Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tuff Inflatable Dinghy Restoration

When we purchased our Bayliner 3058, we thought the dinghy was big and ugly. All the salesman could say was, "It holds air." Our initial thought was to purchase a new one, but other items had to take priority, primarily a replacement windlass and refrigerator. Then we found out our Quicksilver inflatable is made with higher quality Hypalon.

While we were staying in Richmond during the purchase process, we visited Steveston Marine & Hardware. It's an amazing store with everything nautical you can imagine. At the end of an aisle we found Tuff-Coat inflatable repair kits. They weren't cheap and sounded too good to be true. After we got our boat home to Powell River Wayne decided to order some online. The shelf price for the kit is $179.29, now on sale for $127.99.

The first step is to thoroughly clean the dinghy. Wayne masked the rubber seals. You can paint over these, but Wayne thought leaving them gray would be attractive. The base coat is the most important part of the preservation/restoration process. It brushes on thick, but smooths out as it dries. It seems to meld right into the surface of the dinghy fabric.

After the base coat dries, you apply a coloured top coat. It comes in gray, black, white and red. Wayne loves colourful things. Fortunately our moorage spot it the last on the finger, so Wayne had a good spot to do all the work. It took about four days to complete the painting and drying process for both sides.

Now we have a beautiful dinghy with a restored surface. Rather than getting rid of it and spending lots of money on a new one, we have a distinctive new looking tender that should last us many more years. Job well done Wayne, and great product Tuff-Coat. -- Margy


  1. Fabulous! What a nifty trick. Looks good, Margy.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Isn't it neat to be able to refit instead of buy buy buy. Great job.

    The Skagit is very fat right now and has been for awhile. At least from Sedro down to Skagit Bay. It doesn't even seem to flexuate even with the tides. So good luck. MB

  3. Thanks Kay and MB - Wayne did such a nice job. I can't claim any credit except for taking the pictures.

    Thanks MB for the river update. We may wait until later in the month. I am such a wimpy kayaker.


  4. thanks for the great post and documentation. I am interested in this tuff coat product for my older novarania inflatable - how well has your paint job held up? I hear the paint can rub off quite easily? Thanks again.

  5. For us, this product has held up quite well. The dinghy is out in the elements all year (wind, rain, snow, sun) and hasn't chipped or worn off at all. I believe that it has helped the inflated sides not leak over time. We haven't had to add any air since it was treated. - Margy