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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Inflatable Boats for Fishing & Water Sports

Save time and space with these top quality brands in blow-up boating.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Inflatable Boats for Fishing & Water Sports

Save time and space with these top quality brands in blow-up boating.

by PITeam

by PITeam

If you're looking at getting a new fishing boat or a new watercraft for those family weekends on the lake, you've probably run across information on inflatable boats. With all the options on the market, it can be challenging to narrow down choices.

We've taken some of the guesswork out of the research and information stages of the buying process by reviewing 10 of the best inflatable boats on the market.

What Type of Inflatable Boat Is Right for You?

Regular Inflatable Boats/Rafts

Traditional inflatable boats or rafts look exactly as you’d expect and tend to be operated by paddles or oars. They have a very traditional shape and are meant for one to three people. These are the most common for fishers or typically used as safety life rafts on larger boats.

Cataraft Pontoon Boats

Cataraft pontoon boats look very similar to pontoon boats, but without the large, heavy upper deck or boat body. With this type of inflatable boat, you’ll be getting cylindrical tubes that need to be inflated to support one or more seats that rest on top. Fishermen or people who love the outdoors tend to like these rafts for their portability and low maintenance. Some even come packed with different storage pockets along the top of the tubes.

Inflatable Kayaks (Sit in or Sit on Top)

Inflatable kayaks come in two different styles: sit-on or sit-on-top. Sit-on inflatable kayaks are very similar to the traditional kayak shape and hull. In these, you sit down in the inflatable with the sides coming up around you. With a sit-on-top inflatable kayak, the hull shape is the same, but rather than sitting down inside, passengers sit higher up in a slightly sunken depression.

Float Tubes

Float tubes are typically used by one person and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of them come with a bow connected to two pontoon-shaped tubes that provide buoyancy. These are generally used in calmer waters and come with a seat that’s protected from the water by an underlying mesh or fabric layer. They also tend to be less expensive than other inflatable boat choices.

Dinghies

Dinghies are high-quality inflatable boats and tend to be a great alternative to larger solid boats. They are also seaworthy, rugged, durable, and very versatile. They tend to roll up easily and are lightweight enough for one person to handle. They can either be operated by oars or a 1-15 HP motor.

Sport Boats

Sport boats are considered dinghies that are suitable to be used on the ocean. They tend to be more durable than other inflatable boats and can carry more passengers. They’re also perfect for carrying along the back of a larger boat for more intimate exploration or used as rescue boats. They are sturdy and durable yet soft enough that they won’t cause damage if they run into your larger fiberglass or wood boat.


Benefits of Inflatable Boats

Owning an inflatable boat has many benefits.

  1. 1
    These are a great alternative to a traditional boat when it comes to cost and maintenance.
  2. 2
    Easy to use and transport wherever you want to use them.
  3. 3
    This style of boat can be used in all types of water and tend to get you into places that larger, motorized boats cannot.
  4. 4
    Can easily use more efficiency with fuel such as electric motors
  5. 5
    Cheaper than traditional boats

Considerations When Buying Inflatable Boats

Type of Inflatable Boat

Figuring out which kind of inflatable boat is right for you could save you money. You can choose between a regular raft, Cataraft, inflatable kayak, dingy, float tubes, or RIB boats. This guide aims to help you narrow down which one is right for different uses.

Boat Capacity Size 

Knowing the weight or person limit for an inflatable boat before you buy could keep you from purchasing a boat that’s not suitable for everyone. Take into consideration how many people will be needing to use the boat at the same time or how many people you intend to be able to take out on the water.

Boat Dimensions and Weight

The size of a boat matters, especially when it comes to transportation and storage. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for an inflatable boat. How will you get it to your launch location? Where will you be able to store it when it’s not in use? The boat’s dimensions and weight can also determine where you use it.

Usage

Your intentions of use can play an important role when thinking about an inflatable boat. A kayak might not be what you want if you’re looking for something to transport a lot of goods or people. But a RIB might not be what's best for you if you can't store it properly. Know your needs, and how you intend to use the boat.

Design, Construction & Decking Material

How an inflatable boat is made is just as important as the materials it’s made out of. Look for quality materials such as Nitrylon or Hypalon if you’re going to be using the boat in rough waters or toxic waters. Go for a PVC material if you'll be using your boat for more leisure and fun activities.

