temperature of -5 to +35 degrees.
  • PVC boats are more resistant to tearing and abrasion. PVC fabric in its structure is denser and coarser, therefore it can better withstand mechanical stress. The rubberized fabric of the rubber boat does not resist longitudinal cuts well, so the rubber boat must be protected from sharp branches, snags, sharp stones and glass fragments.
  • The seams of PVC boats are much stronger and more aesthetically pleasing than the seams of rubber boats. The seams are the weakest point of the rubber boat, to reinforce them, the seams are glued with special tapes, so they look much less aesthetically pleasing. And despite the reinforcement of the seams with tapes, the strength of the seams of a rubber boat is still worse than that of a PVC boat. The tensile strength of the seams in a PVC boat is 3.5-4.5 kg., in the seams of a rubber boat 0.5 kg.
  • PVC boat cylinders hold a higher pressure, their working pressure is 0.3, for rubber boats the working pressure is 0.15. The pressure in the cylinders of a rubber boat must be carefully controlled, otherwise, in the heat, pumped cylinders can burst, this can especially happen with an old boat that has served its owner for many years. This does not happen with a PVC boat.
  • PVC boats are lighter than rubber inflatable boats. This moment becomes especially sensitive with a large inflatable boat.
  • The fabric from which PVC boats are made is much more practical than rubberized fabric. It does not rot, is not exposed to fungi and bacteria, does not absorb moisture, is not afraid of frost, ultraviolet radiation.
  • PVC boats are well suited for use with a motor, as PVC fabric is not afraid of contact with petroleum products: gasoline, engine oil.
  • PVC fabric manufacturers produce more than 20 colors and shades of their fabrics, which allows PVC boat designers and builders to create beautiful and aesthetically pleasing boats for every taste of their customers.
  • PVC boats are considered safer, even in the event of a boat cylinder puncture, the air from the PVC boat cylinder leaves much more slowly, leaving the boat owner more time to take measures to save the boat and property in the boat. Rubber boats sink faster.

PVC boat selection


A lot of questions arise in a person when choosing an inflatable boat, especially if this is his first boat. When choosing a boat, you need to consider several important points:

  • The size of the boat should match the size of the water where you will be fishing. The larger the pond, the larger your boat should be.
  • Be sure to consider the number of people who will be on the boat with you.
  • For fishing in a small body of water: a pond or a small river, a simple rowing boat is enough, designed for one, maximum for two people. For fishing in a large body of water: a large reservoir, a large river, a lake, it is better to purchase a PVC boat with a transom to install an outboard outboard motor.
  • Pay attention to the number of cylinders in the boat, there should be at least two, even better three. The more tanks in the boat, the safer it is.
  • Boats differ in the density of the PVC fabric from which they are made. The greater the density of the fabric, the thicker and stronger the fabric, but at the same time, the weight of the boat increases. It is advisable to choose boats with a sufficiently high density of PVC fabric.
  • The bottom of the boat may be different in design. There are boats with an inflatable bottom, as well as boats with a bottom made of plywood or even aluminum.
  • If the performance of the boat and its stability on the water are of great importance to you, try to test the model of your future boat by taking a boat of the same model from your fellow fishermen and trying it on the water.


Boats are made from high-quality PVC fabric of production. The seams of the boats are made by welding, which ensures their high strength and reliability.


inflatable compartments, PVC fabric density is 1050gsm. All boats in this series are equipped with a transom on which you can install an outboard motor. The bottom of the boats of this series are equipped with a slip-book. Boats of the Apache CK series are designed for 3, 4 or 5 people, depending on the model of the boat.


