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Best Inflatable Dinghies of 2024 Reviewed

Newport Vessels Dana

Newport Vessels Dana

Sport Boats Killer Whale

Sport Boats Killer Whale

Intex Mariner 4

Intex Mariner 4

Chris Riley

A traditional boat is priceless to anglers and boaters, but it comes with the problem of finding suitable storage and trailer. This translates to increased costs that might not be too appealing for some intending boaters.

Thankfully, an inflatable dinghy offers all the functions of a traditional boat plus convenience, high performance, ease of use, and safety. You don’t need a trailer to lug most inflatables from place to place. And you definitely don’t need dock rentals or spend extra money on storage for these boats.

However, choosing the best inflatable dinghy is usually not a walk in the park, particularly if it is your first time doing so. For this reason, we’ve reviewed the top 5 options available on the market to ease your buying decision. We’ve also included a detailed guide to help select the best type that suits your purpose.

Let’s kick things off with a boat that combines near-perfect performance with portability. From Newport Vessels comes Dana, a special 8-feet inflatable sport tender dinghy boat with large tubes that resembles twin rockets. It seats up to three passengers and can take up to 1,067 lbs.

This boat might be just the right one for you if you’re looking for a dinghy with remarkable speed, superior stability, and durable construction material. With a hull made from 1100 Denier Korean PVC, this boat can survive rough water adventures.

A 30-day money-back guarantee backs your purchase. There’s also a 2-year manufacturer warranty, so you can be sure that your investment will not go to waste in case something goes wrong.

  • Weight: 107 lbs
  • Number of Chambers: 4
  • Passenger Capacity: 3 people
  • Load Capacity: 1,067 lbs
  • Engine Capacity: 10 HP
  • Fabric: UV coated PVC
  • Warranty: 2 years (30-day return policy)
  • Built-in Options: Self-bailing drain plug, grab rope, carrying handles, and three bow D-rings for towing.
  • Accessories: Carry bag, two aluminum oars, and foot pump.

$999.00 Amazon  →

• Considerably large tubes and marine wood floor increases stability • Easy to fold and carry • Increased speed

• Large tube size takes away from the cockpit room • Oarlocks might not fit aftermarket equipment due to small size

Not a lot of inflatables pack the power that comes with the Killer Whale from Sport Boats. Although it can take a load of more than 1,200 lbs or five adults, it can still glide through the water seamlessly, thanks to its extended rear pontoons.

Maneuvering this dinghy is easy-breezy due to its contoured design. The boat is constructed with a 9 mm reinforced PVC hull and has a slide-in aluminum floor. This is the perfect dinghy for fresh and saltwater activities.

You’re going to need some help transporting this one, though. At 10 feet 8-inches, the Killer Whale is not particularly a small boat.

  • Weight: 80 lbs
  • Number of Chambers: 3
  • Passenger Capacity: 5
  • Load Capacity: 1,268 lbs
  • Engine Capacity: 15 HP
  • Fabric: 1100 reinforced PVC material
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Built-in Options: Two oarlock-in holders, five carrying handles, and two towing rings.
  • Accessories: Carry bag, one aluminum bench, two aluminum oars, foot pump, and removable seat cushions.

$1,899.99 Amazon  →

• Suitable for a variety of application in saltwater and freshwater • Increased outboard support and planning due to extended rear pontoons • Comes with plenty of extras • Assembly takes roughly 10 minutes

• Heavy boat, making it difficult to transport than other models

Bris Fish Hunter Boat

Bris Fish Hunter Boat

Here’s something for those searching for the best inflatable dinghy that works for commercial and recreational purposes. The Bris Fish Hunter Boat may have the same appearance as the other options, but as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover.

This one is built to be rugged. With an outboard to support 25 horsepower and heavy-duty construction, the boat delivers exceptional performance than most models.

It is extremely stable, and the additional aluminum floor panels provide maximum support. Constructed with a thick 2000 Denier PVC material, the heavy-duty fabric can withstand tension, tears, and other hazards.

  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Passenger Capacity: 6 adults
  • Load Capacity: 1,675 lbs
  • Engine Capacity: 25 HP
  • Fabric: PVC (with polyester support)
  • Warranty: 3 years (30-day money-back guarantee)
  • Built-in Options: Safety ropes, interior tie-downs, oarlock, D-rings, drain valves, handles, and splash guard.
  • Accessories: Carry bag, two aluminum bench, two oars, foot pump, aluminum floor panels, and repair kit.

$1,349.00 Amazon  →

• Superior maximum horsepower • Includes aluminum floor panels to support seats

• Heavy boat, making transportation difficult for a single-user

For those who are on the fence about inflatable dinghies, Intex Mariner 4 is an excellent way to test the waters. It is also the perfect boat for those on a budget.

Although this is an inexpensive option, it doesn’t take away from its high-quality, durability, and performance.  The Intex Mariner 4 is built to convey four people without straining under the weight.  The rigid plastic floor improves the boat’s overall stability and provides for a more stable standing platform for occupants.

The durable PVC construction protects the boat against abrasion, puncture, spilled fuel, and other hazards.

Carrying this boat around is quite easy due to its multiple handles. Don’t have a large space in your car’s trunk? No worries. The 10 feet 9 inches inflatable dinghy will roll up and fit into the trunk of any small passenger car once deflated.

  • Weight: 77 lbs
  • Passenger Capacity: 4 adults
  • Load Capacity: 1,100 lbs
  • Engine Capacity: 3 HP gas or 55 lb. thrust electric
  • Fabric: PVC (triple layer of super tough material)
  • Built-in Options: Four valves, two fishing rod holders, oar holders, grab handles, three inflatable seats, motor mount, and rotational oarlocks.
  • Accessories: Carry bag, high output pump, two 54-inch aluminum oars, and a repair patch kit.
  • Buy on Amazon   →
  • Buy on Walmart   →

• Ease of transportation and storage • Increased stability due to inflatable keel and hard plastic floor • Affordable

• Comparatively low maximum horsepower rating • Little room for gear • Carry bag might not be durable

Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10

Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10

If you’re in search of the best inflatable dinghy specifically designed for the ultimate fishing experience, look no further than the Stealth Stalker STS10 by Sea Eagle. It’s difficult to find inflatables that combine the basic dinghy performance with this boat’s incredibly useful fishing features.

Instead of the usual pontoons separated at the transom, this boat has a fully enclosed hull with a wide profile. It comes with a marine-grade plywood floor and side struts that increase its overall stability. So, whether you’re fishing in saltwater or freshwater, the Stealth Stalker STS10 will perform excellently even in extreme conditions.

The boat has a frameless design that makes folding. Plus, it weighs only 45 lbs when deflated, making transportation easy for a single user.

It comes complete with several features, including fish rulers, repair kit, and a carry bag to safely stow away the boat when not in use. Fishing boats simply don’t get any more convenient than the Stealth Stalker STS10!

  • Weight: 45 lbs (78 lbs with motor mount and floorboards)
  • Passenger Capacity: 2 adults
  • Load Capacity: 1,200 lbs
  • Engine Capacity: 4 HP gas or up to 74 lb. thrust electric
  • Fabric: PVC (quadruple overlapping seams)
  • Warranty: 3 years (180-day return policy)
  • Built-in Options: Raised oarlocks, motor mount, two 360 o inflatable swivel seats, and four built-in rod holders.
  • Accessories: Carry bag, stow bag, oar set, two 40-inch fish rulers, A41 foot pump, and repair kit.

• Offers extreme stability • Incredibly lightweight when deflated, making transport and storage easy • Folds smaller than most other models when deflated • Affordable

• Relatively low maximum horsepower rating when compared to other models • Can be heavy for one person to carry once it is set up • Not easy to maneuver in tight spaces • Not suitable for general boating since the design is specifically for fishing

At this point, most people would have made up their minds about which boat is the best inflatable dinghy. While it is okay to eye one or a couple of these options, we’ll suggest that you hold off choosing for a little while until you know what to look for when choosing an inflatable dinghy.

But first, let’s see some of the advantages of buying an inflatable dinghy instead of other traditional boats.

Why You Should Buy an Inflatable Dinghy

Several types of inflatable boats are used for different purposes. This ranges from motorized inflatable pontoon boats to inflatable sport boats to rigid inflatable boats, and others. These boats have become popular for several reasons, including:


Portability is perhaps the biggest reason to invest in an inflatable dinghy. Most types can be deflated and rolled up or folded easily. Storing them doesn’t require a lot of space. You can keep them safe in your garage (off the floor). That means zero winter storage fees and absolutely no need for slip rentals. And since you can transport them in the trunk of your car, there is no need for trailers.

Of course, larger types are heavier and difficult to lug from one place to another, but they don’t require a trailer to move them.

Wait, what?

How is a “balloon” on water durable?

Inflatable dinghies are not mere balloons or rubber floating on water. Modern constructions use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabrics or Hypalon (a nylon neoprene-coated material) to build highly durable boats that can withstand harsh conditions and hazards, including abrasion, UV rays, and extreme temperatures.

You don’t have to worry about frequent leaks because the seams of modern inflatable dinghies are heat-welded. Purchasing an inflatable dinghy is a wise investment if you enjoy fishing or some other water activities because the boat is designed to last for several seasons.

Canoes, kayaks , and other boats in the same class do not provide the type of stability as inflatable dinghies. It is a lot safer to stand in inflatables and maneuver the boats even at high speeds, especially if you buy one with a V-shaped keel and a hard floor. If you buy a larger model, you can even use it in the ocean’s open waters.


Many other boats are built to suit only one application. But inflatable dinghies are designed to be used under various conditions in a wide range of waterways and can be used in saltwater and freshwater.

Many inflatables also come with optional accessories, including seating, fishing rod holders, canopies, and storage.

Choosing the Best Inflatable Dinghy – Buying Guide

rubber dinghy yacht

Here’s a quick tip when it comes to buying an inflatable that will serve you for several years: always look beyond the brand name and price tag.

Yes! Selecting a good-quality inflatable dinghy is all about choosing one with the right features for your purpose. It doesn’t matter how expensive a boat is; if it doesn’t suit your purpose and where you live or where you’ll be using it, you shouldn’t buy it.

Before you purchase a boat, we suggest that you take some time and give serious thoughts to the following.

Inflatables come in different sizes, and size can significantly affect performance. Choosing a size depends a lot on how you intend to use the boat. What size of motor do you want to use? How many passengers do you expect onboard on average? You should also consider the amount of gear you usually bring along and the normal conditions you expect to encounter. All these factors can impact the performance of a boat.

