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Friday, June 14, 2024

What to Check Before Riding Boat – Professional Guide

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An element that allows you to securely fix the oar on the cylinder, on one side the oarlocks the oarlock, and on the other – the oar holder. Oars holders are placed on the cylinder inconvenient places to, oddly enough, “keep the oars” motionless. Almost all boats with oarlocks are equipped with paddle holders before riding boat, with the exception of very small ones, on which there is absolutely no point in them, and they only get in the way on the cylinders.  

They are also absent on those boats, in the production of which the focus was made on the lowest weight (up to 3-5 kg, for example). On one of the training days, we got into a rather serious storm, then I first began to think about purchasing a boat from the best boat dealers.  

The convenience of the paddle holders is undeniable, so they will definitely come in handy, however, if they are not on the boat, do not rush to scold the manufacturer, they are not installed only when they interfere with the use of the boat due to its design, size or other features of the boat. 


A strip on the side of the riding boat to reduce friction against the berth when mooring, as well as to improve the design of the boat. Often a fender (halt/fender) is called a “fender with a wave breaker”, a conventional fender does not have a bend to repel splashes, but more on that below. From the experience of using PVC boats in Memphis, we can unequivocally say that on our rivers a fender is only an element of decor: we do not have the infrastructure for the correct mooring of a PVC riding boat, the fender must rub against a steel pier, but piers in Memphis, everywhere, are wooden, and the level above the water never coincides with the level at which the fender is placed. It turns out that the fender is hanging in the air, and the pier boards are rubbing either on the bottom of the cylinder or on the top.

However, in the event of a collision with boulders on rivers or with sheer cliffs, a fender, indeed, it takes a part of the blow and it can be useful on rafting on shallow or mountain rivers. Thus, everyone chooses for himself whether he needs a fender, in conclusion, I will only say that 99% of all motorboats over 330 cm in length and about 50% of riding boats up to 320 cm in length are equipped with a fender (with or without a wave breaker). 


Same as the fender, but with a special bend at the end to reduce splashes entering the PVC boat. According to the observations of many fishermen, a fender with a wave breaker has an indirect effect on the reduction of splashes, the main factor affecting the ingress of PVC water into the riding boat from behind the side is the large diameter of the cylinder. The larger it is, the less splashing in the riding boat, however, all boats with a large tank are equipped with a fender with a wave breaker. The main purpose of the breaker is to attach the awnings to the PVC boat: thanks to the breaker, the awnings can be attached to hooks and will not fly off. 


An integral part of the boat is PVC, through which the boat is inflated and lowered, they are installed on cylinders. Modern valves have two positions: for pumping and for the descent, in one position it is necessary to pump up the boat, and in the other – to lower it. The most popular valves change positions by turning the core in any direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). If the core does not turn, it is enough just to push it and turn it in the pressed state. 


They are installed on premium-class boats, primarily on low-pressure inflatable bottoms for a PVC boat, as well as on cylinders. The purpose of these valves is to relieve excess pressure from the boat’s cylinder, in order to avoid an explosion of the inflatable compartment of the boat or divergence of glued seams (when in the boat, when heated, excessive pressure is built up, the seams begin to stretch to the sides and, under the influence of temperature, they can disperse). The value of bleed valves is highly overestimated, they require fine-tuning, get confused, may not work, or be released too early.

But the most important thing is that you will rely on them and stop controlling the pressure in the cylinders manually, which can lead to a loose glued seam if the valve does not work (there are a lot of examples, there are more than one example on forums and in water motor companies when the bleed valves did not help). In the entire list, in my opinion, the bleed valve is the most controversial element of the PVC riding boat: on the one hand, it is really useful, but on the other hand, it is harmful. Many fishermen consider it an indispensable and integral part of a PVC boat, ultimately it’s up to you to decide. 


Installed on PVC boats under the motor, has a height corresponding to one of the types of the motor according to the standards, usually, this is the S leg of the motor (standard river) for Memphis. It can be of different thicknesses, the thicker – the more expensive and heavier. It is made from moisture-resistant plywood or plastic (less often, aluminum). Moisture-resistant plywood (marine) is the most common material for making a transom, it turns out a transom lightweight, durable and inexpensive.

The plastic transom is heavier, more expensive, however, more wear-resistant within 10-20 years. A PLM (outboard boat motor) is hung on the transom, sometimes it is necessary to adjust the height of the transom (raise or lower) so that the motor leg fits well under it and the boat runs perfectly. Also, the transom has a slope, which is calculated by the engineers and is designed to improve the driving performance of the motor. 


Always straight transom without slope, the lightest in weight, however, thin. To fix the motor on it, you will need to install an extension on it or supplement it with bars. Extensions are commercially available and are called transom reinforcement. Light small PVC boats are equipped with such transoms for a motor, the main task of such a transom is to ensure the minimum weight of the boat and allow the buyer to use it on the oars until he decides to put the motor on. When there is a desire to put the motor on, the boat owner buys or makes a transom reinforcement (which weighs up to 2 kg, to understand why they are not installed right away, and costs more than 400 rubles) and uses the boat under the motor for his own pleasure. 


An extension for a lightweight transom or any transom that lacks the height to fully mount the motor. This extension is placed on the transom (if there were reinforcements on it, they are removed, and an extension is placed in their place) is fixed with glue / self-tapping screws/bolts or is not fixed at all. The extension does not have to be fixed, it will hold on to itself tightly, however, for peace of mind, it is better to fix it. Extensions are created for transoms individually or serially, in the case of boats with low transoms, for which such an extension will be bought. For other transoms, extensions are made individually, for example, when 2-3 cm of the transom height is not enough. 


An original solution, such as a transom can be raised and lowered, thanks to this you can easily select the desired transom height for your motor. Several disadvantages: 

  • Additional holes on the transom will weaken it. 
  • You may loosely tighten the transom, or it may loosen during operation, and it will lower during travel to the lower position. 
  • It’s not pretty in terms of appearance. 
  • You will be checking it and worrying that the transom is loose. 

A very small number of PVC boats are equipped with a height-adjustable transom, most people prefer to adjust the height of the transom using conventional methods (extensions, sawing off a part of the transom). This is logical, once I put the transom in order, “made friends with the motor” and that’s it – use it, everything is beautiful, nothing gets in the way. And, besides, most of the transoms on boats immediately fit the engine and run well, and many are not so demanding to achieve a perfect ride. 


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