Ease of Assembly/Setup

Knowing how to store, assemble, or inflate properly and the time it takes to deflate is something to consider. If you need your boat in an emergency situation, you'll need to know how long it will take to inflate or assemble, especially under stressful circumstances. You should also keep in mind where you'll be storing your boat and if you have the proper trailer to take to the lake, ocean, or river access point.

Seating Options

Seating in your inflatable boat is vital for comfort or determining how much room you have for passengers. A hard, backless seat could be uncomfortable for longer trips, and a one-seater won't be suitable for multiple riders. If you fish, a swivel seat is usually best, so a stationary seat or one that is down inside like a kayak won't meet your needs.

Stability & Maneuverability, Propulsion

Stability is important when thinking about how safe an inflatable boat is. You should also consider how easily you can maneuver a boat, whether it’s by oars or a motor. If you’re considering adding a motor to add propulsion to your boat, then you’ll need to make sure the boat you purchase is compatible for a motor mount.

Extra Features & Accessories

Inflatable boats come with a lot of different features, but you can add more to make it usable for your needs. Fishers tend to need fishing rod holders, fishfinder mounts or camera mounts, while others might be looking for carry bags and covers or canopies. When shopping around for the right inflatable boat, also look at whether or not they come with a repair kit or a pump. Check with the manufacturer for additional accessories and features for your boat. 

Budget & Warranty

Inflatable boats tend to be more cost-effective and cheaper than wooden or fiberglass boats. Knowing your budget and what you want to spend is essential and could lead you to purchase an inflatable watercraft. The warranty for these boats should be considered as well. This will help protect you from manufacturer defects and any other issues you could experience outside your control. Knowing the warranty terms can save you money on repairs and replacement parts.


10 Best Inflatable Boats Reviewed

1. Vessels Dana

Our Top Pick

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

3 ppl  

1,067 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Dinghy boat

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate - 15 mins Deflate - 5 mins

Boat Weight

107 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

The Newport 8-feet, 10-inch Dana Inflatable Dinghy is one of the best inflatable boats on the market because of its portability and durability. Three independent air tubes are constructed out of 1,100 Denier Korean PVC and coated for UV protection. The fabrics are held together with some of the best German adhesives, giving this boat an extremely long lifespan.

Equipped with aluminum bench seating and durable marine wood flooring, the Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy can carry up to three people and is ready for a 9.9 HP motor if you're looking to add speed to your inflatable boat. You'll want to make sure that you register your boat with the state if you intend to use a motor. This boat also comes standard with two oars, a patch repair kit and a foot pump that will have you on out enjoying the water in no time.

This boat makes the top of the list as the best inflatable boat on the market due to its construction and the manufacturer's use of Coast Guard grade material. It's buoyant, lightweight and yet sturdy enough to hold 1,067 pounds of equipment and passengers.

When it comes to paying for a quality inflatable boat, you get what you pay for when you invest in one of these. You can expect to pay over $1,000, but it's a lot cheaper than paying for a new fiberglass or wood vessel. The boat also comes with a 2-year warranty and Newport stands behind all of their products 100%. If you have any issues, contact them for an exchange or repair of your watercraft.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Military-grade fabric

Cons

  • Foot pump
  • Only 3 passengers

2. BRIS

Best 6 person Inflatable Boat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

6 ppl 

1,675 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Raft

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate - 15 mins  Deflate - 5 mins

Boat Weight

180 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 3 Years

If you’re looking for a boat that you can use in saltwater and freshwater, then the BRIS 1.2mm PVC 12.5 ft Inflatable Boat is for you. It’s also one of the best inflatable boats with a motor option, coming equipped with a durable marine plywood transom for motor-mounting that can hold a 25 HP motor.

This inflatable boat is one of the most durable and sturdy on our list. BRIS has constructed this model with 2,000 Denier PVC fabric and has included a double layer around the bottom of the raft, making it extremely resistant to tears and punctures that can occur during use.

You will feel safe knowing you can use it over abrasive sands and sharp rocks without worrying about a hole. Use this boat for professional or personal use and enjoy carrying around five other guests on this vessel. A motor for this boat is sold separately, but it does come with two oars, a patch repair kit, carrying bag and foot pump.

The BRIS is not only one of the best inflatable boats on the market because it has a motor option, but it’s also on the list because of its size. When inflated, this boat is 12-feet long and can carry up to six adults. The weight capacity also makes this a great boat for those summer fishing excursions or the lake adventures.