Generally, inflatables over 10 feet long usually offer a greater level of control. They are less likely to rock during strong wind currents and are a lot easier to plane. Of course, if you do not need that much space, there’s no need to buy a 10-feet long boat or more. But whatever you do, keep in mind that overloading your dinghy will definitely reduce its performance, regardless of the size.

Think about the pros and cons of flooring available in the inflatable before you buy it. Why is this important? The floor of a boat can affect its stability, speed, weight, and even performance. As you go through this section, consider where you want to use the dinghy – on choppy waters, running river, or flat water?

The four types of floors available in inflatable dinghies include:

  • Slat Floors

Slat floors, also known as roll-up floors, are the most basic floors you will encounter in inflatable boats. Slat floors are made from materials such as plywood or aluminum and are easy to assemble. Storing them is as easy and rolling them up and stowing away.

If you want a simple boat that is perfect for short trips, consider one with roll-up floors such as a roll-up inflatable dinghy. They are easy to deflate, roll up, and store. They require only a small space for storage and are not expensive.

However, because the floors are not rigid, it can be difficult to stand on them. Another major downside of slat floors is that they can damage the boat’s fabric if they get broken. And since these types of dinghies don’t come with a keel, performance on the water is limited. They are most suited to small water bodies with flat water.

Consider getting another type of dinghy if you want to ride in choppy waters of the open ocean. But if you prefer a slat floor inflatable dinghy, make sure to purchase one with the slat floors close together as they are more stable than those with slats that are further apart.

  • Hard Floors

Inflatables with hard floors offer more stability and rigidity and slat floor types. The floors are also made from wood or aluminum and usually come with a V-shaped keel for added rigidity. This combination allows the boat to get on a plane easily. It also improves maneuverability and overall performance on choppy waters.

Hard floor inflatables are rather stable, making them versatile as they can be used as dive boats, yacht tenders, and fishing boats.

Expect to pay more hard floored boats such as the Rigid Hull Inflatable dinghies (RHIs). Setting them up will also take a long time compared to roll-up inflatable dinghies that take less time to inflate and deflate. These boats are quite heavy, so carrying them from land to water is a bit difficult. As you probably already figure out, storing these dinghies requires considerable space because they are not as portable as other options.

Consider getting an inflatable with a hard floor if you have ample space to store them, and you don’t mind spending some time assembling the boat when you need to use it. After all, that’s a small price to pay if you want a boat that will cut through choppy waters like a hot knife slices through butter!

Air floors, also known as air deck, are separate flat tubes that inflate like the rest of the dinghy. They are made from tough PVC materials and are rigid enough to stand or even jump on, but weigh less than hard floors.

Inflatable dinghies with air floors usually have keels, and this gives them superior maneuverability, and their lightweight improves their speed. The floors are comfortable for kneeling and sitting.

Air floor boats are portable and faster to assemble than hard floor boats. They also don’t require much storage space.

However, these boats don’t come cheap. Expect to spend top dollar for a good-quality air floor inflatable dinghy. But the major downside is not the price tag. Air floor boats are prone to punctures. This is probably not the best choice if you want to mount real seats or a fish finder on your boat.

Pro tip: One way to minimize piercing through the boat is to lay a piece of carpet or cut-to-shape vinyl on the floor. This is particularly helpful if you plan to carry things around in your boat or use it for fishing.

Another disadvantage of air floor boats is their weight. These boats are particularly lightweight because the floor is filled with air. While that’s a good thing, it makes them unsuitable for rough waters. Lightweight is not an advantage when it comes to stability on the water. Consider getting a heavier boat if you want more stability, especially in rough waters.

  • Self-Bailing Floors

The floors in regular boats are made with sealed tubes. If water gets into the boat, it remains there until it is scooped out manually. That’s the disadvantage of non-bailing standard floors.

The solution? Self-bailing floors!

These types of floors have holes in the sides that let water out of the boat. If you are mostly using an inflatable in situations, such as white-water rafting, where lots of water can enter the cockpit, it can be extremely helpful to buy a boat with a self-bailing floor.

Boat Fabric

The type of fabric used to make a boat determines its durability and quality. The popular options when it comes to materials for inflatables are PVC and Hypalon. Both choices are durable, but with peculiarities.

PVC fabrics are synthetic plastic polymers. That means boats with these fabric types are lightweight, portable, and affordable (since the material is less expensive than the nylon-coated Hypalon). Repairing a boat made from PVC fabric is extremely easy – a tear can be glued or thermo-bonded.

However, PVC boats are not suitable for tropical locations. Excessive heat and humidity can easily damage the plastic material or harden the fabric if used under sunlight for too long. These boats have a short life circle because PVC fabrics cannot withstand abrasion for too long.

On the other hand, boats made from Hypalon can resist ultraviolet rays, extreme temperatures, abrasion, and mechanical wear and tear. This is because the material is a synthetic rubber. Repairing Hypalon fabric can be done easily by applying a patch. Overall, these boats will last longer because the material is more durable.

However, Hypalon is expensive, and as expected, the cost of an inflatable dinghy with Hypalon fabric won’t come cheap. The color can fade when left under the sun for too long.

If you live in the tropics or intend to use a boat that will not harden by being under sunlight for long hours, your best bet would be to purchase a boat made with Hypalon fabric. On the flip side, if you live in colder regions and don’t intend to be on the water for too long during sunny days, a PVC boat might suit you just fine.

When it comes to hull type, the best inflatable dinghy for you will depend on the activity you intend to use the boat for. Hull types include:

A boat with a flat hull doesn’t come with a keel, which means it won’t provide adequate stability. Directing and maneuvering this type of boat can be difficult. Generally, flat hull boats don’t reach high speeds and will not get on planes.

So, what are they good for? Consider getting a flat hull boat if all you do is going on short trips or you want a boat that will move slowly while you fish for a few hours.

A V hull boat usually comes with an inflatable keel. They are perfect for cutting through water as they can get on planes at high speeds. They offer great stability and maneuverability than flat hull types, and as you’ll expect, they are a bit more expensive, too. This boat might be just what you want if you are looking for the best inflatable dinghy that will serve as a tender during wildlife, fishing, or diving activities.

  • Deep-V Hull

Deep-V hulls are common features in rigid inflatable dinghies and are quite pricey. Boats with deep-v hulls have enhanced stability, increased speed, and give more control. But because they sail higher on water due to their hull design, they can rock in the wind and even tilt.

Availability of OEM Accessories

Although you can buy a new boat after a while, wouldn’t it be better if you can save costs by simply upgrading? Adding additional storage, a canopy, or even adding a few seats might be all you need instead of buying an entirely new boat.

But you can’t upgrade easily if your boat doesn’t have readily available OEM accessories or aftermarket parts. For this reason, take some time to look around for available accessories for the inflatable dinghy you intend to purchase.

Besides, it will be helpful if the boat you choose includes accessories such as waterproof carry bags , seat cushions, paddles, and other items.

Lastly, consider buying a boat from a manufacturer with a long-term warranty. Even if you choose the best inflatable dinghy made from durable materials, you cannot completely rule out accidental damages, so keep an eye out for a solid warranty.

Bottom Line: What is the Best Inflatable Dinghy?

As you would have deduced by now, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the best inflatable dinghy. What works for one person might not be suitable for another because these boats are versatile and can be used for more than one purpose.

A fisherman might not choose the same type of inflatable boat as someone who wants a sport boat. Waterways and conditions can also affect individual choice.

In a nutshell, the best inflatable dinghy is that which suits your purpose, location, and preferences. And we’re sure one or more of the options in this guide will meet your needs.

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About Chris

Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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Best Rubber Inflatable Boats (Dinghies)

Author David Lee

A rubber dinghy, also known as an inflatable boat, is a versatile and portable watercraft that’s incredibly popular for recreational use. Constructed from durable, flexible materials like PVC or Hypalon, these boats are lightweight , making them easy to transport and store. They come in various sizes, from small one-person dinghies to larger models suitable for several passengers. The inflatable design provides excellent buoyancy and stability , ideal for calm waters, fishing, or leisurely rides. Some rubber dinghies include features like oarlocks, grab lines, and attachment points for outboard motors. Their affordability, easy setup, and compactness make rubber dinghies a favorite for boating enthusiasts, campers, and anyone seeking affordable water-based adventures.

Things to consider before buying Inflatable Dinghies

In the past year we’ve owned three different kinds of inflatable dinghy boats. And through our experience with these three dinghies, we kind of came up with the list of five major things to consider if you’re thinking about getting an inflatable dinghy. Those five are:

  • size and shape,

1. Size and Shape

The first one – size and shape. Size and shape are totally personal preferences. Whatever you’re going to be doing. Are you going to be going long distances or are you just going to use a rubber inflatable dinghy boat to go to shore or do you have a dog you have to bring, are you going to go fishing off of it? We went bigger because we go fishing, spearing, bring the dog everywhere. We have a lot of stuff that we bring, but some people have to do is go from the boat to the dock and that’s all they need. The bigger you have more carrying capacity, you can go a little bit faster. Smaller, it’s going to be lighter, but you don’t have as much room. With size, the bigger it is, obviously, it’s going to be more expensive. Smaller, you’re going to be cheaper in the price range.

2. Tube and Hull Materials

And then with that brings us into our next category, which is materials. When we’re talking materials, we’re talking about two things: the tube material, and also the hull material. When choosing a rubber inflatable dinghy boat, the material from which it is made is certainly very important. There are many different types of soft materials today, but PVC (vinyl) and hypalon are the most popular. PVC is a material that is more expensive and durable. Additionally, there are several additives that create an additional stone and cut protective layer. For example, two layers of PVC can also be combined with the addition of lamination.

Hypalon or PVC tube

Let’s talk about the tube material first: hypalon (a kind of synthetic rubber made of chlorinated and sulfonated polyethylene) and PVC.

Hypalon’s going to be more expensive but way better in the sun. It’s going to hold up to UV a million times better than PVC. PVC is definitely going to be cheaper, but it’s not gonna hold up in the sun very long. If you’re considering cruising the Bahamas, the Caribbean, I would say that hypalon is definitely really the only option if you’re looking long term.

But if you’re in other areas where the sun isn’t as strong as down south, then you can save a couple of bucks and go the PVC route.

Maybe if you’re in the northeast, are you only using dinghy seasonally, it’s only in the sun two, three months out of the year, you’ll get a long life out of PVC still. Especially if you keep it covered and they even make chaps. These like covers the tubes of the dinghy. If you have chaps on you might be able to make that dinghy last from actually pretty long. If it’s PVC and especially if it’s hypalon.

