Considering today was the second day of Spring and it was snowing, I was prepared for a pretty disappointing day. Glad I was wrong! 🙂
We have fallen into a routine that on Saturdays we go to my office and work on various boat projects and on Sundays we study for our captains licenses and work on smaller projects on the boat. All part of trying to get that Epic To-Do List gone. So today’s task was for me to drive our Highfields RIB to Portsmouth, RI to drop it off for the dealer to fix a leak at one of the valves. If you have read our We Bought a Boat at the Boat Show or review of our Highfields CL290 Aluminum RIB you know we went a little deep into the cruising kitty for this purchase but are very satisfied with the dinghy.
Late last year I notice it seemed to be losing air on the port side. This was in October so I thought it was mostly related to the cold weather. Over the winter I am lucky enough to store the inflatable in our heated warehouse at work. I noticed it seemed to lose air in the warehouse too. So I did the typical check with soapy water and found that we were losing air around portside valve. I figured this was a warranty repair but I expected it would take a while to get it back because the dealer is probably busy with getting ready for Spring.
So this morning I packed up one of the work trucks with the RIB and drove the hour and a half or so to Maritime Solutions/Inflatable Experts. When I got there Norm, whom we had dealt with when we purchased the boat, so me coming and knew why I was there. He had a couple of the guys from the shop come out and unload our RIB. I explained the loss of air and that I thought it was coming from the valve. They pumped it out and checked it with a soap like I had and found the same valve leak. They explained to me that the valve systems were screwed together to compress the fabric between and inner and outer section. They got the specialty plastic wrench and tightened up all the valves.
When I told them they we were going cruising to the Caribbean one of the guys in the shop went and got me an extra valve wrench that he had. He didn’t want me to lose any fun days out cruising to get such a simple repair done.
They put the dinghy back into my work truck and helped me strap it down. I was there for about 45 minutes and left with a fixed dinghy.
The guys are Maritime Solutions/Inflatable Experts are great and I would recommend them to anyone without hesitation.