Technical Info - FAQ's
Air Tent Products
A Brief History
The Marine Division of Achilles USA, Inc. is unique in that we sell the only truly "branded" product of our company, Achilles Inflatable Boats. The boats that we manufacture in Japan, and to a lesser degree in the very recent past, in China, are the only finished products that actually are sold as an Achilles brand. For this reason, it is a very important part of the companies' history, and it offers a great sense of pride to our parent company in Japan as well.
Achilles Inflatables are manufactured using chlorosulphonated polyethylene, or CSM fabric that is made by the Achilles Corporation in Japan. CSM is a synthetic rubber compound that is used in the outer coating of our material. Because of the physical characteristics of CSM, it can not be heat welded. All of our boats need to be glued by hand. The reason we continue to use CSM despite its cost (both as a fabric and because of the increased labor costs for producing a hand made product) is because it has historically proven to be perhaps the best material for the manufacture of inflatable boats. The reasons the fabric performs so well include, but are not limited to: UV resistance, abrasion resistance, and resistance to oil and gas - all things that boats are subject to in the marine environment. CSM fabric is manufactured by a calendaring process, and our final product consists of four layers. There are two inside layers of chloroprene for air retention, a supporting layer of core fabric (either Nylon or Polyester), and an outside coating of CSM. It is a multi-step process, and the end result is a very strong supported fabric.
Many of our competitors use PVC based fabric for manufacturing their boats because of the cost savings involved in materials and manufacturing. There are many boats on the market similar to ours available at half the cost. Although this makes our efforts to sell against our low cost competitors challenging, it is actually a good sales and marketing tool for us to state that despite the fact that Achilles is a world leader in the manufacture of PVC, we still make our boats out of CSM because we believe it is a better fabric.
Achilles has always had the reputation for manufacturing one of the highest quality inflatable boats in the world, and currently our niche in the market is being the best value in a foldable CSM inflatable. We will continue to work with our parent corporation in Japan to adapt quickly to market changes to enable us to become even more successful and competitive in all aspects of the inflatable industry in the U.S. in the years to come.
Technical Info - FAQ's
Problem: Do I need to register my boat?
Solution: You need to check the local or state requirements where you will be using your boat, but in most states you must register an inflatable especially if you use an outboard motor on the boat.
Problem: What is the best way to clean my inflatable?
Solution: There are many cleaners available designed specifically for inflatables. Our best advise is for you to ask the people you bought your boat from what they recommend. Cleaning should be done as frequently as necessary, especially on white boats. Once your boat is clean, we recommend using a protectant on the boat. Again, there are many protectants designed specifically for inflatable boats. Avoid using any products that contain silicone because silicone can be absorbed into the fabric over time, and it can make gluing difficult or impossible if you ever have to repair your boat or attach any accesories.
Problem: How do I stop marine growth from forming on the bottom of the boat?
Solution: The best way to prevent growth is by applying an anti-fouling paint formulated specifically for inflatable boats. There are several brands available and you should be able to find one at either the location you purchased your inflatable, or at a marine store that carries bottom paint. Be sure to follow the manufacturers' directions for proper adhesion and performance.
Problem: My boat floor flexes when getting up on plane.
Solution: Check the air chambers to make sure the boat has proper pressure. If your boat has an inflatable keel, check that as well. The pressure in the main tubes and the keel should be 2.8 PSI. If you have a high pressure drop stitch inflatable floor, it is important that the floor is also properly inflated. The proper pressure for the floor is 8.7 PSI. When a boat is under pressure, the floors will flex or the bottom of the boat will have more drag causing the boat not to perform properly. The best way to check the pressure is by purchasing an air pressure gauge that gives an exact pressure reading.
Problem: I am getting a lot of water coming over the transom while running the boat.
Solution: First we need to determine where the water is coming from. It may be that the motor is sitting too low on the transom and splash is off of the lower unit. The proper way to adjust the engine height is to run a straight line along the keel line of the boat and make sure that the fin of the engine above the prop is even with the bottom of the boat. You may need to adjust up and down up to 3/16" for best results.
Problem: My boat seems to be losing air. How do I determine where my boat may be leaking air from?
Solution: The first step is to visually inspect the boat for any signs of abrasion or small holes. If the boat seems to appear OK, then there are other areas to check. Make a soapy solution in a spray bottle and first spray around the valve and valve bases. If there is a problem with the valve, the solution will bubble. The o-ring or the flapper, or in an older boat even the valve itself may need to be replaced. Other areas to check for leaks would be the seam areas. Spray all the seams and along the rub strake and also around the end cones. Any air leaks will cause small air bubbles to form from the soapy water solution. If you do find air leakage, the location will determine the best way to resolve the issue. A simple repair can be done by yourself, but if the problem is more severe please refer the repair to a professional for best results.
Problem: I need to get parts for my 20 year old Achilles boat. How do I know what model I have?
Solution: If your boat has a transom, look for the metal ID plate. Located on this plate is your model number and the serial number. The last 2 digits of your serial number denote your model year. Once you have determined the model year you can go to the download/archive tab on our website and download that year's catalog and look through it to determine the model you have based on length, width, color, seating attachments, etc. The good news is that most of the parts available today are interchangeable with the parts that were used on your 20 year old Achilles.
Problem: What type of glue do use to repair my Achilles?
Solution: All Achilles boats are made of Achilles own chlorosulphonated polyethylene, or CSM, fabric. Small repairs can be made with a one part CSM glue, however for any larger repair, or for the attachment of any accessories, we recommend the use of a 2-part CSM adhesive. These are available from most inflatable dealers, or from most major marine retailers as well. You must also be sure to use Achilles CSM fabric when repairing your Achilles.
Air Tent Products
Our technology works in every situation, from routine to emergency.
We have taken the guesswork out of choosing the right tent for your needs by using only the best materials in our manufacturing process. Achilles V-Series Air Tents are designed for mobile command or triage centers and can be rapidly deployed for any emergency purpose. The V-Series Air Tents feature Achilles CSM Air Tubes, made from our time-proven, durable, four-layered CSM fabric. PVC-coated polyester fabric is used for the floor and tent cover. Tent covers are white and are available in three sizes:
Standard Features: Storage/carry bag; PE ground sheet; foot pump; tie-down ropes; adjustable zippered entrances on the sides, front and rear; 1-2 vinyl windows per side; over-pressure relief valves; maintenance kit.
Please check back soon for more details in this exciting new market, or contact us for more information.