Aluminum, fiberglass and the inflatable hull

The hull material can be the same rubber tube material just laid down in the hull with slats like the floor supports or even a removable floor that’s made out of wood or aluminum. The bottom can also be just an inflated floor, like a high-pressure inflated rubber bottom material where there are not even any slats. It’s just high-pressure kind of keeping it semi-rigid. You can have a solid fiberglass hull or you can have a solid aluminum hull. I’m sure there are other options out there, but those are the major ones.

Inflatable Floor

The floor provides comfort when you are in a boat. There are different floor types: soft, inflatable, rigid collapsible, rigid frame (solid), etc. In most cases, the inflatable dinghy boat is folded in a carrier bag, so it is important that the floor is either soft or hard but composite. Rigid collapsible floors are more comfortable, but they are heavy and require extra installation and reassembly time. Our boat actually has some thin wood slats to keep it a little more rigid. Obviously with those first things, whether it’s a high-pressure inflated floor or an inflatable floor with slats or even an inflatable hull with sections, removable sections, those are all going to be semi-rigid and they can range from it feeling like you’re stepping on a waterbed. It’s pretty close to rigid (solid). Pretty rigid.

The other thing with that you have to worry about beaching the boat. If you’re ever on, let’s say a beach with rocks or barnacles or whatever, you could pop that extremely easily compared to the hard rigid floor you have more sturdiness.

Talking about solid fiberglass or aluminum hull, you definitely have the ability to give yourself a little bit more leeway if you do run upon a rock or a barnacle. Or some coral or something.

Now our last dinghy was solid fiberglass, this one is solid aluminum, and that’s part of the reason that we kind of changed it up and got an aluminum boat and that’s because of the lightweight that you get with aluminum while still having a lot of strength.

Fiberglass Hull

Fiberglass is definitely going to be a little bit heavier, but it might be a little easier to repair if you ever put a hole in it or something because you probably have fiberglass supplies on your boat. With an aluminum hull you can probably still, you can probably do a makeshift repair with epoxy I’m sure, but for a permanent repair, you probably need someone to weld on something to that aluminum. But it’s going to be harder to puncture an aluminum hull. If you just put a scratch on it, that’s not a big deal. It can be much more durable being pulled up on the beach with rocks or coral or whatever. You’re probably not gonna put a hole in an aluminum hull.

Weight is very important for us specifically because our, our rubber inflatable dinghy boat is completely dependent on weight. The lighter it is, the faster it goes so when we raise the dinghy and put it on the boat, we want it to be as light as possible so it’s easy to get up. But also so we keep the weight down so we go faster.

If you have a whole system, like a crane that lifts the dinghy on the boat and you don’t have to worry about lifting yourself and you’re on a trailer or then it doesn’t matter as much.

4. Features

That kind of brings us into our next category, which is features because the more features you have, generally the more weight you’re going to have.

Features can range from anything from just a seat to some fancy electronics, a center console, a bench seat, and built-in in the back, a little radar arch.

A lot of features that most dinghies have are like handholds all over, these D-rings. Some D-rings under the front of the boat for towing or locks with aluminum oars, which we’re going to have to test out. I actually tested them out on the other dinghy to see if you can actually grow it. Supposedly it’s pretty hard to row an inflatable boat, especially if there’s any sort of breeze, whatever. But those are a lot of features that most dinghies do have.

In our old dinghy, the bench seat was like in the middle and then under the bench seat we kept the gas tank so it was still out of the way, but taking up kind of floor space. Now we have a separate locker for the gas tank as well as a separate locker for the anchor. Because now under the bench seat we have this space for our life jackets .

Now that’s vented and the fuel line actually runs underneath the floor all the way back to the engine so that fuel line’s not in the way ever.

One thing that we didn’t have on our other dinghy that is amazing is just this simple little slot for the line to come out so that when you’re anchored you’ll have your anchor line tied to the boat, but most of your extra line is still in here. It’s nice to have this. The line can come out and you can still close this, without breaking the hinges or anything on that hatch. Another great thing about these two compartments that we were surprised to find out is how easy it is to step the front of the boat, to the back of our catamaran. That was a really nice surprise.

And then one other thing that I love and I dog likes too is that we have this soft kind of non-skid material on the boat so she has something that doesn’t hurt her paws and we don’t slip as much.

One last major feature I want to talk about is having, I don’t know what you call it, a floor. Having a floor over just the bottom of your boat is the bilge. But this is our actual floor and underneath here is just space. You can see if we get water in the boat, the water fills up underneath this floor first because there are holes you know in the corners and in the anchor locker and stuff like that. And that way if you have just a little bit of water in your boat, it’s gonna sit in the bilge in the floor and your feet aren’t going to get wet, all your stuff isn’t gonna get wet and even if you have a little sand it’ll sit right there kind of underneath the floor.

If our phone fell on the ground, it’s not sitting in water or the cameras or whatever.

But it’s definitely a little bit of extra weight, it’s definitely a little bit of extra money, but it’s a feature that I really like and it’s definitely worth it for us. Something to think about.

Well as I mentioned before, some other features you’re going to have is as a whole console here to steer with a steering wheel and a steering system and everything besides just the tiller. It’ll have a throttle. You can have bow lights, stern lights, you could have bilge pumps, batteries, radio, everything.

With all those extra features comes, weight, which is the most important thing that we’re trying to limit.

Some more features:

Availability of motor mounts

The choice of a rubber inflatable dinghy boat is always based on certain objectives. And additional equipment is selected depending on the purpose. Fishermen need a motor, so a boat for them should have motor or transom mounts. If a boat is intended for family holidays, the motor is not required, but paddles and paddle crutches are important.

To improve maneuverability and handling, a keel is needed in any boat. Depending on where and under what circumstances the boat will operate, a boat with or without a keel is selected. If it’s a family holiday, you don’t need a keel, but a keel is very important if it’s a sporting interest or professional activity. A keel may be soft or rigid (inflatable). A rigid keel offers better handling, of course, but it is installed on heavy boats only. It is more common to have a soft keel.

Wherever and how the boat is used, crutches are important. Comfort depends on them when using paddles. Crutches should be as powerful as possible and hinges should be as mobile as possible. At the same time, it is necessary to secure the paddles in them firmly but without losing free movement. Paddles themselves can be made of wood or composite materials. Weight is important here: the lighter the paddle, the better.

Number of seats

Each boat has its own weight and seat capacity limitations. Therefore, when choosing a boat, it is always worth considering how many people would be there at the same time. For family holidays, light boats with a large interior space and a large seat capacity are better suited.

Components package

Components package, i.e. items that come complete, such as paddles, pump, seats, optional accessories, is very important. These components are critical for boat sailing and they should be attentively checked out when choosing a rubber inflatable dinghy boat.

Find out also how to inflate an inflatable boat and set up the aluminum floorboards inside correctly.

Rubber inflatable dinghy boats are usually professional sports models with a reinforced floor and bottom of inflatable tubes. This provides reliable protection against sharp stones. The boat has a folding aluminum bottom. The materials used for boat production are robust – PVC 1200 D and the PVC layer thickness reaches 2.4 mm in the lower part. BSA380 Black has a transom for a motor with a maximum power of up to 25 hp. A V-shaped deep keel is provided for stability.

How do I benefit from an inflatable dinghy boat?

There are several benefits to owning an inflatable dinghy boat, including:

  • Portability : Inflatable dinghy boats are lightweight and can be easily deflated and packed away for transport or storage in a small space.
  • Durability : Many inflatable dinghy boats are made of high-quality PVC or Hypalon material, which makes them resistant to punctures and abrasions.
  • Versatility : Inflatable dinghy boats can be used for a variety of activities, such as fishing, recreational boating, and water sports.
  • Affordability : Inflatable dinghy boats are generally less expensive than traditional hard-shell boats, making them a great option for those on a budget.
  • Easy to Inflate : Most inflatable dinghy boats can be easily inflated with a hand pump or electric pump in just a few minutes.
  • Safety : Inflatable dinghy boats are designed to be stable and buoyant, reducing the risk of capsizing or sinking, and they can provide a safe and secure platform for water activities.

Overall, an inflatable dinghy boat can offer a convenient, affordable, and versatile option for those who enjoy boating or spending time on the water.

What are the drawbacks of inflatable dinghy boats?

While inflatable dinghy boats offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are some potential disadvantages of owning an inflatable boat:

  • Vulnerability to Punctures : While many inflatable dinghy boats are made of durable materials, they can still be vulnerable to punctures or tears from sharp objects such as rocks, branches, or fishing hooks.
  • Limited Load Capacity : Inflatable dinghy boats typically have a lower load capacity than hard-shell boats, which means that they may not be suitable for larger groups or heavy equipment.
  • Exposure to Sunlight and UV Rays : Over time, exposure to sunlight and UV rays can cause the materials of inflatable dinghy boats to break down and degrade, reducing their lifespan.
  • Maintenance : Inflatable dinghy boats require regular maintenance to ensure that they remain in good condition and function properly. This can include cleaning, drying, and storing the boat properly after each use, as well as checking for leaks and repairing any damage.
  • Performance : Inflatable dinghy boats may not perform as well as hard-shell boats in rough water conditions or at high speeds, and they can be more difficult to control in windy conditions.
  • Comfort : Inflatable dinghy boats may not be as comfortable as traditional hard-shell boats, as they can be more prone to bouncing and rocking on the water.

Overall, while inflatable dinghy boats offer many benefits, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks and determine whether they are the right choice for your specific needs and intended use.

How much does an inflatable dinghy cost?

The average cost of an inflatable dinghy is around $100. However, the price can vary depending on the size and quality of the dinghy. Some high-end dinghies can cost up to $1,500.

You offer fairly interesting options, but I can’t decide. I need an inflatable dinghy for river rafting, which one’s the best?

For river rafting, boats with elongated pontoons are best suited, as they are more stable in rough flows. In addition, attention should be paid to protecting the bottom from cuts, as there are usually sharp stones on the bottom of banks. Plus, such models usually have a place to secure a transom under the motor.

How to repair an inflatable dinghy

You can do some simple steps: find the puncture, warm it up with a heat gun, cut the bristles in half, and apply the glue to both surfaces.

Thesandshore.com is a source where the post Rubber Inflatable Boats (Dinghies) appeared first.

Helonge 4 Pcs Inflatable Boat Air Valve, Replacement Inflatable Boat

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Comments to Review

Our Newport Vessel boat has served us so well for the past few years. It is super easy to store and fun to take our kids out in on the little late in our backyard.

