Posted by Mitchell Bernardo on August 28, 2015
We have this discussion often with customers about why to choose hypalon or PVC fabric for an inflatable boat. Some will tell you that hypalon is the better material and should be the only material you select for your inflatable boat. The fact is PVC fabric may be fine for your needs. PVC boats can run as little as 25% of the costs compared with an equal hypalon boat. So when should you select PVC and when should you select hypalon? Where you live could be a factor in this choice. In the Northwest, in Canada and other places North, PVC fabric is more popular. In the west coast, or Florida or more southern locations hypalon is the better choice. The reason is PVC although resistant to UV from the sun it is not in the same league as hypalon materail when exposed to UV. There are some PVC fabrics that are more resistant to sun than others and this is usually reflected in the price of the boat. I know that some of the PVC coming out of Germany is a better UV material but it tends to run twice the costs of other PVC fabrics. Hypalon too has different quality materials and you will see some of the manufacturers offering 10 year warranties on the hypalon fabric and others offering 5 year warranties. I am not going to go into the differences in the hypalon materials but you should know that they exist. So back to our question. If you plan to use your boat in a warmer, western or southern state and you plan to leave the boat outside either on a davit, or on the deck of your boat then hypalon is recommend. If you plan to use your boat on occassion and the boat will be rolled up and stored when not in use then PVC might be an good option. Definately I would recommend PVC material only for roll up boats and not for RIBS unless you live in one of those Northern areas mentioned earlier. The roll up PVC boats are an excellent option for customers with an RV vehicle, or with small boats that need a small tender. Sail boats who may store the inflatable below deck could use a PVC boat.
Both fabrics are great choices provided some thought is given to how the boat is used and stored.