Care and Maintenance of a Stryker Inflatable Boat
Here are 6 common questions people ask while considering the repair and maintenance of an inflatable boat.
1. How to clean a Stryker inflatable boat?
It is necessary to clean an inflatable boat after each use. If it is not cleaned, dust and grime tend to settle on the surface of fabric or rubber, which makes the boat look filthy. It also starts the process of boat decay. Rinsing the boat after every use is the most important part of cleaning an inflatable boat. The inside of the boat should be rinsed using freshwater.
It helps to invest in 303 Aerospace Protectant which will help keep the boat clean and fabric protected against UV dmage. This is the single most important thing to do to protect your investment. Mist the 303 on a small section at a time and wipe into fabric using shammy or microfibre cloth.
Leaving the boat out in the sun over extended periods is inadvisable. The heat of the sun can damage the fabric of the boat over time, if not properly protected.
2. How to store a Stryker inflatable boat?
For storage, your inflatable boat should be kept out of the water to maintain its good condition. Keeping it on the water will expose it to algae, bacteria and other temperature changes, which will cause degradation over time.
Inflatable boats can be conveniently stored in a small space. However, before storing, the boat should be thoroughly cleaned and dried. The spot where the boat is to be stored should be away from pests and rodents. The boat should be wrapped in extra layers of plastic cover to keep it safe.
The boat is then to be rolled up and kept in a place where it will remain unaffected by extreme changes in the climate as excessive heat and humidity and or extreme cold temperatures have a negative impact on the adhesives on the boat.
If the boat is to be kept on a trailer, it should be covered and bow raised, and drain plug out to allow water to drain. For outboard storing, please refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations.
3. How to find a leak in a Stryker Inflatable Boat?
- The process for inspecting an inflatable boat to find a leak is as follows:
- To locate the leak, you have to inflate the tubes of the boat to the maximum so that it sounds like a drum when tapped on with the flat of your hand.
- Inspect all areas of the inflatable tube for signs of wear and tear.
- Mix mild Ph washing liquid and warm water in equal parts in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on one side of the tubes and look for any bubbles forming.
- Mark all the areas where bubbles are evident with a marker.
- Once the entire area of the boat is covered, rinse the surface thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely.
- If there are bubbles forming around the valves, use your Halkey Roberts valve tool in repair kit to tighten.
- Further repairs can be carried out on every part where the leak is found, as mentioned below.
4. What to do if water is slowly leaking into a Stryker inflatable boat through Drain plug?
- Most likely place where water can enter inflatable boats is a one-way drain valve. There are several reasons why water may sip into the boat, and fixes are usually quick and easy.
- Drain plug is not fully inserted. Please make sure there is no debris on a plug, and press on drain plug to make sure it is all way in.
- One-way rubber seal that lock the valve is dirty, or there is debris under the seal. Pull rubber seal with your finger and inspect for debris stack between seal and plastic housing. Wipe rubber seal with an acetone.
- Drain plug assembly is loose or not enough sealant under the drain valve. Tighten screws on a drain plug while avoiding cracking plastic part. Apply door/window clear silicone sealant around drain valve assembly. Replacement drain plug assemblies are also available per request.
5. How to replace a Halkey Roberts Valve in a Stryker Inflatable Boat?
Stryker inflatable boats are fitted with the screw-in type of valves called a Halkey Roberts Valve. It is necessary to know about the anatomy of the valves in order to fix them. The next process is:
- Once the identification of the male and the female section is done, deflate the tube on a flat surface.
- Before unscrewing the male section of the valve, make sure the new one is handy.
- Lay the tube flat and put downward pressure on the valve.
- Hold the female valve through the tube securely to prevent it from moving inside the tube when the male section is unscrewed. (This valve sits loose in the boat, be very careful not to lose this inside your boat)
- Unscrew the male section and replace it with the new male section.
- Ensure that it is in a closed position and re-inflate the test tube to check for leaks and repairs.
- Occasionally, a sealant such as marine silicone can be used at the base of the threads upon reassembly to ensure no air loss. DO NOT use a silicone adhesive for this.
6. How to use 2 part Glue to Repair or add Accessories on a Stryker Inflatable Boat
Instructions: Stabond Adhesive (2 part Adhesive)
Note: For small nicks, pinholes etc use a small bead of marine grade sika flex over area, 2 part glue not necessary for these repairs.
- Stabond and Accelerator
- PVC Cleaner (MEK- Methyl Ethyl Ketone), or Toluol (Toluene) – see recommendation below.
- Roller Rasp or Pro Roller
- Your patching material. See material for all our patching material options.
- 180 grit sandpaper (optional)
- Lint-free towel
- Container with lid (margarine tub works well)
Work in a well ventilated area (garage or shady area works well) The environment in which the boat is going to be repaired has to have a relative humidity less than 60%, the temperature should be between 18°C and 25°C and the area should be dry and well ventilated. There should be no open flame in the area.
- Use a respirator and chemical resistant gloves (i.e. Nitrile gloves).
- Eye protection
- See container for further precautions.
- Use methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) to clean any urethane or PVC materials and use toluene to clean any Hypalon or synthetic rubber materials.
- All contact/gluing surfaces must be thoroughly buffed, using a sanding wheel, 150 or 180 grit sandpaper, or a roller rasp. Just buff the fabric shine off; don’t rasp down to the threads.
- Cut patch 2″ larger than damaged area and round the edges.
- Clean the buffed surfaces with recommended solvent, using a lint-free towel.
- Trace area of patch with a pencil.
Mixing Adhesive with Accelerator
Prepare your glue, mixing at a ratio of 10 parts glue to 1 part accelerator in a container that has a lid. Add 3 ml of accelerator per ounce of adhesive. Keep the glue covered while not in use.
- Both surfaces to be joined must be coated with adhesive.
Note: The surfaces to be joined must be dry prior to applying adhesive.
- Apply one thin, even coat of adhesive to each surface.
- Wait until the first coat of adhesive is dry-approximately 10 – 30 minutes depending on conditions. Use the “knuckle” test – touch your gloved finger to the glue) You should be able to feel adhesion without your knuckle sticking.
- Apply a second thin, even coat to each surface. Wait until the second coat has an even, tacky finish (surfaces should not be visibly wet). Use the knuckle test again to gauge the optimum surface condition for joining the surfaces. Time will be 5 – 10 minutes. Don’t allow the layer to completely dry.
- Immediately press both sides of the fabric together and apply pressure to the entire glued surface using a roller, rolling from the center out. This forces air bubbles out and meshes the two fabrics together. Use a lint-free towel to wipe up excess glue.
- Complete curing time takes approximately 24 hours. If you must inflate a repaired chamber before that, it’s best to minimize the pressure.
- Be careful when rolling up a repaired boat for storage. Make sure drying is complete.
If this seems overwhelming to you, you can always opt for a local inflatable boat service centre. For local repairs in BC please call Greeley’s Inflatable Boat repair @ 1-604-514-9975.