My choice is HydroForce Marine Pro is the perfect small family inflatable boat. It is for 2 adults and 1 child (it can carry 3 adults or 2 adults or 2-3 children simultaneously). The boat is made of durable material of three layers and has a load capacity of more than 590lbs and boat is folded into a small bag for transportation. It has a rigid inflatable bottom. A security cable holder and motor mounting fittings are also available. Inflatable cushions and a storage bag are included. Good product.

Intex Seahawk inflatable boat is lightweight and easy to transport, making it perfect for camping trips or day trips to the lake. It was also incredibly easy to inflate with the included pump and I had the boat ready to use in just a few minutes.

While the load capacity is limited, it was perfect for me and my partner to take out on the water for some fishing and relaxation. We felt safe and secure in the boat, which was stable and buoyant even in choppy water conditions. The durable PVC material has held up well against rocks and branches, and I haven’t had any issues with punctures or tears.

Overall, I would highly recommend this Inflatable Dinghy Boat to anyone looking for an affordable and versatile option for recreational boating activities. It has exceeded my expectations and I look forward to using it for many more adventures to come.

As someone who lives near a lake and loves fishing, INTEX 68376EP Mariner 4 Inflatable Boat has been a game-changer for me. The convenience of being able to inflate and deflate it quickly and store it easily is a major plus. The boat is sturdy and well-made, with a durable bottom that can handle some rough surfaces. I especially appreciate the option to add a motor for a more enjoyable outing. Despite some initial hesitations due to a few negative reviews, I took the plunge and couldn’t be happier with my purchase. It’s perfect for family trips, with enough space for four people, and the inflatable thwart seats provide added comfort. I even went the extra mile and made some modifications based on a website I found, adding a wood floor, chairs, and lights for nighttime adventures. Registering the boat with the state was a bit of a process, but it was well worth it. Overall, this boat offers incredible value for the price, and the fact that I can easily transport it in the trunk of my car makes it even more appealing.

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2022 Boat of the Year: Best Dinghy

  • By Dave Reed
  • December 17, 2021

Sailing World Magazine’s annual Boat of the Year tests are conducted in Annapolis, Maryland, following the US Sailboat Show. With independent judges exhaustively inspecting the boats on land and putting them through their paces on the water, this year’s fleet of new performance-sailing boats spanned from small dinghies to high-tech bluewater catamarans. Here’s the best of the best from our 2022 Boat of the Year nominees »

Skeptics be warned: The Happy Cat Hurricane is legit. This is the unanimous assessment from our Boat of the Year judging squad after sailing the surprisingly quick and nimble 16-foot inflatable catamaran in 10 knots of breeze. While it delivers exhilarating sailing, it’s much more than a recreational rubber dinghy—it’s an adventure craft, a portable sailboat, a pontoon motorboat, a lazy-river drifter, or anything you want it to be once it’s pumped and splashed.

Grabner is an Austrian manufacturer of all types of inflatable watercraft, which the company has been building since the mid-1980s. The Happy Cat Hurricane came online in 2017, and a carbon-mast version was added in 2019. The Hurricane Carbon, which the judges tested, is the company’s flagship go-fun craft, and apparently, it can’t make them fast enough.

We racers know fiberglass better than we do rubber, but Alex Caslow, of Redbeard Sailing in Baltimore (the US importer), says Grabner’s vulcanized rubber is “tire-quality” and sourced from Continental. All of the Happy Cat’s tubes, he adds, are handmade, glued and welded in Austria, producing high-quality hulls that should last at least 20 years. There’s a seven-year warranty on the hulls, he says, but should you ever need to, $2,000 is your replacement price (per hull). The all-up price for a new boat, with everything you need to go racing or gunkholing, is currently $15,000.

The magic to keeping the Happy Cat’s tubular platform stiff is the anodized aluminum frame that holds it all together. Tension cables crisscrossed beneath the trampolines provide additional stiffness in waves. The frame also serves as attachment points for the trampolines, which are clipped on rather than laced like most catamaran tramps.

Happy Cat Hurricane

The boat, Caslow says, can be assembled in roughly 40 minutes—from taken out of the storage bags to inflated and sails hoisted. Upgrading from the standard manual pump to a 12-volt air pump accelerates the process, of course.

Bags? That’s right. The entire boat and rig fit into four bags collectively small enough to transport in the average-size car trunk. This portability is its primary selling point, especially in Europe, where hundreds of owners and devotees regularly gather to rally and raid on alpine lakes and coastal enclaves. Its second selling point is that it sails as well as most fiberglass recreational catamarans.

“It definitely caught my eye when we first walked up to it,” Chuck Allen says. “The bright-red hulls, the carbon rig, all the ropes, but especially the interesting setup with the rudder and centerboard being on centerline. I’d never sailed a catamaran with a centerboard.

“The hulls are really firm—they feel just like a RIB tube, and all the aluminum framing and wires are nice quality. I was really curious how it would sail, and believe it or not, it sailed like a champ.”

Happy Cat Hurricane

Greg Stewart says his first impression was one of skepticism as well. “It seemed like it would be one of those boats that looked cool on land but would let us down, but it didn’t at all. It sailed amazingly. It tacked well enough that I didn’t have to backwind the jib, and got up to speed again quickly.”

The ability to tack it like a dinghy, Stewart says, is because of the centerboard and because the rudder is mounted in the best place possible. “What makes it steer so well is the rudder is so far aft, which gives you a nice turning moment between it and the centerboard.”

The centerboard has up/down lines that are led to the front beam and cam cleats, but there is a breaker line in case you get into shallow waters. The centerboard casing also acts as an anchor point for the dolphin striker.

The reverse “wave-piercing” bows have a lot of buoyancy down low, Stewart adds. When he was sailing upwind through chop, they “just want to lift and rise up over the wave.” If flying a hull gets a bit too unnerving, he says, a small ease on the mainsheet or a slight bear away makes the boat settle right down with a soft and pillowy landing. Stewart forgot to conduct the obligatory capsize test, but he said afterward that the boat tended to simply slip sideways if the weather hull got too high. The optional masthead float, however, would be a good choice for peace of mind, he says.

“There’s a great sensation of speed,” Powlison reports, especially with the 91-square-foot gennaker. “The Velocitek SpeedPuck that was on the boat was reading 10 to 11 knots regularly, and it wasn’t hard at all to tack or jibe either. The spinnaker clew is pretty high, and the boomless square-top mainsail (124 square feet) makes it really easy to get across the boat.”

“This boat rips,” was Allen’s final assessment. He gave it high marks all around, but what ultimately stole his favor was a browse through Grabner’s catalog, which showcased the Happy Cat’s versatility: Leave the mast in its bag, erect the optional sun awning, and slap on the outboard motor bracket to transform it into an outboard-powered exploration craft and swimming platform. Or strap on extra fore and aft trampolines, load the boat up with camping gear in dry bags, and explore new places.

“Its biggest appeal really is its portability,” Stewart says. “If you don’t have easy access to a yacht club or storage near the water, you can easily keep this in the garage or apartment without taking up much space at all. Throw it in the car and take it wherever you want.”

Assembly, Caslow says, is simple and quick once the hulls are inflated. The tubes slide into grooves in the frame, tension cables are clipped on with carabiners, the trampoline is strapped on, and the mast can be raised by one person once it’s pinned onto the ball joint.

When it’s assembled, the Hurricane Carbon is only 175 pounds, but it is still a bit unwieldy for solo ramp launching. For this particular challenge, Grabner offers flip-up “slip wheels” that mount to the aft beam and stay on the boat while sailing. With your standard big-wheeled catamaran dolly, however, it’s easy to move around and beach-launch. And once you’re underway and zipping along, crew extended on the wire and the soft bounce of the hull on your bottom, you’ll just want to keep on sailing—happy as a cat on nip.

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An inflatable boat on a scenic river.

The Best Inflatable Boats of 2024

Inflatable boats are storable, portable, useful, and fun.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Inflatable boats give you most of the benefits of metal and wooden boats but are much easier to store and transport. You don’t need a large place to store them, whether at a marina or in your garage, and you don’t need a trailer to get them from your home to the water. Most can be strapped to the top of your vehicle for easy transport, or you can deflate them for even easier mobility. We rounded up some of the best inflatable boats for fishing, rafting, and accessing small water.

  • Best for Fishing: Orvis x NRS Hookjaw Raft 
  • Best for Lakes And Ponds: Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 Frameless Fishing Boat
  • Best Belly Boat: Classic Accessories Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube With Backpack Straps
  • Best for Whitewater: Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat
  • Best Budget: Intex Explorer Inflatable Boat Series

Best Inflatable Boats: Reviews & Recommendations

Gray and olive color inflatable boat with black paddles

Why It Made The Cut: The Orvis x NRS Hookjaw Raft comes equipped with everything you need for a successful day on the river.

Key Features

  • Boat Weight: 87 lbs
  • Load Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 9′ 10″ L x 5′ 4″ W
  • Easy to adjust frame
  • 3-5 year warranty
  • Durable and reinforced in high wear areas
  • Not recommended for rapids above class III
  • Frame and accessories sold separately

The Orvis x NRS Hookjaw Raft comes with a fishing-specific frame that features one low back padded seat ideal for rowing, and a high back swivel chair perfect for casting. The NRS/Star High 5 Self-Bailing inflatable raft is the backbone of the package, and the rubber is no joke—it’s self-bailing and features a 4-inch thick drop-stitch floor insert that inflates to a rigid 8-10 psi. Above all, it’s a durable, maneuverable, and easy-to-transport craft that handles whitewater conditions well for a fishing boat. 

Best for Lakes and Ponds : Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10

Dark green inflatable boat for lakes and ponds

Why It Made The Cut: The Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 Frameless Fishing Boat is a portable watercraft with a stable two-part wood floor that’s ideal for still water.

  • Boat Weight: 78 lbs (w/floorboards & motor mount)
  • Load Capacity: 1200 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10″ 1′ L x 5′ W
  • Built in rod holders
  • Roomy enough for two adults
  • Easy to pack and carry alone
  • Compatible with a motor
  • Can be difficult to steer and maneuver on the water

The Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 Frameless Fishing Boat is a lightweight-two-person rig that comes equipped with four built-in rod holders. This boat is stable and has two 360-degree swivel seats made specifically for fishing. You can mount a gas or electric motor up to 5 HP to jet across a lake, or paddle around with the boat’s 5-foot oar set.

Best Belly Boat: Classic Accessories Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Black and brown inflatable boat for fishing

Why It Made The Cut: The Classic Accessories Togiak Float Tube combines comfort with performance.

