Homemade soles for inflatable boats
I have a small single rowing PVC boat that I used to take fishing. In float fishing it helps to more accurately determine the fishing spot using the fish finder, put a buoy, fishing at dawn, carrying out wiring on the river or Karaseva pond. In spinning a good choice when fishing the area, helps to go river rafting, it is good for small ponds.
But, like most single boats, it does not have soles. On the one hand, this greatly reduces the weight and dimensions of the package during transport, and on the other remain without the benefits of hard flooring. And they are significant. First of all, from a much larger convenience when fishing: you receive the ability to navigate in a boat; also, for me, as poplavochnye, an important factor is the stability of the buckets of bait — it is important that at any movement it was not overturned. Boat with hard bottom is easier oars, allowing you to expend a little effort for rowing. Since purchase soles prefabrication on this model boat impossible, had to do it on their own.
From water-resistant (bakelite) veneer I immediately refused — it is too heavy, the advantage of a small mass kit from the lost, and, as it turned out, to buy it is not so simple. Decided to use ordinary plywood thickness of 6 mm passed processing against moisture. A standard sheet of plywood to the exact size cut at the store “Leroy Merlin”, and bring it all became convenient. Initially doubted the strength and stiffness of 6 mm plywood, but a small square (the blank for the soles) proved to be quite rigid, and given the fact that he will lean on the bottom and the water, but still being associated with other pieces, it became clear that strength is enough. Probably jumping into a boat he will not allow, but comfortable to move and place all the gear is possible. Catch standing I was going to the small boat itself is unstable, and falling overboard hardly anyone goes to fishing. But such soles is the most easy of all possible options.
Plywood, of course, need to be protected from water. Modern varnishes and impregnation are handling it perfectly. I already had a small experience in the manufacture of duckboards: then I soaked the plywood ordinary decorative impregnated for protection against moisture. A few years of use did not reveal any particular problems, except that the corners began to appear signs of decay. This time I decided to make the defense more solid and bought a small cheap jar of yacht varnish. Still need some brushes: one or two for the application of varnish in two layers and a small (inch) for glue and a paint roller or a trowel to smooth the fabric.
Separate sheets of plywood were required to interconnect to the soles. Option stiff joints I did not consider-for rowing boats is extra weight and extra operations in the Assembly-disassembly. Optimal was the option of gluing sheets of plywood with strips of PVC fabric; however, had doubts about the strength of the joint of glue and varnish on plywood. The fabric I had; however, it is easy to acquire. It took a few tubes of glue for PVC (took me about 150 ml). The cost of materials amounted to not more than 1000.
The most difficult was to figure out what gap soles must be inserted at the bottom of the boat. Managed to talk to boat builders, who said that the clearance should be about 5 mm. Having it like this, I still missed a few, since this gap is designed for a thicker plywood bottom; for my it was possible to do almost breaking. On an inflated boat should pull the fabric across the bottom of the sides and measure the distance obtained. For convenience, all this can be done outside the craft. Subtracting 2-3 mm, the resulting width of sheet of plywood.
The length of the soles is measured by the length of the bottom of the boat. To accurately replicate the contours of the bottom at the bow and stern parts, made a template out of cardboard. I had a fairly significant limitation on the length and width of the folded soles, because they wanted to fit it into the platform-table, which is almost always with me fishing. Because of this, I sacrificed the length of the soles and made it slightly shorter than the bottom of the boat, digressing a little from the bow. Plus in this case was the fact that the crest line of the bottom (I have a boat with a slightly raised nose) formed just at the junction of the leaves. It absolutely does not affect the usability of the boat, but the soles assembled perfectly fit with the car. My soles turned four parts.
The plywood to the exact size I cut was still in the store, left to handle the corners and side seams. All the ends (which are attached to the boat and to dock, and then glued fabric PVC) rounded out all the angles made by the radius, this helped me “Bulgarian”” petal circle. Should not be any sharp corner or edges that can damage the fabric. Finally from all of the parties treated the edges with fine sandpaper on a fabric basis. The dirtiest part of the work — varnishing. Plywood should be treated on all sides with no gaps. The drying time of the varnish — a few days; after the first exposure smoothed out again on all sides for the best adhesion, and removed the flaws, stains and varnished completely. As shown, two layers of varnish is enough. To further paint the soles, I did not — the light is less heated in the sun. After a few days when the lacquer has fully cured, embarked on the most challenging gluing sheets of PVC tape.
For high-quality bonding glue for PVC is desirable to use a heat gun that heats the glue seam and removes from the solvent. Glue should be clear in the instructions. Sheets of plywood should be glued with tape so that it is possible to fold a soles “accordion”. To do this, one side I glued, lay the plywood on the floor with newspaper and the other in the folded state. We must remember that PVC glue that you can buy in the store, does not imply correction of the parts when gluing, and therefore, it is necessary to immediately precise positioning of all the details. Helps in this pre-marking with a pencil. After the connection details I prokatyval fabric plastic narrow spatula to remove air pockets. The forward part stuck so that it was slightly curved upwards, repeating the contour of the bottom. After gluing required aging for several days, after which it is possible to conduct the long awaited test on the water.
Lots of soles for my boat was about 3.5 kg, which is not too increased weight of the kit. By the way, if necessary, the soles can be left at home When operating during the fishing season, the gluing of plywood and the PVC tape is not dispersed, and the varnish protected the soles from water and dirt. I must say that this is my first experience in the manufacture of soles of the type “books”, and he was successful. I’m sure any angler also will succeed.