After the excitement of owning a RIB sets in, the next thing an owner will want to consider is how to maintain the vessel. After all, a rigid inflatable boat is an investment and one that will take a reasonable amount of care and maintenance. After a day of play on the water, it’s time to put the vessel away or store it properly. BRIG Rigid Intelligent Boats believes that caring for a boat after each use significantly impacts the longevity of the vessel. We don’t mean some sort of four-hour process; however, the small consistent maintenance will keep a RIB in tip-top shape.
We thought it might be helpful to create a guide for our customers to help them maintain the life of their vessels. This will be a great start to building a routine around the boat and will support an owner by identifying problems faster which can significantly impact an owner’s bank account.
Caring for a Rigid Inflatable Boat
For starters, a RIB is easier to care for than ANY hard-sided boat and requires no polishing. Secondly, they are much lighter than a solid fiberglass yacht tender of similar size, thanks to the inflatable tubes.
Ultimately, every aspect of a RIB design translates into a number of advantages.
Keep on reading to learn more!
Clean and Washdown
Each time an owner hits the water, their followup to that adventure should be a good wash down. Those who use their watercraft in saltwater will want to head this tip especially. Saltwater is corrosive and can cause damage to just about any part of a boat. Soft bristle brushes will help clean up deck spaces and interior elements. Stay away from chemical cleaners like bleach, acetone, or ammonia. Also, stay away from sharp or abrasive tools to clean the vessel as it can compromise the materials.
Cover the Vessel
When an owner is using their RIB regularly, they should still cover it after they clean it AND dry it. Not only does this keep the environmental elements from the vessel, like birds and the sun’s UV rays, but it’s also nice to get on a clean watercraft and not have to clean it before leaving on a new adventure.
Protecting the Cushions and Upholstery
Cleaning the upholstery after each use is a good idea to keep the materials supple and free of damaging environmental elements. There are plenty of marine products that are designed specifically for this purpose. Consider asking the retailer and other RIB owners what they use to keep their vessel upholstery looking great.
Inflatable Material Care
Depending on the kind of material the inflatable is made of, owners will want to use water-based protectant solutions to maintain the inflatable materials. Things like suntan oil, beverages and fuel can trigger chemical reactions which can hurt the integrity of the boat if it’s not cleaned and treated regularly.
The Hull Maintenance
Owners who keep their vessels in the water will want to pay close attention to the hull of the vessels. Those who don’t will be able to see their hulls more regularly and treat them. Owners will want to wax the bottom of a fiberglass boat and care for it like they would a bigger vessel. This will prevent microorganisms from building up and will make cleaning the hull easier over time.
Tend to Hardware
Boats made with marine materials are ready for harsh outdoor elements, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to environmental damage. Cleaning these off regularly with fresh water is a good start, but using marine polishes will keep the hardware looking factory status.
Tend to The Engine
The best way to care for an engine is to get it on a maintenance schedule. Look at the owner’s manual to learn about the factory recommendations and stick to it. Engines are an expensive component to replace, and often, things that go wrong are entirely avoidable.
Zincs and Anodes
Finally, many RIB owners use sacrificial metals to help protect their boats from the harsh saltwater environment. Like the engine, these too can be put on a schedule and replaced regularly so they don’t get overlooked.
We hope this RIB maintenance checklist has given you a place to start caring for your boat. Staying on top of the care schedule will ensure your boat will have a long life and will always be ready for adventures.