  • Boat Weight: 15 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 55.25″L x 47″W x 19″H
  • Easy to transport
  • Comfortable for a day on the water
  • Plenty of storage
  • Can be difficult to inflate and deflate

The Togiak Float Tube features a comfortable high-backed stadium seat with adjustable support straps. The hydrodynamic hull shape is stable and buoyant. For a small belly boat, this fishing vessel is replete with storage space. This is a great option if you are looking for a casual float tube for rivers or for a small, easy to store inflatable boat that you can take out fishing alone.

Blue and light gray inflatable boat with black paddles

Why It Made The Cut: The Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat is a well-made, affordable inflatable watercraft.

  • Boat Weight: 73 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 880 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9′ 9″ L X 4′ 2″ W
  • Quick and easy to inflate
  • Excellent for small groups
  • Durable and stable
  • Great quality for the price
  • Can be difficult to move alone

The Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat is a heavy-duty inflatable boat that you can use to run rapids and explore lakes. Welded-on rotational oar locks allow for serious navigation. The vessel comes with a motor mount fitting. The durable and intentional construction is intended for fast moving water and is suitable for small group excursions. Both a 3-person and a 4-person size is available. Specs above are listed for the 3-person model.

Black and orange Explorer 200 inflatable boat

Why It Made The Cut: Float all your worries away with the Intex Explorer Inflatable Boat Series.

  • Boat Weight: 7.72 lbs
  • Load Capacity: 210 lbs
  • Dimensions: 73″ x 37″ x 16″
  • Very affordable
  • Gets the job done
  • Available in three sizes
  • Relatively easy to inflate
  • Not the most durable

This  Intex inflatable boat  is affordable, comes with two oars and welded oar locks, and will provide plenty of entertainment on calm water. It is available in three sizes, from one person to a three-person, all with varying prices and capabilities. Regardless of the size, the price is impossible to beat.

At this price, the product is not the most durable or reliable in fast water conditions. If you choose this as the best inflatable boat for your needs, we recommend sticking to calm waters and being very aware of the load capacity. Having a patch kit on hand for budget inflatables is helpful to ensure you can stay out on the water all day, even if there is a leak.

The specs above are based on the 2-person model.

Things to Consider Before Buying An Inflatable Boat

Deciding which inflatable boat is best for you depends on how you’ll be using it. If you’re going to use it to fish, consider pontoon and belly boats for fishing placid lakes and inflatable rafts for float fishing trips.

Inflatable kayaks  are good lightweight options for wilderness paddling hunts. Some styles are better suited for general outdoor adventures, such as whitewater rafts and stationary inflatable boats. Those are good for lake use.

Regardless of what type of inflatable is right for you, it should feature several key qualities. Most important is durability. Any inflatable can tear, regardless of how well-made it is. Invest in one that comes with a well-equipped repair kit, especially if you plan to take your boat into remote areas.

Additionally, it should be easy to set up and transport—otherwise, there’s no reason to get an inflatable boat instead of a standard one. It should come with setup tools and instructions so you can prepare it for the water in 30 minutes or less. To help you narrow down the best inflatable boat for you, ask and answer the following questions.

Do you want an inflatable boat for float fishing on rivers?

There are two main styles that anglers use to float-fish rivers: drift boats and inflatable rafts.

Drift boats are usually made with lightweight aluminum or wooden frames. They are a classic choice, but many anglers opt for inflatable fishing boats instead—and for good reason.

Inflatable fishing boats are lighter than drift boats, can potentially navigate more severe rapids, and are often less expensive. You will need to purchase both the boat and the internal frame that allows you to fish from it. A package that includes the boat and frame is usually more cost-effective and always easier than putting together your set-up piecemeal. Look for inflatable rafts designed specifically for fishing. These will likely have more sturdy bottoms that allow you to stand and cast.

Will you be fishing lakes and ponds?

An inflatable boat won’t be comparable to a bass fishing boat, but you can catch plenty of fish with an inflatable craft. Some are big and sturdy enough to accept a decent-sized motor and will allow you to cover a lot of water. Inflatable vessels are more susceptible to waves than other kinds, but an inflatable is excellent for calm lakes and ponds.

Another popular inflatable boat for navigating still water is a  belly boat , also known as a float tube. This watercraft keeps you afloat while your legs are still submerged in the water. You will need to wear waders to stay warm when the water is cold. These are best suited for quiet water and hot weather. You will have to paddle or kick yourself around a lake, which means you won’t be able to cover a ton of water. But these put you close to the fish and are fun to use when the conditions are right.

Do you need an inflatable boat for whitewater?

For some people, there’s nothing better than a whitewater river trip. Get your friends, a permit, and load up your raft with everything you need for a day—or more—on the river. The first riverboats were wooden dories, but today, inflatables are often the go-to for river trips. Whether you want to paddle with your friends or use a motor, inflatable rafts are an excellent option for whitewater expeditions. Not all inflatable rafts are equipped for the same type of water. Some rafts are only rated for Type II rapids, while others are made for more serious water. Make sure not to exceed your raft’s rating level.

Do you need something lightweight?

While all inflatables are relatively portable, none are as portable as a packraft. Packrafts are individually sized inflatable vessels that are light and compact enough to stash inside your backpack. This means you can launch your packraft anywhere you can reach on foot, while most other types require you to get your vehicle to the water.

Packrafts are awesome options for outdoors people who like to explore and recreate in remote, roadless areas. You can bring a packraft to a high mountain lake in search of native Colorado River cutthroat trout, or you can take one to run a remote canyon river during spring runoff. Get one that is well-made and durable enough to last many wilderness adventures.

Are you looking for a budget boat?

High-quality boats don’t come cheap, and it makes sense. Companies invest substantial money into creating inflatable boats that are able to perform similarly to metal and wooden framed boats. Well-made inflatable vessels should last much longer than cheap ones.

Still, if you’re on a budget and looking to get a boat, an inflatable one is likely the way to go. Most inflatables carry smaller price tags than non-inflatable ones. That said, don’t go with a discount-store blow-up raft for serious—and potentially dangerous—adventures. You can use a cheap raft to hang out with your buddies and dunk nightcrawlers at your local lake. The kind of budget inflatable vessel you get depends largely on what you plan to use it for, as well as how often and for how long you plan to use it. Cheaper inflatable boats definitely won’t last as long as pricier ones, but they will still likely give you enough fun to make the purchase worth it.

Q: How safe is an inflatable boat?

An inflatable boat should be as safe as a normal boat, as long as you are operating it appropriately in the conditions for which it’s made. Abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations, especially with regard to the ratings that inflatable vessels have in relation to river rapid classifications. Carry PFDs and take the same emergency precautions you would with a normal boat.

Q: How do you maintain an inflatable boat?

There are a couple of things every inflatable boat owner should do to maintain an inflatable boat, and help it last a long time. Keep your boat away from the harmful UV rays as much as possible. Rinse it down after each outing. Fill your boat with air before each season and leave it overnight to make sure it’s holding air.

Q: How long will an inflatable boat last?

This depends largely on the type and quality of the inflatable boat. Most inflatable boats that are made out of PVC have a lifespan of 2 to 10 years. Some have the potential to last up to 20 years with the proper care.

Q: Is it safe to fish in an inflatable boat?

Yes, inflatable boats are safe and effective for fishing. Most inflatable boats are quieter than traditional boats and don’t disrupt the water or fish quite as much. Invest in an inflatable boat that is designed for fishing and utilizes durable materials for a long-lasting fishing boat.

Q: Are inflatable boats good on rough water?

Some inflatable boats are good on rough water, but not all. There are several types of inflatable boats; some are designed for rivers, whereas others may be designed for calm waters like lakes and ponds. If you are traveling through fast-moving or whitewater, having an inflatable boat designed for that type of paddling is recommended.

Q: Can inflatable boats sink?

For the most part, inflatable boats won’t sink. But they can deflate, putting anyone on board in danger. That’s why it is important to make sure you use the boat in conditions that it is suited for and that you have all the proper safety equipment on board.

Q: Can inflatable boats be used in the ocean?

Most inflatable boats are not suited for the ocean, and all of the recommended boats on this list should not be taken into the ocean.

Best Inflatable Boats: Final Thoughts

Inflatable boats are portable, maneuverable, and just fun to use. They’re easy to transport, affordable, and make for social outings. They will get anglers, hunters, and general outdoor recreationists on the water easily. Not all inflatable boats are ideal for all activities, so be sure to take some time to consider the intended use, your budget, and the boat’s durability while shopping.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.

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  • Boat tenders

Yacht tenders

In addition to your main yacht, sailboat or catamaran,.

The smallest Open

Ideal for a first boat with room for 4 people on board, it is easy to manoeuvre and tow. Ideal for small budgets.


The smallest Yachtline

An ideal size to accommodate 4 people on board, with a maximum power of 40 HP, it can carry its passengers at high speed.

Ideal dinghy or small robust boat.

The 3.4 is sure to please: Easy to steer, 3 large storage lockers! A true little racing kart that will delight you and your guests.


Well equipped

The Yachtline 400 can carry 5 passengers with its 3 seats and 50 HP.

The smallest Pro

A traditional model, it has always been part of the Zodiac range.

Unbeatable value for money

Ideal model for fishing and cruising with family or friends with its 4 large seats that can accommodate 6 people on board and its large lockers.


The right compromise

The ideal complement to transport 6 people, with its numerous storage lockers and its 60 HP.

The biggest of the compact Open

A generous power output of up to 80 HP is a big asset, and it is ergonomic and spacious for comfortable and active days out.


The biggest

At 4.90m and 90 HP, it can be used as a main boat for up to 9 people. It can also tow water-skiers or wakeboarders.

Inflatable dinghy with inflatable floor

Very simple and above all really compact! Completely flexible, including the floor, it can be folded and stored in less than 2 minutes in a suitable bag!


Inflatable dinghy with wooden slatted floor

Its floor, in a wooden slat design, can be rolled and stored in seconds.


RIB dinghy with aluminium hull

A truly solid-hull dinghy (aluminium), which provides the best in stability and safety on board!

Inflatable dinghy with aluminium floor

An aluminium floor, which can be put in place in no time for maximum stability.


New tenders with a double floor, waterproof storage, and top-quality tubes!


Its biggest asset is its locker: Your backpack or today’s picnic will fit in just fine…


Are you looking for a tender or dinghy model for your yacht, sailboat or catamaran ? The choice of boat will depend on your intended use, frequency of trips, sailing areas and your expectations. Choose a comfortable, innovative and powerful boat that you can accessorize according to your taste and needs. You will already have basic equipment: lifting and towing rings, bench, paddles or oars, many handles … for the comfort of the pilot and the passengers. The design of your dinghy will perfectly match your yacht thanks to its elegant aesthetics. Your RIB dinghy guarantees you excellent performance , great boating comfort and spaciousness for regular use. Its sturdiness ensures greater safety at sea where the weather is particularly unpredictable.

