Features August 2011 Issue

A Peek at Inflatable-dinghy Paint Test Panels After One Year

Abrasion resistance and adhesion tests show some surprising results.

Finding a coating that sticks well to PVC or Hypalon is not easy. Because the coated surfaces are flexible, expanding, and contracting significantly as the tubes are inflated and deflated, the coating must also have some elasticity. It must also be abrasion resistant. In June 2010, Practical Sailor launched a long-term test of five paints marketed as coatings for inflatable boats. We tested products from Marine Design Research (MDR)-Amazon (Inflatable Boat Top), Flexdel (Flexabar), Tuff Coat, and Polymarine (Flexithane and Superflex). After a year of suffering the Florida sun, heat, and rain, the panels were returned to the test bench, and testers found some surprising results.

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