Because of the type of PVC that's used to make this boat, you can take it in just about any kind of water and humidity. If you're looking for a reliable boat that can go anywhere and not have to worry about holes or wear, consider this boat. Heat-welded seams make it the perfect boat to withstand hours in the sun and harsh weather.  It also comes with aluminum seating and floorboards that are easily removed for easy deflation and storage.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Aluminum Floors and seats

Cons

  • Foot pump

3. Classic Accessories Colorado

Best Inflatable Pontoon Fishing Boat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

1 person 

400 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Pontoon

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 20 mins Deflate – 10 mins

Boat Weight

71.5 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 2-year limited warranty

Are you a fisherman who likes to be close to nature but are tired of the same old fishing boat style? Try the Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat for a change. This craft comes equipped with two, 9-foot inflatable pontoons made from abrasion-resistant PVC fabric and rugged nylon tops, making this fishing boat one of the best inflatable pontoon fishing boats on the market.

You’ll easily navigate through shallow waters and over abrasive sands with ease and comfort. This craft is suitable for a Class 1 river and can even be equipped with a motor if you need to get upstream in a hurry.

The stylish hunter green and black color scheme will help you blend in with the surrounding marsh or make you invisible to the fish below. It’s built to American Boat and Yacht Council standards, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a quality pontoon.

The Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat comes packed with a lot of accessories and storage. It comes with 10 mesh pockets, 12 zippered pockets, two insulated drink holders and a rod holder that can be mounted in three different positions. It also comes with a detachable foam fly patch and sturdy motor mount.

The intention of this watercraft is to be used by those who like to fish. This inflatable boat is not meant to transport multiple passengers or heavy cargo. If you enjoy a lazy morning on the river or lake, then this is the right fishing raft for you.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Stable
  • Lots of Storage

Cons

  • Heavy oars

4. Sea Eagle 285

Excellent Single Person Model

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

1 person 

450 lbs

Build Material

Hypalon

Boat Type

Pontoon

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 5 mins Deflate - ~ 2 mins

Boat Weight

42 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

The Sea Eagle 285 Frameless Fishing Pontoon is so lightweight and portable that you'll be able to take it anywhere. It's got a unique U-hull design that gives you incredible stability without a frame. This boat is perfect for the outdoors person who loves to get out on the water and fish or hunt.

Made from durable Hypalon material and quadruple overlapping glued seams, the Sea Eagle 285 can hold one passenger and up to 450 pounds total weight. The three air chambers give you more security while out on the water, making it safe for you to get back to dry land if one of them is punctured. You can also enjoy a sturdy bottom with removable wood planks and a seven-inch swivel seat, giving you a 360-degree view as you fish.

You'll also be able to rest your rod in one of two of the mounts located on the sides of the boat. If you don't put a maximum 3 HP motor on the back end, you can still maneuver comfortably through the water with the two oars that come standard.

The Sea Eagle 285 is not made for ocean use, but it will get you through lake, river, ponds and small streams, unlike heavier boats. The frameless fishing boat offers maximum stability and durability without the water draft that large boats have, making it easier to get through shallow waterways. 

This inflatable boat fishing pontoon is exceptionally lightweight. You can easily store and transport this boat in its durable carry bag, allowing you to get anywhere and fish or hunt.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy assembly
  • Durable

Cons

  • 1-person vessel
  • 3-4 mph with motor

5. Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish

Best Inflatable Fishing Rowboat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

1 person 

300 lbs

Build Material

Hypalon

Boat Type

Traditional Boat

Inflation & Deflation Time

Inflate – 5 mins  Deflate - ~ 2 mins

Boat Weight

27 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

If you enjoy camping and outdoor water activates that take you away from home for a few days, then you'll enjoy having a Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish rowboat. If you like fishing in a floating tube but are looking for something with more room and more stability, then you’ll enjoy this inflatable vessel.

You won't have to worry about getting wet (except when the fish splash) since the hull is fully enclosed and it comes with removable floorboards as an option. If you want to stay close to the water, then stick with the inflatable Deluxe Fishing seat that comes with the boat. If you enjoy sitting up higher, then stand up and enjoy a peace of mind knowing you’ll be able to keep your balance on the floorboards.

Sea Eagle prides itself on making the best inflatable fishing rowboat when it comes to portability and maneuverability. The Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish is remarkably roomy for its size and packs away neatly when you're done. You also don't need a trailer to carry these around: Simply inflate the tubes and carry it on your back to your favorite fishing spot. 