Versatility of the yacht tender

A yacht dinghy is highly recommended as it provides a comfortable mooring for disembarkation and a real guarantee of assistance in case of need . Reliability and lightweight are the key words that characterize the tender boats and dinghy models available. Yacht dinghies serve you both as lifeboats or support boats to get the pilot, crew and guests to land or shore, but also as leisure boats due to their versatility . The size and engine of the tender mean it can be used as a leisure boat for sea trips with friends or family; from 4 meters upwards for the larger models . So go and explore some beautiful places. The finish and quality of the accessories ensure the longevity of your boat.

Agility and robustness of the dinghy boat

In our range, you will find 100% electric tenders like the eOpen , but also ones with hydro jet propulsion, such as the eJet. This modern technology, which uses a turbine to draw in water and propel it quickly to move the boat forward, offers a more fun and agile way to steer . Compared to outboard motorboats with a propeller engine, waterjet propulsion offers greater safety, the ability to operate in shallow water and faster acceleration . Tender models with rigid hulls such as the CADET RIB ALU, the small OPEN, the eOPEN, or the Yachtline provide you with more stability at sea, even in difficult weather conditions. This gives you more space on board for passengers and storage.


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Best inflatable boat: 9 compact tenders put to the test

Robert Melotti

  • Robert Melotti
  • September 9, 2021

Rob Melotti and the PBO test team put some lightweight, portable inflatable dinghies through their paces in Lymington to find the best inflatable boat

Inflatables are everywhere: paddleboards , canoes, kayaks , tents, kites and wings – and inflatable boat technology has long been a practical option for tenders, RIBs, liferafts and lifejackets .

But what the ‘new wave’ of inflatable boats brings to the practical boating landscape is the air floor, which makes very stable, very lightweight tenders a very practical option for people with limited stowage ie owners of cruising boats under 30ft.

And the market has responded with a selection of offerings under 2.4m weighing under 20kg. So which is the best and what should you be looking for to get the most for your money?

We tested nine models sold by eight different brand names. The inflatable boats were superficially quite similar, but in the accumulation of small details it was possible to pick a few favourites.

We rowed and motored all of the inflatable boats solo, and most of them with two aboard. We weighed and measured them and found a lot to like.

What’s the best inflatable boat? 9 options tested


3D Twin V Shape 230 Air Deck Tender was a good all-round performer – and best on test

3D Twin V Shape 230 Air deck tender

French manufacturer 3D Tender was one of the earliest producers of ultralight inflatable tenders. This model sports premium touches, such as davit rings and the most high-spec pump of all the inflatable boats on test.

In terms of convenience it is a rucksack carry bag with a large front pocket for the pump and accessories. The zips will need maintenance though.

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The V floor is a single chamber, keeping set-up time to a minimum and keeping the weight down. The lack of safety lines on the side makes carrying as a two-person team a little less convenient than some of the other inflatable boats, but the keel strip will help preserve this boat.

The rowlocks double as cleats and the rubbing strake will provide strength but little in the way of splashproofing for passengers.

Buy it now on oceanfirstmarine.co.uk

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.


Force 4 02Lite was the lightest on test

Force 4 02Lite

This model is very similar to the Seago Go Lite (also tested), including the rucksack, which was our favourite on test for carrying comfort, although you do have to beware of any loose objects inside the bag dropping out of the side enclosure flap.

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The Force 4 02Lite was the lightest package overall and packed down to just 90cm long.

The oars were the smallest on test, which affected the rowing performance, but it was the only inflatable boat with open rowlocks – so you can use your own oars.

The bench is adjustable, but I wasn’t able to position it far enough aft to brace my feet against the transom under oars.

There are three D-rings for making a towing bridle on the bow but no ergonomic carry handle.

The rubbing strake is minimal with no splash guard and there are no davit lifting eyes.

Buy it now on force4.co.uk

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Crewsaver Air Deck 230 is solidly built and joint cheapest, but is outclassed by 3D Tender’s lightweight V floor design

Crewsaver Air Deck 230

Best cheap inflatable boat

The pack we were sent for testing had the incorrect seat included, but we were able to substitute a seat from one of the other inflatable boats on test without difficulty.

The rucksack doesn’t have a front pocket, but there are no zips to corrode and the adjustable webbing buckles mean the top opening of the bag is quite forgiving for repacking.

The safety lines are robustly attached to the hull, which is a feature that will pay dividends long-term, but adds a bit of weight.

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The rubbing strake is also weighty, but the splash guards will keep water out of the boat.

The coned aft sponson caps are hard plastic, enabling vertical storage without damage and the rowlocks double as cleats.

There are davit rings in the bow and through the thick transom board, plus the bow handle is wide for ergonomic carrying.

Buy it now on crewsaver.com

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Excel Ventura SL200

From a Midlands-based company that specialises in inflatable boats, this came with a great double-action hand pump and was the only boat on test with an over-pressure valve – a useful feature for exposure to the hot sun.

The safety lines are sturdily attached and splash guards make up part of the rubbing strake protecting the sides and keeping water out of the boat.

The rowlocks double as cleats and the bow handle is wide enough for a proper grip.

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Excel Ventura SL200’s double action hand pump made short work of inflation

Davit fittings are supplied and the sponsons are shaped to add waterline length and buoyancy aft. The duffel carry bag was the sturdiest on test.

This inflatable boat comes with a good long set of oars, although we had to sit side-by-side to make any progress under oars with two adults on board.

Buy it now on excel-inflatables.co.uk

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Quicksilver was big – but also heavy

Quicksilver Tendy Airfloor 240

This boat has an inflatable keel as well as a removable inflatable floor. There was also a rigid slat athwartship between the floor and keel, which increases the weight overall.

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This is one of the priciest and heaviest inflatable boats on the test and one of the largest in packed dimensions.

It features a fuel tank strap, a decent keel strip to prevent damage on slipways, a decent bow carry handle and rowlock cleats.

The rubbing strake is quite meaty as well without being particularly splashproof.

The carry bag is very forgiving – opening flat like a groundsheet.

There were no carry handles on the sponsons and the safety rope fixings aren’t as solid as many of the other inflatable boats on test, although there are rowlock cleats and the seat is fully adjustable.

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Light weight makes for easy handling on land and in the water

Seago Go Lite 230

Seago is a distributor, supplying UK chandleries and there are similarities between this model and the 02Lite from Force 4.

This model is very light and compact – just 0.5kg heavier than Force 4, but packs down to the same 90cm length.

The oars are very short, but are fixed using a pin and thole system which some may prefer over the Force 4’s rowlocks.

The PVC material is described as 1100 Decitex (Force 4 is 800 Decitex) and the backpacks of the two were identical: comfortable to carry and forgiving to repack due to their large side aperture rather than a narrow top.

The rubbing strake is minimal and there is no ergonomic bow handle.

Buy it now on seagoyachting.co.uk

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YAM 200T is not rated for two adults

This 2m inflatable boat has a fixed seat and was unique on the test for having wooden slats to reinforce the floor. This means less pumping up, but slightly increased weight.

Like the 3D tender there is no safety rope so carrying between two crew involves spreading your arms wide from bow handle to stern handle placed on the sponsons. It is rated for one adult and one child – the smallest by rating on the test.

There is a hefty rubbing strake with raised levels to block spray and the rowlocks double as cleats. The oars are miniature and the bow has three D-rings for rigging a towing bridle but no ergonomic handle for carrying. With two adults aboard we would have been better rowing side by side – but it was no slouch under engine.

Buy it now on bhg-marine.co.uk

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The nicest boat on test to row

YAM 240 (STI) Air Floor Sport Tender

This is the most expensive model on test and features an inflatable keel as well as a floor section, plus two sponsons to inflate.

With that much to inflate a high quality pump would have been better, but there is a pressure gauge included in the package to get everything sufficiently firm.

The seat is fixed but the oars were nice and long, which made it the nicest boat to row. As with the YAM 200T there were no safety lines fitted and carry handles are spread far apart, which makes carrying more difficult.

But there is a good, ergonomic bow carry handle and the inflatable boat is rated to carry 400kg, the highest rating on test. The rowlocks double as cleats and the rounded aft end of the sponsons have protective, hard plastic caps.

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Smaller diameter sponsons means more space aboard – but less freeboard

Talamex Superlight SLA230

Talamex is a Dutch brand imported by EP Barrus. This inflatable boat had the narrowest diameter sponsons on test, which creates more internal space, but less freeboard.

It’s an extremely lightweight package, with a thin transom board, but nice long oars and a good carrying handle on the bow.

The pump supplied is a single-action hand pump and the bag folds out completely flat like a groundsheet, which is very forgiving for repacking.

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The bag has nice carrying handles on the narrow ends. The seat was massively adjustable and the rubbing strake is generous without offering very much splash guarding.

The safety rope attachments look a bit vulnerable and there are no other handles on the sponsons.

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Launching the Seago 320

Verdict: Which was the best inflatable boat on test?

This group of inflatable boats can be subdivided in a few different ways: by length, by price and by weight (note there is also a group of rucksack boats and a trio of air-keel boats).

I think the best on test goes to the 3D Tender, which manages to keep the weight down, comes complete with a very high-spec pump, a very user-friendly rucksack bag with a big front pocket and a ‘slight V form floor’ that inflates as a single chamber.

There are no safety lines or a bow handle, so carrying the boat when inflated is less natural than some of the others and it’s the second most expensive.

The best bargain buy is probably the lightest, smallest package: Force 4, for me, is preferable to the very similar Seago model because of its ‘open’ rowlocks. But if you prefer captive oars, the Seago is slightly cheaper.

The Crewsaver is the same low price and probably more robust and seaworthy than the Force 4 or the Seago while being easier to carry when inflated than the 3D Tender. But without the V floor I think it’s a less versatile performer.

I didn’t see the benefit of the two 200cm dinghies we tested: both were noticeably small in use without being smaller to pack and stow or lighter to carry.

The 240cm V Floor models can carry bigger loads at greater speed, but if you really need that level of performance you have to accept the extra set-up time, weight and stowage.

Best inflatable boats – key facts and figures

What makes the best inflatable boat for you?


Rucksack bags were easiest to carry

The bag details matter when one of the main selling points of a product is its portability. We looked at handles, zips and overall design. Metal zips will corrode without a regular rinse in fresh water, but as long as the zipper track is plastic, then replacement zipper trucks can be fitted relatively cheaply.

Carry handles at the narrow ends are very useful and half of the inflatable boats tested can be carried as rucksacks. A few of the boats pack away in bags that deconstruct on all four sides like groundsheets, with webbing straps and adjustable buckles crossways and lengthways.

