Things You Must Know Before Inflating an Inflatable Boat

inflating the boat
Written by ahmaddirar

On the face of it, the task of putting an inflatable boat into the water after filling it with air appears an easy one. It is not a very difficult or cumbersome affair by any stretch of the imagination either. However, there is a way to go about inflating the boat which will make it error-proof. The purpose is to get through with preparing the inflatable boat to sail into the water perfectly as soon as possible. Here are the steps you should follow:

Step By Step Process of Inflating an Inflatable Boat:


  1. The best way to start is to spread the inflatable boat first on a plain surface. Make sure there are no sharp objects in the vicinity. If you plan to inflate it at the waterfront, you may wish to rehearse once in your home.
  1. You should assess the size of the inflatable boat you are about to handle. This is essential if you need an electric pump, a manual pump, or if you can just blow it through your mouth. Yes, some small boats can be inflated by blowing if you have the lung power. The larger inflatable boats may require an air compressor to inflate air.
  1. The next step is to remove the caps fitted on the valves. Some inflatable boats come with the valves numbered. If your boat has them, it saves you some trouble. If not, you can mark the numbers before removing so that you will replace them exactly as they were after inflating. 
  1. Now you can start the inflating part. As mentioned, you can use the appropriate air pumping device, electric or manual. Most inflatable boat manufacturers recommend a sequence for inflating the boat. The generally accepted practice is to move clockwise. First, fill only 50% of the capacity. 
  1. With this flexible air pressure, you can fix the inflatable boat’s floors (in a dinghy) and the seat, wherever applicable. Some boats come with air floors. Handle the floor fixing work accordingly. Remember, if you don’t fix the floor at this stage, you cannot do it after inflating the boat 100%. Then, you will have to release some air, fix this, and re-inflate to 100%.
  1. Keep listening for any leak of air. If there is any pinhole or other leaks, you will have to deflate, repair the part and do the inflating work all over again. 
  1. From the 50% level, you must then inflate to 90% but on one side of the inflatable boat. In the next step, you must inflate the opposite side to 100% first and then come back to this side to make it 100% all over. Some people prefer doing the final filling with a manual pump.
  1. You should now replace the valves and make one last check if there are any leaks or if the air is held tight on all sides. 
  1. Some inflatable boats are built with a keel portion. This should be inflated the last. 

In almost all cases, you will find elaborate instructions on how to inflate the inflatable boat in the user manuals supplied when you purchased the boat. There are YouTube videos too that can demonstrate to you visually how it is carried out. 

Checking the valves and the surface for any leaks can be done twice if you wish to play it absolutely safe before entering the water.

Some General Instructions

If you followed the above process, you must be able to finish and be ready to launch the boat into the water in less than 20 minutes from when you started. 

Remember to carry all the other stuff that you usually take on board while venturing out into the water. These will include your oars, the fishing gear if that is your purpose and other paraphernalia.

There are also some instructions to be followed while storing up the inflatable boat after you have completed the trip in the water. It is safer to keep it in the deflated and folded condition to avert any damage to the boat. You should first deflate the inflatable boat fully, allow the material to dry completely before you fold it up. If there is dirt sticking on the surface you must clean it thoroughly before drying.

These instructions are to make sure you get the maximum out of your inflatable boat.

About the author


I am an avid traveler and adventurer, I love fishing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and camping. when you want me you can usually find me on the water either fishing :) , paddleboarding or kayaking.

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