The PackFish is one of the best inflatable fishing rowboats on the market and very budget-friendly. If you're looking for a portable fishing boat that you can take anywhere but won't go deep into your wallet, then this boat is a smart choice. It’s also backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you’re covered for several seasons to come.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Additional safety air chamber

Cons

  • Not motor compatible

6. Intex Seahawk 4

Best Budget Inflatable Rowboat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

4 ppl 

1,050 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Boats

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 15 mins  Deflate – 5 mins

Boat Weight

37 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 30-day warranty

If you're looking for the best inflatable rowboat for your family of four, the Intex Seahawk 4 is the right boat for you. It's perfect for taking the kids and your partner out on the water for some afternoon fun during the summer or use it during the fall as the ideal fishing rowboat. This boat can easily maneuver through entry-grade rivers with Class 1 rapids and is a great way to introduce your family to river rafting or other water activities.

Known as the best entry-level 4-person inflatable rowboat, the Seahawk 4 is made out of 30-gauge PVC vinyl and is resistant to impacts and abrasions as you navigate through freshwater or saltwater. This material is tough enough to be out in the sun and stand up to gasoline or oil spills you may have if you decide to add the motor mount. It also comes with three air chambers and a double inner-air chamber for more stability and safety in the case of a rupture or tear.

The Intex Seahawk 4 is accessible for people with lower budgets and has some of the best features you can get for the price. It's easy to store, lightweight, and easy to set up. 

As the best inflatable rowboat on our list, you can bet it comes with a lot of accessories and extra features. The boat comes with two inflatable seat cushions, two fishing rod holders and an all-around grab line, making it easy to transport into the water or hold onto as you ride the waves. Two welded oarlocks are also included and make it easy to navigate any waterway. You'll also get a repair patch and gear pouch for all of your extra luggage.

This boat is a little bit larger than others, but you’ll be able to fit four adults comfortably during your outdoor excursions. The easy-grip handles allow you to pick it up and drag it to and from the water.

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Multi-person capacity
  • 3 air chambers

Cons

  • Motor mounting sold separately
  • Short warranty
  • Soft floor

7. Inflatable Sport Boat by Shark

Best Inflatable Boat for Ocean

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

5 ppl 

1,158lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Dinghy

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate - 10 mins 

Deflate - 10 mins

Boat Weight

60 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 3-year limited warranty

When you're considering the best inflatable boat for the ocean, the Inflatable Sport Boat by Shark should come to mind. It's sleek and contoured, making it perfect for nautical travel and is extremely buoyant. This boat comes with 24mm easy-slide aluminum floors and seats that are light and easy to clean if they get dirty.

USCG approved, this dinghy is perfect for your travels across large bodies of water or out on the ocean. It can hold up to five people, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t overload this dinghy so that it can propel you forward without too much weight dragging it down.

The Inflatable Shark is perfect for transporting your whole family, and you can rest easy knowing they'll get there safely on this raft due to the PVC material it's made out of. All of the seams are welded and guaranteed to last, regardless of the water type. Take pride in this boat, knowing that it's manufactured in the USA and is USCG approved.

The Inflatable Sports Boats Shark is the best inflatable boat for the ocean and comes complete with two bench seats, removable seat cushions, two aluminum oars, a foot pump, storage and carry, heavy-duty carrying handles. It can also be fitted for a motor to get you to your final destination faster.

Whether you want to go fishing, river rafting, cruising on the lake or ocean or head downriver for some fun, this inflatable boat will get you there. Take off the motor and enjoy a lazy oar-powered stroll or keep the motor and make it a fun afternoon for you and the family. The uses for this dinghy are endless, and you're sure to enjoy hours of fun in the sun and on the water.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Durable
  • Stain and puncture-resistant

Cons

  • Can only be serviced in California location

8. Intex Excursion 5

Best 5-Person Inflatable Boat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

5 ppl 

1,320 lbs

Build Material

PVC, Hypalon, etc.

Boat Type

Traditional Boat

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 15 mins Deflate – 5 mins

Boat Weight

53 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 30 days

Enjoy a day in the sun and on the water in the Intex Excursion 5. It's the best 5-person inflatable boat out there and makes our list because of its size and extra features. This raft is made with three air chambers and an auxiliary chamber for more stability and additional buoyancy. The I-Beam floor is comfortable enough use as a seat, yet rigid enough to withstand abrasions and punctures.