These are very forgiving and yet still pack up tightly and securely. We also looked at the quality of the bag material: is the bag likely to survive chafing, stretching, damp or UV exposure for as long as the dinghy itself?


We weighed each of the inflatable boats in their carry bags and found quite a variation in boat weights

Size, weight and price

Our facts table will quickly show you the lightest and smallest packs and there are four tenders priced under £500.

The two longest inflatable boats in the test (YAM 240 and Quicksilver 240) were in the biggest bags (110cm and 120cm respectively), and were the heaviest packs weighing over 20kg even without any accessories.

Only three of the nine tested boats weighed in at under 20kg straight out of the box. There was an 11kg difference between the lightest (Force 4 02Lite) and the heaviest (Quicksilver Tendy Airfloor 240).

The Force 4 comes in a rucksack bag that is 20cm shorter in length than the Quicksilver and over £100 cheaper.

But unless size, weight and price are your only criteria, then a simple numerical comparison could miss some important details.

Article continues below…


Best electric outboard motors: 9 of the best options on the market

The electric motor is either sealed in an underwater casing, or housed above the waterline under a cowling, as in…

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Choosing a boat dinghy – top tips for buying and maintaining tenders

From getting on and off the yacht to collecting supplies, visiting friends or simply going fishing, tenders play an important…

Pumps and pressure

Some of the air floors are rated for 1psi; others at 11psi. Most of the sponsons were rated at 3.6psi, which shouldn’t require too much brow mopping for foot- or hand-pump operators.

Five of the inflatable boats came with foot pumps, but the double-action hand pumps with the 3D and the Quicksilver were a joy to use.


All the boats were easily carried by two when inflated

Manual handling

It’s an ironic linguistic quirk that a tender should be so regularly treated without much tenderness. Even a few hours’ use on a clean slipway incurred scuffs, dings, grubby marks and a few minor tears to the carry bags.

Grass is far kinder than concrete for inflating, but is in short supply at busy locations. We looked at keel strips, rubbing strakes, safety line attachment points, bow handles and more… including the relationship between price, weight and fit-out.

First published in the September 2021 issue of Practical Boat Owner.

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The Ultimate Guide to Dinghy Tenders: From Affordable Options to Luxurious Choices

  • The Ultimate Guide to Dinghy Tenders: From Affordable Options to Luxurious Choices

Ever wondered how to get from your yacht to shore without the hassle? Or perhaps you're a sailing enthusiast looking for a compact way to venture into shallow waters? Dinghy tenders might just be the answer to all your needs. Let's delve into the fascinating world of these small but essential boats, and explore why having a good tender is more than just a luxury—it's a necessity.

Types of Dinghy Tenders

Small tender boat.

The small tender boat is the bread and butter of the tender world. Think of it as your go-to vehicle for quick errands; it's agile, easily maneuverable, and can be powered by rowing, outboard engines, or even sails.

Sail Tenders

Want a more traditional, wind-powered experience? Sail tenders offer just that. These tenders are equipped with a sail and provide a uniquely thrilling way to explore coastal areas.

Sailing Tenders

If you're looking for the ultimate sailing experience, sailing tenders take it a notch higher by combining the features of motor and sail tenders. These are ideal for those who want versatility on the water.

Yacht Dinghy

When you're cruising on a yacht, a dinghy serves as your secondary boat, allowing you to anchor offshore and still visit the marina, go fishing, or explore secluded beaches.

Affordable Options

Cheap tender boat.

Who says you have to break the bank to own a tender? Cheap tender boats are budget-friendly options that serve their purpose well, without the frills.

Blow-up Yacht

Inflatable boats, or "blow-up yachts," offer an affordable and portable solution. These tenders can easily be stored and are perfect for occasional use.

Read   our  top  notch   articles  on  topics  such as  sailing ,  sailing   tips  and  destinations  in  our   Magazine .  

Inflatable boat top view isolated on white background. 3d rendering.

High-End Choices

Best cruising dinghy.

If you're in the market for something more luxurious, a cruising dinghy offers advanced features like more comfortable seating, better handling, and advanced navigation systems.

Best Yacht Tender

If you have a penchant for the finer things in life, choosing the best yacht tender to complement your yacht is crucial. These tenders offer advanced safety features, elegant designs, and premium performance.

The Role of Davits

Importance of davits for tenders.

Davits are essentially crane-like devices used for lifting your tender out of the water. They are integral in ensuring that your boat remains safe and secure.

Types of Davits

From manual to hydraulic, there are various types of davits each serving unique purposes and needs. Make sure to choose the one that fits your boat and lifting requirements.

Inflatable Sail: An Overview

What is an inflatable sail.

Imagine a sail that can be inflated and deflated at your convenience. Inflatable sails offer that flexibility, making them excellent for limited storage spaces.

Benefits of Using Inflatable Sail

Besides saving space, inflatable sails are generally easier to manage, making them ideal for beginners and pros alike.

Sailing Yacht A Tender

Exploring the unique sailing yacht a tender.

The Sailing Yacht A tender is a marvel of modern design and technology. With its distinctive features, it stands out as a symbol of luxury and innovation.

Special Features

From state-of-the-art navigation systems to luxurious interiors, the Sailing Yacht A tender offers a once-in-a-lifetime boating experience.

Choosing the Right Tender

Factors to consider.

From size to power source and additional features, numerous factors should be considered when choosing the right tender for your needs.

Maintenance Tips

Routine checks and proper storage are key to keeping your tender in tip-top shape. Don't forget to also inspect the sails, engine, and any other movable parts.

Places to Buy Tenders

Whether online or in-store, buying a tender involves careful research and consideration of various options available.

Online vs In-Store

While buying online offers convenience, purchasing in-store allows you to get a feel of the product.

Safety First

Don't skimp on safety measures. Always have life jackets and a first aid kit on board, and make sure to follow all maritime rules and regulations.

Popular Brands

Some of the well-known brands in the dinghy tender market include Zodiac, Walker Bay, and West Marine. Each offers a range of options to suit various needs.

DIY: Making Your Tender

If you're a hands-on person, consider building your own tender. It's not only cost-effective but also a rewarding experience.

Eco-Friendly Options

From electric engines to recycled materials, there are sustainable choices to consider when purchasing or building a tender.

Understanding Tender Sizes

While we've talked a lot about features and types, it's also important to note that size does matter when it comes to choosing a tender. How much room do you have for storage? Are you going to be the only person using it, or do you plan on having guests? Understanding your size needs is crucial to making an informed decision.

Accessories for Your Tender

To make your experience even more enjoyable, consider investing in some accessories. From built-in fishing rod holders to storage compartments and even Bluetooth speakers, accessories can elevate your boating experience. However, don't go overboard; only add accessories that you'll use regularly.

Marine Laws and Regulations

Don't forget to keep yourself updated on marine laws and regulations. Depending on your jurisdiction, you might need specific permits or licenses to operate a dinghy tender. It's always better to be informed and prepared rather than facing penalties later.

Weather Conditions and Tenders

Operating a tender in calm waters is one thing, but what about when the weather is less than ideal? Certain tenders are better equipped for rough conditions, with features like reinforced hulls and better stability. Be mindful of where and when you'll be using your tender to make sure it suits all conditions.

Community and Clubs

Joining a community or a club dedicated to sailing or yachting can be an excellent way to gain knowledge and share experiences. You'll find seasoned sailors who can offer advice, and you may even get a chance to see different types of tenders in action before making a decision.

Used vs New Tenders

When budget is a concern, opting for a used tender can save you some money. However, be sure to thoroughly inspect the boat for any signs of wear and tear or potential issues. On the flip side, new tenders come with warranties and are less likely to have problems, although they do cost more.

Resale Value

If you're viewing your tender as an investment, consider its resale value. Premium brands and well-maintained boats tend to hold their value better than cheaper or less-known brands. Do your research to ensure you're making a wise investment.

Test Drives

Just like you wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it, you shouldn't buy a tender without giving it a spin. Many dealers and private sellers will allow you to take the tender out for a test. This is a valuable opportunity to gauge its performance and see if it fits your needs.

Tender Training Courses

Are you new to operating a boat or just need a refresher? Consider enrolling in a tender training course. These courses teach you not only how to operate the boat but also important safety measures that could come in handy.

Seasonal Care

Last but not least, consider the seasonal care your tender will need. Will you be using it all year round, or only in specific seasons? Knowing this can help you plan for storage and maintenance, ensuring your tender stays in optimal condition for years to come.

Choosing the right dinghy tender is crucial for any sailing enthusiast or yacht owner. With options ranging from affordable to high-end, and from simple to technologically advanced, there's a tender for everyone. But remember, regardless of the type you choose, safety and maintenance should never take a back seat.

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Faqs about dinghy tenders.

A dinghy tender is used for short trips from a larger boat to the shore or for exploring shallow waters.

Yes, inflatable sails are generally reliable and offer the benefit of easy storage and management.

Yes, with the right tools and skills, building your own tender is possible and rewarding.

Zodiac, Walker Bay, and West Marine are among the popular brands.


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How to Choose a Rubber Dinghy

Summer. Hot morning. And you are in the middle of the lake in a dinghy, enjoying the coolness of the water in anticipation of a big catch. Most of us only imagine such a picture in our dreams, believing that buying and maintaining a boat is too expensive for them. We hasten to inform you: the inflatable boat is what you were looking for!

Our catalog with new rubber dinghies »

Stereotypes. They make our lives much more difficult. More precisely, we complicate it ourselves. A striking example is the desire to buy a boat in order to arrange an unforgettable weekend vacation in summer, spring and autumn. What is stopping us? Yes, a whole range of false concerns and fears, for example:

  • only solid frame dinghy can be reliable, and inflatable ones will be punctured at the first collision with a stone;
  • such a purchase is unlikely to be affordable to me;
  • a special dock is needed to store the boat, and a trailer is needed to move it.

How to Choose a Rubber Dinghy

And now - the whole truth about inflatable boats.

High strength and durability: in terms of reliability, inflatable boats are practically the same to solid ones. They are made from modern materials of the highest strength.

Ease of storage and transportation: you do not need to become the owner of a dock and trailer to transport the boat. Rubber boat 2.2 m long weighs only 7 kg! In the deflated state, you can easily place it in a hiking backpack and carry it to the location.

Convenient use: you can get into the boat immediately after launching it without getting your feet wet. This is its difference from a solid model, which must be pushed away from the shore while in the water.

