How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boat – 2 DIY Methods

The flexibility of inflatable boats over any other form of boat is why many people choose them. They are not only light, but they are also quite convenient to store.

So, do you know how to remove barnacles from inflatable boats?

Some users choose to leave their boats on water rather than continually deflate and inflate them. While this way is more convenient and saves you time, we do not encourage it.

If you find yourself in this situation, you do not have to worry about it since we can assist you with the procedure.

  • Use Vinegar
  • Use Citric acid

Let’s check it out!

Do Barnacles Harm The Boats?

How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boat


Yes, absolutely.

Barnacles may appear to be innocuous, but they are not. This marine vegetation has a significant influence on the performance of your boat. 

Barnacles might be ugly, but that’s not all; they are harmful. Also, they can have an impact on the hydrodynamics of your inflatable boat. This biofouling roughens up the smooth base of the boat, which can cause hull drag. 

As a result, the speed of your inflatable boat will decrease, and it will consume more gasoline. Barnacles covering components such as propellers can cause harm to your motor if there’s too much barnacle accumulation in the incorrect areas. 

Barnacles may be sharp, cause wounds on your skin, especially on your feet, and cause damage to your inflatable dinghy. Barnacles are thus not only harmful but also hazardous. 

It is also worth noting that you won’t be able to store or deflate your inflatable boat out of the water unless you remove the barnacles, making this a crucial step.

How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boats?

How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boat

Barnacles Can Be Challenging To Remove

Barnacles can be challenging to remove after they have hardened on an inflatable boat.

While the procedure is not complicated, removing them can be time-consuming. Use the guidelines listed below to bring your inflatable dinghy back to your adventure and restore it to its former splendor.

Stage 1: Get Rid Of Barnacles

  • Remove your boat from the sea. Some people aren’t aware of this. 
  • To access the hull, flip your boat over. The majority of marine growth happens here. 
  • Leave the bottom under the sun for roughly a day if you have space and time.

By that time, the sun will have destroyed the aquatic environment. However, this feature is optional that may or may not be appropriate for PVC boats. 

  • Using a washer, remember to set it to low pressure, spray the base of the SIB. This way will get rid of any barnacles, slime, and debris. 
  • We will highlight the importance of using the pressure washer on the lowest setting! With a powerful power washer, you may easily tear the tires or even pull the seams away.
  • You are going to engage in a close battle, so put on your thick work gloves. Because you’ll be scrubbing the barnacles off with your hands, you’ll need a pair of work gloves to prevent them from wounds. 
  • Scrape all the barnacles off with plastic items if possible. We have heard of individuals effectively scraping their windshields using plastic kitchen spatulas, windscreen scrapers, and even outdated credit cards.

There’s another alternative if you place your boat aside from the winter and keep it inflated. After you’ve removed the boat from the water, grab a sharp brush and clean the underside well before rinsing it off. 

Leaving it inflated in such a dry area throughout the winter may allow the barnacles to dry out. In the springtime, they should easily peel off.

Stage 2: Clear All The Excessive Calcium Rings

How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boat

Cleaning The Boat Without Damaging It

After you’ve removed all the marine vegetation from the boat’s hull, the following step in the barnacle-cleaning procedure is likely to be cleaning all the calcium rings. They will be like tiny white discs that refuse to move. 

These are little calcium plates, similar to limescale, as we previously stated. They cover the whole hull, depending on how much marine vegetation you removed. 

Many people wreck their boats at this point since the disks aren’t detachable unless you understand how to do it correctly (which we will teach you below). Neither sanders nor scrubbing agents should be used. 

They will eliminate the rubberized layer on the cloth faster than the plates. You may even use a scrubber to go through the stuff. 

Similarly, do not try to pry it free. Little pieces of rubber will accompany them. (If you’ve already done this task to your inflatable boat, consider repairing it with liquid latex repair paint.) 

An acidic solution is the sole technique to get rid of these calcium rings. There are three options based on the severity of the problem. To protect your skin from acidic substances, put on protective gloves before using any of the solutions below. 

See more: How To Repair A Puncture In An Inflatable Boat

#1. Use Vinegar

How To Remove Barnacles From Inflatable Boat

Use Vinegar Or Citric Acid To Get Rid Of Calcium Rings

You may have already tried vinegar to eliminate limescale yourself, which works well since vinegar’s acidity loosens the calcium. Barnacles leave similar calcium rings. 

This vinegar approach should be your first choice, particularly if you have some barnacle rings to eliminate. Combine a splash of cleaning soap with extremely acetic vinegar to disintegrate barnacle deposits using vinegar. 

The cleaning soap aids break up the calcium by suspending the vinegar. To remove the rings effectively, you’ll need to put the vinegar solution onto the boat for roughly a day.

The primary downside of using vinegar to get rid of barnacle rings is that it takes an extremely long finish. Finally, a hose can wash away the calcium deposits.

#2. Use Citric Acid

Citric acid is like vinegar, but it may be bought in dry powder form, making it more intense. However, because you are unlikely to have citric acid on hand, we propose starting with vinegar. 

Because this powder is more straightforward to store, it’s less expensive and handier than vinegar. If you have a chronic barnacle issue or many barnacle rings, this approach may be preferable to the vinegar technique. 

The technique of application is similar to vinegar. Leave your citric acid powder on your boat after diluting it in water. Whenever the calcium circles have loosened, wipe them off.

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article will help you understand how to remove barnacles from inflatable boats safely and conveniently. Windrider of The Rockies! 

Thanks for reading!

Reference: Safe way to remove Marine growth off your inflatable boat

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