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Identifying Inflatable Boat Material

ArticleMay 18, 2011

You want to make some repairs to your inflatable boat but don’t know what kind of material it’s made of. How do you figure it out?

Boat makers use two general types of coated materials: synthetic rubber, such as NRS’s Pennel Orca® (Hypalon® or neoprene), or plastic polymers (PVC or urethane) in their inflatables. If you can see both sides of the material—from a tear, loose seam or by removing a valve—you should be able to tell. If the two sides of the material are different colors, it’s probably synthetic rubber. If the colors are the same, it’s likely to be PVC or urethane.

Another way of figuring this out requires knowing the boat’s manufacturer. If you do, consult the Inflatable Boat Reference Chart.

Repair materials and adhesives don’t cross over on the two types of material, so take the time to figure it out. Getting the right stuff the first time will save you a lot of frustration! If you need help or have questions, give us a call at 877.677.4327. Lots of us have experience doing repairs.