Pamper your tender!
|8 January 2016||Posted by Alex from Lagoon under Technical world|
Whether it has an engine or not, whether built of aluminium or composite, the tender is one of the essential items of equipment on board cruising catamarans. And, just like a catamaran, the tender also deserves to be pampered. It should in fact be maintained regularly to optimise its use and maximise its service life.
We contacted Florian LOURY of Highfield, the supplier of tenders for Lagoon catamarans. He was kind enough to share with us all the keys to taking care of your little RIB.
What are the important things to know in order to maintain a tender?
First rule: a tender should, if possible, be rinsed with fresh water after use and be provided with a protective covering when not in use.
In both summer and winter, UV exposure is one of the leading causes of premature ageing. I recommend that you use products equivalent to 303 Protectant that cover the tender’s tube with an anti-UV coating.
How to check the condition of your tender?
Among the things to check regularly, we recommend that you:
• Ensure that the paddles are always correctly located and functional when they are stowed inside the tender.
• Check the presence of the venturi drain non-return membrane and that there is no debris that could clog it.
• Check that the pressure complies with that recommended by the manufacturer. The use of a tender with an under- or over-inflated tube may damage it.
The engine may require inspection by a professional. It is therefore recommended that it be serviced in accordance with the recommendations in the service booklet.
Is the maintenance of an aluminium tender different to the maintenance of a composite tender? If so why, and what are the advantages?
For maintenance, the reduced weight of aluminium tenders makes them easier to manoeuvre. Moreover, they are not subject to osmosis like some composite tenders that become porous through the effect of hydrolysis.
How to prepare your tender for several months’ lay-up?
During long periods of disuse, it is best to store you tender out of the water in order to avoid possible discolouration of the hull or tube by micro-organisms or any form of pollution.
To prepare it properly: wash your tender all over with a mixture of mild soap (Paic Citron for example) and fresh water. Then remove the venturi drain plug in order to remove any debris using a garden hose. Finally, rinse the entire tender and dry it thoroughly.
Your tender can be stored inflated or deflated according to the space available.
When deflating the tender, it is important not to deflate one chamber at a time but to ensure that equal pressure is maintained between all of the chambers. This is to prevent any potential stress or damage to the diaphragms separating the airtight chambers.
If possible, place your tender in a cool, dry place, away from direct exposure to UV radiation. If the tender is stored outside, protect it with a protective cover or awning to avoid direct exposure to UV radiation. Use an adequately ventilated cover to prevent mould growth on the tube or the cushions.
How to prepare your tender for use after a long lay-up?
It is first necessary to reinflate the tender’s tube to normal operating pressure as indicated on the manufacturer’s data plate. Once again, it is important to maintain equal pressure between all the chambers during inflation.
You can use a polyurethane – or epoxy-based antifouling solution such as International Interprotect (primer) + International Trilux 33 (antifouling) that you apply to the hull at the start of the season in order to protect it and prevent the growth of micro-organisms.