Going out into the open water for fishing or recreation will be much more pleasant if all the necessary equipment for PVC boats is at hand. At a minimum, you will need an inflation pump and foam pads for benches for comfortable lounging or sitting while fishing. You will find a wide range of additional equipment for PVC boats in the online store

Mandatory accessories

Not all accessories for inflatable boats that are on sale are mandatory and. However, among them there are really necessary for every owner of a small vessel. Such a list includes:

  • Pump. It comes standard, but it’s a good idea to have a spare with you.
  • Transoms, thanks to which the motor is hung. An additional device is transom wheels that facilitate the descent of the vessel to the water.
  • Repair kits to quickly fix a puncture and get to shore.
  • Several types of valves to maintain the required pressure.
  • Covers and bags for storage and transportation, allowing you to protect the unit from negative external influences.

Is it worth opening such a production and what is needed for this? Many questions scare entrepreneurs, especially newbies, at first. But with all the nuances can be dealt with gradually. Moreover, this process is slow. The main thing is to maintain the quality of manufactured products at a decent level.

Boat types

Mankind has already come up with many options for improvised transport in order to move along the water surface. Among them, the most popular over the years have become ordinary wooden and inflatable ones. For a tourist or an amateur fisherman, the latter are more interesting, since when folded they take up little space, and they can be transported with you to any chosen recreation area. Therefore, PVC boats as a business is considered a promising direction.

Among the inflatable varieties are:

  • Motor – characterized by the presence of an engine that is attached to a rigid transom. Thanks to the power of the motor, the boat picks up high speeds and allows a person to move to the right place in a short time. When they are manufactured at the plant, they adhere to certain GOSTs.
  • Rowing boats are more interesting for a private entrepreneur, as they consist entirely of inflatable elements. Their operation is also distinguished by ease, simplicity and safety. The sides are usually further divided into several compartments, which prevents the craft from sinking even if one of them is damaged.

Both in the first and in the second version, the bottom of the boat can be different – semi-rigid (made of plastic or plywood) or rigid, for the manufacture of which light alloys are used. Sometimes, for greater strength and convenience, a bench is also attached between the sides.

Raw materials for manufacturing

Today, various materials are used for the production of inflatable boats:

  1. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – it is reinforced and unreinforced. The first option is more common, as it has good strength, resistance to pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Such material, if necessary, is easy to repair, however, it is quite difficult to repaint. The composition contains a dense synthetic woven fabric and a polyurethane coating. This combination provides the best performance of the product. Non-reinforced PVC is more often chosen as a basis by foreign manufacturers, but is less durable and unreliable.
  2. Rubberized fabric is unstable to sunlight, and strength characteristics are much lower. But such materials are valued for their availability and low cost. True, a boat made of such fabric has a short service life.
  3. Hipalon and neoprene are relatively new raw materials for inflatable boats. Differs in high cost, but also possesses the highest quality in use. A finished product made of such material will last more than one year.
  4. Polyurethane – rarely used as the only element. It is usually combined with polyvinyl chloride and applied to a fabric base.


For the PVC Coated coated fabric material for boat is start at 650 g / m2. But manufacturers who care about the quality of their products try to play it safe and use for a density of 750, 850 g / m2 for the larger one use1050,1100,1200gsm.This provides greater operational reliability.


The whole process of creating an inflatable boat goes through the following stages:

  • Selection of the highest quality material. This should be done personally, so a person engaged in such a business must have some experience.
  • Cutting parts according to the required shape and dimensions of the finished product. It uses a pattern made on a special machine or standard stencils. If you use a laser machine for this, then each part will exactly match the specified parameters, and its edges will be perfectly even.
  • The assembly of the boat, which can take place in two ways – by gluing or by welding. Each case requires special equipment. For the first option for connecting parts, a special adhesive composition based on polyurethane is used. And to avoid the risk of rupture, they layer the parts together. Welding is a more reliable way of connecting elements, which is done using an ultrasonic unit and the use of hot air.


Such equipment is characterized by convenience and a fully automated process, which allows minimizing personnel costs. Since this item of expenditure in the business plan will turn out to be too high, beginners should stop at domestic devices or purchase used ones.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *