September 22, 2008
RIB Winterizing: The Tube
Well, it's mid September and in the Northeast that means it's the busy season for boat yards and boat ramps as people race to haul their boats out prior to the leaves falling and the first snow fall.
New RIB owners ask us all the time if there is anything special they need to do to their boat in preparation for winter storage. In short, winterizing a RIB is no different than winterizing a hardsided boat. The biggest thing is to keep the boat covered and dry. Over the next few days, we'll cover some of the standard items you should cover when preparing your RIB for the winter.
Today we'll go over the tube and what needs to be done to them in order to prepare them for winter. In brief, NOTHING. That's right, really - there's very little that needs to happen to the tube. As I've mentioned in the past, you actually want to do just what you've done all summer long – Keep Them Fully Inflated. Many people think they need to deflate the tube for the winter, but that's probably the worse thing you can do as a deflated tube puts strain on attachment patches and rubstrake that can cause them to peel off over time.
If your RIB does not have pressure relief valves (all RIBCRAFT RIBs built in the United States come standard with Pressure Relief Valves) we recommend that you leave the tube 80% inflated. This will allow for expansion on warm days in the fall and spring.
Other than "topping" off the tubes with air, all you need to do is simply give the tube a good washing with soap and water. It's also good to spray the pressure relief valves with fresh water to remove any salt build up from the summer.
Posted by ribcraftusa at September 22, 2008 03:04 PMBack To Index