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Thread: End Of Season Raft Cleanup

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Default End Of Season Raft Cleanup

    I bought a used Aire Wildcat this summer to be my whitewater playboat. As a first time Aire owner I was curious to see what was inside the tubes. The end of season cleanup seemed to be the perfect excuse to open them up and clean inside. There was a little silt and a bit of slime. I'm guessing they had never been open before. I'm sure the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers is used on the outside are not recommended but they sure work well. Lol

    Everything went back together fairly easily. I just inflated and deflated a couple of times and the AirCells realigned themselves.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You probably already know this, but in case someone does not:

    You don't want to use Armor-All on your boat; it has an oil that penetrates the material and you will have a devil of a time getting a patch to hold. Instead, use 303 protectant.

    Your boat looks great, by the way!

    -Mike
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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Aire actually recommends "not" using 303. I can't see how it hurts but I spoke with Aire on the phone and they do not reccomend anything other than gentle soap & water. This has also been discussed many times on mountainbuzz.com.

    See post #7. http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...nce-32916.html

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Aire actually recommends "not" using 303. I can't see how it hurts but I spoke with Aire on the phone and they do not reccomend anything other than gentle soap & water. This has also been discussed many times on mountainbuzz.com.

    See post #7. http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...nce-32916.html
    Interesting. I have never heard that before, and I know a lot of guys using / recommending it, including some shops! I have used it on my boats, without issues. And it makes them look brand-new. Thanks for the tip, I will check that one out!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I don't know what kind of plastic it is, but Mr. Clean pads I think are bleach, which is a pretty big no-no in plastic/rubber boats I think.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I don't know what kind of plastic it is, but Mr. Clean pads I think are bleach, which is a pretty big no-no in plastic/rubber boats I think.
    I checked. I called Mr Clean, but I couldn't get him on the phone so I spoke with one of his associates. There is no bleach, but a quick check of the msds reveals there is "Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium Bisulfite Copolymer"

    I'd like to find a good way to clean my aire, I've never tried anything but dish soap. Stupid oxidized aluminum.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Aire actually recommends "not" using 303. I can't see how it hurts but I spoke with Aire on the phone and they do not reccomend anything other than gentle soap & water. This has also been discussed many times on mountainbuzz.com.

    See post #7. http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...nce-32916.html
    Nothing like going straight to the source.

    I just got off the phone with AIRE's repair shop on this question. They are aware of the discussion on mountainbuzz, and they said that the problem they've seen with 303 is when people are not using it properly, especially in over-applying it. They said that once a year is plenty, and to wipe the boat down afterwards. They actually use it on their boats in the shop.

    For general cleaning, including removing the oxidation stains from non-anodized aluminum frames, they recommend NRS Inflatable Boat Cleaner. It's not abrasive, and it works. They said to let it sit a little, then work it in gently with a plastic-bristle brush or with your hand and a rag. They use it on all their repairs in order to get a weld to hold.

    Straight from the horse's mouth.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Great news Mike. Thanks. I've always been too cheap to use it more than once a year anyways. Lol. Plus, rafts up here (especially privately owned and rarely used) don't get that much sun exposure in our short season.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Great news Mike. Thanks. I've always been too cheap to use it more than once a year anyways. Lol. Plus, rafts up here (especially privately owned and rarely used) don't get that much sun exposure in our short season.
    Any idea what to use to remove spruce sap from the fabric? Mine sits under a spruce tree that seems to leak sometimes.

    I don't want to use solvent.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10

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    Goo Off spot remover. wont remove coating on fabric, will spruce sap with a little elbow grease. If you heat the fabric slightly even with a hair dryer, you'll get quicker cleaner results.

  11. #11

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    i dont like to use 303 or anything on my personal boats. PVC has such a high UV resistance anyway, so fabric lubrication isn't absolutely necessary. Rubber boats...whole different story. I've had patches on PVC fabric not weld adequately with glued patches. But a light coat before a trip helps with glide IMO, so i'll use it then if needed specifically for drag glide initially.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    Goo Off spot remover. wont remove coating on fabric, will spruce sap with a little elbow grease. If you heat the fabric slightly even with a hair dryer, you'll get quicker cleaner results.
    Excellent! I'll give it a shot.

    Thanks, Larry!
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    I thought you were talking about cleaning up the trash in the rivers at first, lol.

    I use soap and water and elbow grease. I have not looked at Sotar`s cleaning recommendations though.

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