The idea to write such an article or to make a training film arose long ago. This is primarily due to the large number of questions asked on the pages of Internet sites or simply in conversations between fishermen on the topic: which boat is better, what are the pros and cons of this boat, how to assemble or disassemble the boat, how to store, transport and etc., etc. Why not start this long conversation about the “fighting girlfriend” just in the period of the ban for small boats with a motor? Perhaps someone during this time will draw something useful for himself and his boat and prepare for the season. And the one who is faced with the painful choice of which boat to buy, with an eye on the deepening crisis, will still make a decision and spend the hard-earned money exactly on that “girlfriend” who will suit him to a greater extent. So, in order.
PVC boats with a transom for the motor are divided into three main types: a) boats with an inflatable bottom; c) boats with glued bottom (RIB); c) boats with stacked hard bottom (poilli). Now briefly consider their characteristics. Boats with an inflatable bottom, in turn, are divided into boats with an inflatable liner-floor (AIR DECK) and boats with an inflatable compartment-bottom, forming a keel and a “hard” bottom at the same time. The main advantage of these boats is the relative simplicity and ease of assembly-disassembly. Why relative, I will explain below. Also, the advantages include light weight both disassembled and assembled. The latter, of course, is important, because after assembly, the boat must also be delivered to the water. Or transfer it to shallow water through an obstacle in several pairs of hands. Sometimes it is 2-3 meters, and sometimes much more. The biggest minus of these boats is the small cockpit space (interior space) and the very low seating position (cans). This creates a rather tangible fishing discomfort. Also of the minuses we can distinguish weaker driving performance than other PVC boats. This is due to insufficient rigidity of the structure.
RIB glued-bottom boats are very comfortable. I would even say – chic boats on the water. But on the shore, they put forward a number of requirements. Such as transporting on a trailer, a special place to store between navigation … And the price of these boats is quite high. Now boats with a stacked hard bottom. They can also be divided into two groups: with aluminum poilli and with laminated waterproof plywood poioli. The aluminum bottom is slightly lighter than the “wooden” one, but aluminum sometimes breaks, which limits its use. Actually, you can write a lot about the advantages of various boats. Yes, and many articles have already been written, commercial and not very. Let manufacturers and advertisers do this. I did just a short excursion, so to speak, an introduction, so that it would be clear why boats with a stacked hard bottom became the most massive of PVC boats in our country. I want to emphasize that this is only my subjective opinion, based on personal experience, personal views on fishing and the resulting requirements for the boat. The main task of the article is to talk about the features of the operation of PVC boats, as well as about the nuances and subtleties that I use to facilitate this very operation.
It will be about a specific boat “Leader”, which I and my friends have. Why exactly about her? Firstly, because, as I said, I have a “Leader” and there is no other boat for the sample – but experience is something, but that means. Secondly, because I just like her. And thirdly, it is in relation to the “Leaders” that I hear erroneous statements that they say that it is difficult to assemble and disassemble them. We will discuss without much emphasis on the model. For example, I have already replaced three models of this company, the current one is the fourth, and I have not found any fundamental differences between them.
Now, in order about the assembly, which for some is “complicated”. When I come fishing, the first thing I do is determine where the boat was assembled. A very important point: the place should be as even as possible, the ease of assembly depends on this. Sometimes you can dry seven pots, but you can’t assemble the boat if the site is not selected correctly. Depressions and bumps should be avoided from 1/3 of the boat itself to slightly larger than it. How mockingly the phrase “choose a flat area” sounds, how logical is the indignant question “where can I find such a platform in nature ?!” asked by many novice users of PVC bowls, the answer will be so categorical: for many years of almost weekly fishing trips I found the right platform no problem.
I do not recommend assembling a boat in the sand, unless there is no other choice. I believe that it is better to strain a little, delivering the assembled boat to the water than to suffer in the sand. It is also important to choose the location of the site itself. You need to understand that lowering, for example, from a cliff a assembled and pumped boat is much more difficult than packing it in separate bags in parts. My friends and I usually do this: we lower bags, if any, from the cliff, with a boat, and then we collect them and bring them to the water. The choice of pad also depends on the pump used for pumping. If the foot pump, then there are no special problems with the choice of place. And if the pump is electric and you need to drive to the pumping place by car, then this, of course, somewhat limits the choice of assembly site. Therefore, I always try to take a spare battery with me, so as not to get attached to the car. In general, it is always advisable to carry a foot pump with you, which comes complete with the boat, because electric pumps have, to put it mildly, an unpleasant habit of breaking at the most inopportune moment.
Not so simple with a pump
A little about the pumps and their accessories. The pump must be double-sided, that is, it must operate for pumping (forcing) and for pumping air. Basically, the pumps used in our fishing team – the Italian company “Bravo”. I simply did not meet others. Bravo does not have very high-quality hoses, but they can be replaced when they are completely broken, with a hose from the washing machine or with watering with a diameter of 3/4 inch. Only the hose must be selected reinforced, which does not “break”. Bravo electric pumps come with adapters of different diameters with a “crossbar” inside – I recommend using such adapters instead of what comes with the boat. This same “crossbar” wringes the valve when the adapter is inserted, and the pump goes into the open valve.
And when the adapter is removed, the valve closes itself. Such an adapter in extreme cases, if you can’t find it anywhere, you can make it yourself from the usual adapter that comes with the foot pump. I did this: I drilled holes in the walls of the adapter and inserted a nail there with a trimmed hat. Only the holes made a smaller diameter than the nail, and the length of the nail should be selected so that it does not protrude beyond the edges of the plastic, otherwise the nail will scratch the valve walls. Some use an electric pump for mattresses, pumping up the volume in the cylinders of the boat, and then “finish” it with the foot pump to the desired pressure.