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Inflatable Boats The multiple benefits of 303® Aerospace Protectant™

Over the last 20 years, 303® Aerospace Protectant™ has become a very important product to tradespeople involved with inflatable boats.  A number of manufacturers including Zodiac, the largest, exclusively recommend and/or use and sell the product to protect from UV degradation and to restore and preserve a like-new appearance. 

303® Aerospace Protectant™ is for all types of inflatable materials,  Hypalon®, PVC or urethane blend.  The concerns in using any type of product on these materials are the same:

Whether the inflatable boat is Hypalon®, PVC or urethane - there are even some neoprene boats out there.  The concerns about using any type of product on the inflatable fabric are the same:

  1. Chemical compatibility.
  2. UV screening effectiveness.
  3. Repair.
  4. Slippery surface.

After more than two decades of in-the-field and manufacturer testing, 303® Aerospace Protectant™ performs where other products do not, and is always the product of choice.

 A good synopsis of the benefits of 303® A. Protectant in this application is contained in a 1987 letter Dan Baxter of B&A Distributing in Portland, Oregon.  B&A Distributing is the master importer/distributor of Riken (a premier name in white water inflatables) for the western hemisphere, the largest supplier of inflatables to the white water rafting industry at that time.

"As I mentioned our sales department was very skeptical of the claims you have made for 303® Protectant.  It was questionable if we should market a product that would make inflatable rafts last longer.  After all, we're in the business of selling rafts.  On the other hand, we have an obligation to our customers to provide a product that will increase the re-sale value of the rafts by several hundred dollars.  Needless to say, we've decided.  Over the last four months, we have tested 303® extensively for the following:

1.  FADING: We have tested our red and blue hypalon raft fabrics on the roof of our warehouse.  In just four months there is a significant difference between the coated and uncoated surfaces

2.  REPAIR: As I mentioned, the silicone and petroleum base "protectants" were useless on rafts.  You couldn't repair a raft coated with silicone, and the petroleum base protectant actually loosened seams and aged the fabric prematurely.  Your water base protectant has now been tested by our two West coast repair centers.  There isn't a problem in repairing a raft coated with 303®.  Repairs are made in exactly the same manner, with no loss in bonding strength.

"Another concern was the slippery surface when the petroleum base "protectant" was used.  However, after allowing sufficient time for 303® Protectant to "soak-in", there is no slippery surface, just a brand new factory finish.

"Finally, when a raft is rolled up and stored with straps tightly securing the raft, the surfaces do not stick together.  This is definitely a plus.  Our manufacturing facility is now sold on your product, and you should hear from them shortly.  We have requested that 303® Protectant be used as a final finish on all new rafts.

Thank you again."