You can power this boat with the two oars that come standard, or you can equip it with a trolling motor through the motor mountings. There are two inflatable seats at the bow and stern, giving you added comfort while you enjoy the day on the water with family or friends.

The Excursion 5 is the best 5-person inflatable boat for people who want to relax and enjoy a leisure float on a body of water. It's probably not for you if you're looking for speed and adrenaline since it can only travel up to 5 miles per hour with a trolling motor. It's best used for fishing, relaxing, or enjoying everyday water activities.

It’s not hard to see why the Intex Excursion 5 makes our list as the best 5-person inflatable boat. While other inflatable boats might have the capacity for five people, this raft can comfortable fit everyone and still have room for accessories. You can comfortably sit two people on either end of the boat and then fit the rest in the middle with plenty of room to spread out and be comfortable.

This type of boat is perfect for smaller family outings on the weekends or fishing trips with friends. You can take it anywhere, and it has many different uses. While you might not think it's important, the type of boat you go with can have an impact on how well you enjoy your water activities. This boat is perfect for just about everyone.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as durable as expensive models
  • Short warranty

9. AIRHEAD Angler Bay

Large Capacity

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

6 ppl 

900 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Traditional Boat

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 15 mins  Deflate – 5 mins

Boat Weight

28 lbs

Warranty

Yes, 1-year limited warranty

The AIRHEAD Angler Bay Inflatable Boat is perfect for taking your family of five or six out on the water and enjoying the outdoors on a lazy Sunday afternoon. With a sunken hull, you can rest easy knowing your family is protected from falling out of the boat while you paddle along. This vessel is also perfect for fishing adventures and can hold up to 900 pounds, so you can take all of your gear and a cooler for a fun adventure.

The heavy-duty PVC construction makes this boat resistant to abrasions and punctures and is perfect for taking over harsh sands. You can easily navigate through sharp turns and waters with the pair of oars that this raft comes with or you can attach a 1.3 HP motor for smooth gliding.

The AIRHEAD Angler Bay is the best 6-person inflatable boat on our list for many reasons, and one of those is the ease of assembly. There are no extra seating or floor panels that have to be carried around or installed, and the valves make it easy to inflate and deflate in a matter of minutes. You can easily pack this boat up and take it with you on all of your water adventures.

The construction of this boat goes beyond its heavy-gauge PVC material use and considers some of the extra features that come with this boat. There are two additional rod holders and molded drink holders to keep your drinking liquids secure. You can also rest easy knowing that there is a wrap-around grab line for easy transport or can help you get back into the boat.

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Heavy-duty vinyl construction
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

  • Limited warranty

10. Bestway HydroForce Voyager 1000

Quality Family Raft Boat

Passenger Capacity/ Max Load Capacity

2 adults & 1 child

594 lbs

Build Material

PVC

Boat Type

Raft

Inflation &

Deflation Time

Inflate – 10 mins  Deflate – 5 mins

Boat Weight

33.1Lbs

Warranty

No

The HydroForce Voyager 1000 inflatable raft is perfect for those extreme-outdoor adventurers who are looking for a raft they can take down a Class III river but also enjoy a smooth float on a fishing trip. It’s made from 3-ply reinforced vinyl that is strong and absorbs impact unlike any other boat or raft on the list.

In terms of transportation, this raft comes with left and right oars and oarlocks but can also be mounted with a 1.4 HP motor for cruising purposes. You can also bring along your fishing gear and attach your fishing rods to one of the two holders for a more hands-free fishing experience. Just make sure not to leave these lines unattended, as a large fish could still pull the rod and you into the water. If you do fall overboard, grab ahold of the wrap-around safety grab line and pull yourself back into your raft.

Two inflatable benches come built-in, and four valves that make it a breeze to deflate and inflate. You can also easily transport this boat by quickly rolling it up and using its large carry bag.

Like some of the other boats and rafts, the HydroForce Voyager comes with a pair of oars, a hand pump, and a storage bag. With built-in seating, the need for removable cushions isn't necessary. The padded bottom also eliminates the need for extra flooring panels. 

