Every inflatable craft needs two basic things: a skin or membrane that can hold air and some type of valve that lets you add and remove air. Therefore, the valve is a vital component of any inflatable design. Knowing how to identify, maintain and repair the valves in your boat is important in achieving the best performance.
Many different models of valves have been made over the years. NRS can’t carry them all, but we do stock the most common, high-quality valves found in modern inflatables.
Identifying Your Valves
With the info you’ve gained from this reference chart, you can now turn to our Raft, Cataraft and Inflatable Kayak Valves reference page. Here there are links to Halkey-Roberts, Leafield, Military and Summit valves. Each link has photos of the valve models with distinctive identification features noted. There are also photos and links to all the valve adapters, repair parts and valve removal tools that we stock.
If you have used the above resources and still haven’t found your valve type, give us a call at 800.635.5202 or include photos of the valve in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s possible that we may be able to help you identify it.
Maintaining Your Valves
Floor pressure relief valves are particularly prone to getting stuff in them that causes a leak. These valves release pressure that exceeds their pre-set limit. They don’t have a cover, and they’re right there on the floor where sand and other junk accumulates. In the NRS Inflatable Boat Use and Care Instructions, there are directions for cleaning pressure relief and fill valves, as well as lots of other excellent info for keeping your boat in top shape.
Repairing Your Valves
If your boat has an obsolete valve or you can’t find a replacement, we have a good solution for you. Remove the old valve and install a Doughnut Patch and Leafield C7 Valve. Our Doughnut Patches are Hypalon® and will work on Hypalon and other rubber-coated materials. If your boat is made of another material, you can cut out your own patches.
Some Useful Tips
Slow leaks can be hard to find. To locate the smallest leaks, make a solution of glycerin (which can be found at pharmacies) and water. This solution gives a higher tensile strength to the bubbles and will help you detect the finest pinhole leak.
When replacing a Military Valve, clean the face of the valve boot and spread a thin layer of silicone sealant around the opening before screwing on the valve. This will help ensure a good seal.