One of the most essential items and accessories that you should always carry on your inflatable pontoon boat is a repair kit.
I regularly fish in my local rivers and believe I know those waterways like the back of my hand. Unfortunately, experience has told me that this isn’t always the case, and in the last 12 months alone I’ve experienced three occasions where I had a tear whilst on a fishing trip.
Whilst it might sound a bit funny to suddenly start to notice your backside is starting to get a little bit lower, once those bladders to start to deflate, it can be very dangerous, and at the very least completely ruin your day’s fishing.
Handy Hint: No matter how safe you are, or how well you know the waters that you are fishing in, even with the aid of a depth finder, snags and tears will occur from time to time.
I own a Colorado, and yes, the vinyl and PVC is very durable, but the bladders can get small holes in them from time to time, plus even start to deflate due to the natural way in which air escapes from any inflatable device.
The first time I had a small tear, I didn’t have a repair kit on me.
That night when I finally got home, I bought my first inflatable pontoon repair kit, which was the Classic Accessories kit on Amazon (you need the large one for a Colorado boat).
I bought it for two reasons; firstly, it was the same brand as my boat, and I love Classic Accessories stuff, and secondly it had everything I needed in it. Go take a look.
It comes with:
- Spring clevis pin to secure pontoon frame
- Tools and valve parts to replace inflation valve anywhere
- Inflation adapter allows for a variety of pumps to be used
- Bladder repair kit to maintain high performance of pontoons
- Non-corrosive coated oarlocks
But how good was it when I actually needed it?
I can give you one example.
In August I was trolling along at 2 miles per hour, having a great day, and had made some great catches. Around 5pm I decided to head on home, pulled the boat around, stepped up the speed to 5 miles per hour, pushed on back up river, only to feel what I can only describe as the same feeling you get when you are walking, and somebody might pull or tug on the back of your shirt.
I’d snagged on some rocks, which I swear hadn’t been there before.
I was about 2 miles away from the pathway back to my car, so didn’t really fancy packing the boat back down and trying to navigate myself through the dense woods, so dragged the Colorado onto a flat piece of bank. Upon inspection, I had a very small year, about 1 cm in diameter. It was easy to spot due to the escaping air making that bubbling on the vinyl.
It was time to go to work with my new repair kit.
I simply whacked a patch on, did a quick hand pump inflate, and I was good to go.
The repair kit doesn’t just come with patches though. It also has spare parts in it such as valves in case you develop any faults whilst on the water. It can fix any emergencies, and will help you get back to land, your car, home, and then you can do a better repair job if needed.
I Also Have a Smaller Repair Kit as Back-Up
As back-up, I also carry an even smaller repair kit which has additional PVC glue and patches in, just in case I need a little bit more. The one I use is this one on Amazon.
I combine those two products together, and always have them on board.
And since that day, they have saved my bacon.
You need to buy an inflatable pontoon repair kit, whether it’s just one of both of those items. It will get you out of many a sticky situation, I promise you.
It’s also imperative though, that you take a small hand pump on board with you, so you can re-inflate once the repair job has been made. I carry a Kangaroo Pump, it’s small enough to fit in the boat, and can get your bladders back to size in minutes.
Why You Might Need a Vinyl Patch Repair Kit
The types of things that can lead you to making an emergency pontoon bladder repair can include:
- Sand bars that weren’t there last time, but now are, with hidden debris
- Trees, branches, and other obstacles tangled up at the water’s edge
- Hidden rocks and other objects under the water
- Accidental knife tears when prepping bait or fish
- Natural deflation occurring over time
Many of the newer inflatable pontoons on the market will come with a repair kit, for example, the Sea Eagle packages always throw them in as standard. But more popular models such as the Classic Accessories Colorado series won’t come with an inflatable pontoon repair kit.
Will You Need to Buy Replacement Pontoon Bladders After a Repair?
This really depends on how bad the repair was. I have a couple of very small tears in mine which I have patched up with the repair kit and have been able to leave those. Six months down the line, I am still fishing with no need to buy replacements.
Replacement pontoons for your inflatable boat, can be expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as it costs to buy a repair kit. It just depends on how bad the rip or tear is and whether it’s going to stand up to the weight on the boat and the usage.
You simply must have an inflatable pontoon repair kit as part of your set-up. They are small enough to clip onto the pontoon, or with the smaller kit even leave in your bag or under the seat.
To see a bigger list of essential accessories for your inflatable pontoon, click here to see what I currently use. Many of these items have saved me not just money, but also countless wasted hours, and better catches.
You can also explore the best online retail stores which sell inflatable pontoon boats. If you are in the market to buy something new, then click here to see where you should buy yours.
Go take a look!