Inflatable boats are considered a mixed blessing. Combining the convenience of a marine multi-tool with the freedom of a compact powerboat, they are good companions for water-exploring enthusiasts. However, if you choose a wrong inflatable boat, it will be heavy, space greedy and odorous. Whether you are planning a camping or fishing trip, here are a few tips on how to choose the best inflatable boat:
When it comes to inflatable boats, what you pay for is not what you get. The most affordable boats may have better features than those that ate highly expensive. Also, it is important to remember that the larger the boat size, the more expensive it would be. Determine your ideal boat size and the features that it comes with, and, ensure that it lies within your price range. Do not splurge on a boat that will not allow you to make the most of its features.
- The construction material
A majority of inflatable boats are constructed from either PVC or Hypalon material. While PVC is highly popular, lightweight and affordable, it may not be the best material if you need a sturdier boat. This is because it is susceptible to the extended exposure to heat and sunlight. On the other hand, Hypalon is a robust, weighty and expensive fabric. Even though Hypalon is costly, it is best for inflatable boats that are frequently used.
- The carrying capacity
Generally, inflatable boats are easily portable. Therefore, you will not be inconvenienced when moving them around. However, there are inflatable boats that are heavier, depending on their material of construction. If you can move the heavy dinghy around with ease then you should purchase it. However, many explorers often go for lightweight inflatable boats that have an impressive carrying capacity.
When storing inflatable boats, there are only two options; sitting in water or being deflated and taken out of water when not in use. If you choose a boat that is constantly sitting in water, it will be exposed to algae heat for long periods of time. Therefore, Hypalon inflatable boats are better-suited for sitting in water because they can withstand tough conditions. As PVC boats should not be over-exposed to heat, they should not live aboard. Price and durability also go hand in hand with the storage of the boat.
- Type of floor
Inflatable boats with air floors are lighter and provide a firm walking surface. As such, the paddler can confidently stand, walk or jump on such boats. They also absorb vibration better and are more comfortable to lean on. In comparison to this, inflatable boats with a hard floor (aluminum or plywood) are heavier, stiffer and less flexible. If you are planning to inflate and deflate your boat often and are concerned about weight then high-pressure air floor boats are highly recommended. However, if you will keep your boat inflatable most of the time and will have sharp objects on deck then hard floor inflatable boats are the perfect option.
- RIB option
Fully referred to as rigid bottom inflatables, the RIB option allows for the vast improvement of performance and sea keeping abilities of the inflatable boat. Boats that come with this option are more costly than simple inflatables. However, they are well worth their extra value because RIBS make inflatable boats unique and as such, they perform better on the water.
It is important to choose an inflatable boat that runs on the recommended engine by the boat supplier. Determine if your boat is suitable for 4 stroke or 2 stroke outboards. However, the best inflatable boat manufacturers often include maximum engine size specifications together with their products.
- Additional features
Basic accessories such as oars, seats, a repair kit and lifting points should be included in a majority of inflatable boats. It should also have multiple air chambers for safety and an inflatable keel for improved directional stability. Do not purchase a boat without any additional features or assets.
If you are a water enthusiast, you will certainly appreciate an inflatable boat that can cope with rhythmic movement and is still perfect to paddle through calm water. Wondering how to choose the best one? These tips will always come in handy. They are the best review that you can get!