I've always enjoyed fishing, although I'm not very good at it, and a few weeks ago I bought an inflatable boat to go fishing with it. The obvious problem that I faced was the fact that I was on an inflatable boat and at the same time, I was carrying my fishing gear (hooks, blades, scissors, etc).
No one needs to be a genius to realize that what I was doing was completely dangerous, or crazy; not to mention that I had no life-jacket (Shhhhhh...).
Fortunately I had no incidents (and I didn't catch anything), but from that moment on, I decided I had to do something about it, and what I did can be seen in this ible'.
In order to protect the fragile vinyl like boat material, I built a carpet layer that sits on the top of the boat. It goes all the way from the deck, until the border of the boat, where the orange end touches the black bottom of the boat.
This carpet is totally removable. It is not glued to the boat. The reasons why I didn't do this way are:
1) I don't use this boat only for fishing. I also use it for navigating Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, where I live;
2) It would be very hard to deflate the boat, or to know the correct inflation point.
I would like to thank a friend of mine, José Resende, who gave me the piece of carpet and glue. Without his help, I would have spent a lot of money to buy these things.
Step 1: Materials
It is about 69" / 45" / 10~12" (175cm / 114cm / 25~30cm)
This is what you'll need:
About 9.4ft² (3.1m²) of carpet
Glue for the carpet
SuperGlue for the paper
Screw driver (to open the big glue can)
Scissors (I used a Swiss multi-tool)
Knife (I used a Swiss multi-tool)
Chalk (mine is a bit broken)
A piece of rope, used to spread the glue. You can use a brush instead, but you'll have to dispose it at the end of the process.
Glue the pieces of paper all together to make a single piece. Don't forget the nipple to blow air. In this kind of boat, there are two nipples: one on the deck and one on the main body
The type of glue I used for the carpet, and the one I hope you use too, is the type the you have to spread on both pieces to be glued: one of them, on the carpet size, and the other piece, on the bottom side of the carpet. Be patient and let it "dry" for at least 5 minutes (10, if you live in cold countries) before putting the pieces together.
Don't skip this last step!
Now a piece of advise: depending on the type of chalk you are using, it is easier to score on the fiber side of the carpet, or on the bottom of the carpet where it is sewed and glued. I sarted scoring with a highlighter pen, rather than chalk, and then, I had to score on the back side of the carpet. If you choose to do the same, remember to use the reverse side of the paper mould, or else, when you flip it to the desirable carpet side, it will be like a negative of your mould.
After scoring, cut the piece, but consider some 1" or 3cm clearance from the edge because you will have to make several small cuts around the piece. These cuts will be bent upwards to be glued to the next piece of carpet, that will make the very first inner wall on the boat.
Once again, don't forget the nipple hole.
Don't worry if it leaves some unprotected parts of the naked boat. It can be fixed later. I'll show you how.
You can see how elevated the side of the carpet is, when its front is touching the nose of the boat (picture 3)
I took picture 4 without flash, so that you can realize how elevated it is through the shadow.
Well, to solve this problem, simply score the carpet where you need to cut (picture 5), cut it (pic 6), spread glue on both parts (pic 7), wait 5 to 10 minutes, and then, glue them together (pic 8), overlapping.
When you do this, you cause a slight shrink on the side of the carpet, making it to curve.
There are many other places on the boat where this procedure needs to be applied. Sometimes you have to do many of them on the same piece..
Try not to let glue touch the boat, only the carpet.
Back to the production, let's say I have to produce one piece to fit pic. 1;
Place a piece of paper right underneath the edges of the surrounding carpet parts (pic. 2);
Score it with a pen, forming some kind of triangle and then, cut the marked part with a pair of scissors (pic. 3)
Place it to the carpet (upwards, if you are going to score the fibers, or backwards, if you are going to score the bottom of the carpet), and score it again, leaving some margin to go underneath the surrounding carpet (pic. 4);
Cut it (pic 5);
Place the cut piece in place, and SCORE AGAIN (pic 6), so that you know where to apply glue (pic 7).
I apply glue like this (pic 8).
LET IT DRY for 5 to 10 minutes, and then, put it back in the same position as picture 6.
Press one part against the other, just to make sure it won't come out.
You can see the preliminary result on the other pictures
Step 10: Final Touches
Fix some unglued parts (pics 2 and 4) and use the left over material (pic 6) to fix problems like those of pictures 3 and 5.