Are you convinced now that a rubber boat is a profitable and practical purchase? Then we will consider in more detail the design, types, material, as well as the main characteristics of existing boat models.

rubber dinghy yacht

Inflatable Boat Design

The main element is a long round chamber, curved in the shape of a horseshoe in high-speed boats with a motor, or the letter "O" - in single or double boats. For safety, this chamber is divided into several compartments inside, so that, in the event of damage to one, the boat can stay afloat at the expense of the rest.

Vessels intended for sailing with a motor must be equipped with a plywood transom. Usually, it is located between two onboard cameras – that’s where the engine is mounted.

The floor is an indispensable element that gives additional strength and rigidity to the inflatable structure in order to securely hold the motor and provide normal support to the propeller.

Deciding on the Material of the Inflatable Boat

It is this parameter that directly defines the durability. The fabric must be resistant not only to abrasion, but also to UV rays and various types of petroleum products. To date, dinghies are made from the following materials.

  • Hipalon is a unique fabric that is famous for its resistance to the negative effects of chemically active substances: gasoline, oil, petroleum products, etc., as well as to the destructive effects of sunlight. However, it cannot withstand abrasion in any way. It is better that only the outer layer be made of it.
  • Neoprene is a material that has the highest rate of airtightness. It also does not lend itself to the destructive effects of petroleum products. However, its strength is low, so the recommended scope is the same as that of Hypalon - as a top coat.
  • Nylon and polyester are excellent choices for the main boat material. Thanks to these fabrics, the inflatable boat will keep its shape and serve you for many years.
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is one of the leaders as the main material. Its main advantage is strength, low weight, as well as the possibility of vulcanization at the joints. As a disadvantage of PVC, one can single out the complexity of its repair outside the factory. In addition, the resistance to UV and chemically active substances in this material is not up to par compared to the already mentioned Hypalon. At the same time, the strength of such a boat directly depends on its weight: the higher it is, the more layers of fabric the boat is made of, the stronger it is. Today, PVC boats usually have 7 layers.

What Kind of Floor Can an Inflatable Boat Have

Hard floor is made of wood or aluminum. Of course, using a dinghy with such flooring is much more convenient - it will twist less; besides, you can get up without any problems while boating, without fear of falling into the water. The installation time of the hard floor in the boat is 30-40 minutes.

Lovers of water trips especially respect aluminum flooring due to its strength and wear resistance compared to wood. However, it is worth remembering that aluminum heats up very quickly under the sun, and when water gets in, its surface will be very slippery.

Inflatable floor is simpler and more convenient to use - it will take you only 10 minutes to inflate and install it. Despite the name, inflatable floors are also quite solid - they are inflated to a pressure of 1 atm, so you can also stand in such a boat. However, the elasticity of the material does not disappear anywhere, so during strong winds you will not be able to experience much stability under your feet.

The main advantages of the inflatable bottom are a large carrying capacity and an easier way to plan the boat. If you decide to stay on such a bottom, it is better to take care of its additional protection in advance: lay a PVC layer on top of the floor so that an accidentally dropped knife does not cause your ship to sink.

What Types of Inflatable Boats Exist

Sport inflatable boats - equipped with a very strong floor and a reliable transom, which is usually made of wood or fiberglass. The floor can be made of the same fiberglass, aluminum or plywood. Such boats will be an excellent option for multi-day trips.

Inflatable boats with a flexible floor - as the name implies, the flooring of such vessels is inflatable (removable or non-removable - depends on the specific model). The main advantage of this type of transport in comparison with similar products is its low weight and compact dimensions.

RIB-boats are special models equipped with a hard folding floor. It is a hybrid of an ordinary boat and an inflatable boat: its main chamber is inflatable and soft, and the keel is rigid, made of fiberglass, aluminum or polyethylene.

rubber dinghy yacht

How to Choose an Inflatable Boat by the Main Parameters

The length of the boat - of course, this is exactly what one pays attention to first when making a purchase. If your goal is fishing, then you should know: boats up to 300 cm are considered single, despite their capacity of up to 4 people. The fact is that with a motor, fishing rods and other payloads, there really is only enough room for one fisherman. If the boats are from 330 to 400 cm long, then they are already suitable for two fishermen.

The number of passengers and carrying capacity – it must be indicated on the transom plate. For example, if the maximum permitted carrying capacity is 500 kg, then the capacity of such a boat is: 4 passengers + 100 kg of cargo. It is impossible to replace 100 kg of cargo with another passenger: the water inspectorate will obviously not appreciate this idea.

The maximum power of the outboard motor is calculated based on the following ratio: for a boat with a length of 230-270 cm this is about 5 hp, for a length of 290-300 cm - about 10 hp, for 310-360 cm – 15-20 l. Compliance with this ratio is simply necessary. If the power of the boat's electric motor exceeds the set maximum, you will not be able to register your boat.

The diameter of the chambers - you also take into account when choosing. Usually it is 40-45 cm, and for boats with a larger carrying capacity - 50 cm or more.

CE category - marked on the transom plate. We are going to mention two frequently encountered ones here. Category C - such boats are designed for sailing in the following waters: coastal waters, rivers, lakes, etc. The main condition is that the wind force should not be more than 6 points on the Beaufort scale, and the wave height should not be more than 2 m. Category D - for such bodies of water as closed rivers, ponds and any other similar type. At the same time, the permissible wind force is no more than 4 points, and the average wave height is no more than 0.3-0.5 m.

Useful Accessories for an Inflatable Boat

The consumables described below can be either included in the basic package of the vessel or purchased separately. In any case, it will be better if you take care of the convenience of your boating vacation in advance.

Drain valve - located at the bottom of the transom and serves to remove excess water that accidentally flooded into the boat. With it, you do not have to turn the dinghy over at all.

Rings for fixing the motor with a rope - usually the motor is bolted to the transom. However, during operation, the motor may fall into the water. The least it threatens is a little downtime, in the worst case, equipment repairs will cost you a pretty penny. To prevent the described situation, rings are needed for additional mounting of the motor.

Anchor eye - protects the hull of the boat from rubbing with an anchor rope. The fact is that when lowering the anchor, the rope with which it is fixed swipes the material of the boat. The eye eliminates these damages: it has a well-thought-out design with a special place for winding the anchor rope.

Fastenings for a fuel tank - necessary for boats equipped with powerful motors (more than 3.5 hp). Such engines are made remote and fixed on the cylinders of the boat: for this, four rings are first glued to the cylinders, with the help of which the tank is pressed against one side.

Seat pads - serve to soften the hard wooden seats of the boat. You have to agree, that it is quite difficult to sit on a hard surface for a long time, given that you are on vacation. In addition, some models of pads are equipped with bags, which is very convenient.

Tube covers are a necessary device, as they increase the wear resistance of lower part of the chambers. They are thick rubber pads made of PVC tape, which are glued to the bottom of the chambers. This will help prolong the life of the inflatable boat and avoid damage when it is pulled ashore or hit by rocks.

The bleed valve is also a useful device. With it, you can remove excess air pressure from the inflatable boat. If the ship stays under the open sun for a long time, the pressure in the cylinders increases. If it is not removed in time, then the boat can simply burst.

Splash guard are small pieces of PVC that are installed between the chambers and the transom of the boat. Needed to protect people in the boat from getting splashed while it is moving.

Now you must be convinced that a comfortable outdoor recreation does not require huge investments and everyone can afford it. Our online marketplace offers the widest selection of inflatable boats. You can pick up a boat for fishing alone or for traveling with a large group.

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Stay afloat with Achilles

Achilles inflatable boats.

Every Achilles boat is made with our own proven four-layered fabric reinforced with Achilles CSM fabric. We are one of the few inflatable boat companies that manufacture our own fabric, and have for over 30 years. This ensures consistent quality year-to-year and boat-to-boat.

Boat Models Dinghies

A lot of quality in a small package.

These two and four-person boats go from their handy carry bags to fully equipped dinghies in just minutes.

Boat Models Sport Tenders

Lightweight, easy-to-stow tenders.

Value packed, roll-up option for boaters who need the space-saving convenience of a lightweight easy-to-stow tender.

Boat Models Rigid Hulls

Sleek, euro-style tubes.

These deluxe hard bottom inflatables offer boaters the best combination of style, performance and functionality.

Boat Models Sport Boats

Rugged and roomy.

These versatile aluminum and wood-floored boats are the perfect solution for a range of uses.

Boat Models Sport Utility

Built tough to work hard.

A number of commercial grade features such as recessed valves and a full-length, protective wear patch combine to makes these boats the right choice for the toughest marine uses.

Boat Models Commercial & Rescue

Rapid deployment rescue series.

A versatile utility boat that is ready to go in minutes.

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Boats & Parts

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Catalogs & Manuals

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Inland Marine USA Inflatable Boat Repair & Restoration Products

Inland Marine USA Liquid Rubber for Re-Skinning of Inflatable Boats and Dinghies

$ 79.00

The consistency of honey, Liquid Rubber “paints” on to form a seamless, leakproof membrane of pure rubber. Available in black, gray or white, one quart will renew a 10-foot boat with a coating 3-4 mils thick, when applied according to the easy-to-follow instructions.


Additional information.

New improved formula! Inland Marine Liquid Rubber is truly a unique breakthrough in the rubber field. For the first time we are able to get 100% pure EPDM liquid-form rubber to cure without vulcanizing (applying high heat and pressure at the same time, which is what the manufacturer did when your boat was made). The consistency of honey, Liquid Rubber “paints” on to form a seamless, leakproof membrane of pure rubber. Available in black, gray or white, one quart will renew a 10-foot boat with a coating 3-4 mils thick, when applied according to the easy-to-follow instructions. (If you can paint a wall, you can do this!) Since the original skin of most inflatable boats is 3-4 mils thick, Liquid Rubber truly renews and restores your boat to its new condition, even if your boat has lost some of its outer skin and even if the fabric is showing through. Years of use can wear the outer surface of your inflatable; abrasion and UV exposure can make your boat look old and worn-out and can cause slow leaks. Use Inland Marine Liquid Rubber to spot-repair or reinforce those heavy wear spots before they wear through. Or, re-skin the entire boat with Liquid Rubber to add years of serviceability to your boat. Liquid Rubber can be used again and again in the future to restore your boat’s original look. Available in three (3) colors to help match your original inflatable skin color.

Related products

rubber dinghy yacht

Inland Marine USA Inflatable Boat, Dinghy and Raft Restoration Combo Kit

rubber dinghy yacht

Inland Marine USA Topside Paint for Inflatable Boats and Dinghies

rubber dinghy yacht

Inland Marine USA Numbering Registration Stencil Kit for Inflatable Boats, Dinghies and Rafts

rubber dinghy yacht


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