If you're looking for a raft that's cheaper than others and will still give you a great experience, the Voyager is the raft for you. However, the manufacturer does not supply a warranty, and you will be responsible for all repairs after purchase. If you know how to repair a raft on your own, then go with the HydroForce.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Durable

Cons

  • Limited capacity
  • No warranty

Inflatable Boat Material Types

  • PVC
    PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride and is a synthetic plastic that either comes in a rigid or flexible form. Inflatable boats made out of PVC tend to be cheaper and easy to repair.
  • Nitrylon
    Nitrylon is a form of the synthetic nitrile rubber and natural rubber over a 1200-denier stretch polyester fabric. It's very resistant to punctures and abrasions and is stronger than PVC.
  • Hypalon
    Hypalon is a mixture of CSM and Neoprene. Neoprene holds air like no other rubber material on the market, and CSM is mixed in to give inflatable boats their durability without being damaged by UV and harsh chemicals.

Using an Inflatable Boat

Learning proper boating safety guidelines should be one of the first things you do before using your inflatable boat. This includes determining what the local requirements are for a watercraft, checking the weather, and notifying others where you'll be.

You must make sure your boat is correctly inflated to the maximum PSI. Take some time to do some pre-launch inspections for air leaks, tears, or holes.

Make sure your passengers get in first and move to the bow as they get on. This will keep all the weight of your guests at the front while everyone climbs on, one at a time. Make sure you have enough lifejackets for everyone on board.

Always read the owner’s manual of your boat before you inflate it and launch it into the water.


Repairing Inflatable PVC Boats

If you get a small pinhole in the material, apply some water-proof glue over the hole and let it dry.

If the hole is bigger, you'll need to repair it with the same water-proof glue and a patch. The area must be completely dry before you apply any adhesive or patch.

In the case of a large tear, it's always best to contact the manufacturer to get information on sending the boat in for repair or what their suggestions are for some at-home repairs.


Avoid Inflatable Boat Capsizing

Inflatable boats tend to be less likely to capsizing, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. To avoid this, you should follow all of the safety instructions in the manual:

  • Avoid overloading your boat. Inflatable boats come with a maximum weight and person capacity for a reason, and too many people in one boat will increase your chances of capsizing or taking on water.
  • Take turns at controlled speeds. Taking a turn too fast can cause your boat to take on water or rollover, spilling everyone and all of the contents into the water.
  • Cast an anchor from the bow rather than the stern. The bow of the boat sits up higher out of the water, making it hard to pull underwater.
  • Watch the weather and don't boat on rough waters, especially if you're using a cheaper inflatable boat.

Care & Maintenance

Caring for your inflatable boat is rather simple. To guarantee few punctures or abrasions, know the operating limits of the boat you purchase. If you know and respect the limits of your boat, then you can reduce the chance of getting a hole by 80 percent.

You should also make sure that your boat is not left out in the sun or extreme weather. When it's not in use, it should always be stored in a cool, dry place and its proper carrying bag.

Lastly, you should clean your boat with mild household or green cleaning products to remove any dirt, grime, or algae that could eat away at the fabric of your boat while it's stored. You'll want to avoid harsh chemicals and corrosives that could eat away the material.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are inflatable boats safe/stable? Are they safe on the ocean?

Inflatable boats are incredibly safe to use on rivers, lakes and in the ocean. They tend t be much broader and have a lower center of gravity, making them difficult to tip over.

How long do inflatable boats last? Do they have warranties?

An inflatable boat can last many years if it’s taken care of properly. While they do come with warranties, it’s important that you properly care for your boat. Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure that your inflatable boat lasts.

What are the disadvantages of owning an inflatable boat?

As their name would suggest, inflatable boats need to be inflated before they can be used. This requires a special air pump. If you want to attach a motor, you’ll have to buy this separately.

Can I leave my inflatable boat out in the sun?

It's recommended that you store your inflatable boat in a dry, cool place away from heat and the sun. You should also make sure that the boat is dry before rolling it up and storing it in its bag. Check out this video to see how to fold up and store your inflatable boat properly.  

Do inflatable boats come with motors? Can I attach a gasoline motor to my inflatable boat? What size motor can I pair with my inflatable boat?

Inflatable boats do not come with motors, but you do have the option to install one. In most states, you’ll need to register your boat if you put a motor on it. Check with the manufacturer about motor size options and check your local DMV for registrations options.

Who should own inflatable boats?

Inflatable boats are perfect for people who live near bodies of water, fishers, or on bigger boats in case of emergencies.


Conclusion

An inflatable boat can serve many purposes and is a great investment alternative to a traditional boat. We hope our guide to the best inflatable boats on the market will help you make a buying decision that brings years of use to you and your outdoor water adventures.  If you’re still undecided, let us recommend the Dana Dinghy by Newport Vessels.

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