How to compare Inflatable Boats

Gone are the days when an inflatable boat was just a small tender hanging on the back of a yacht. Inflatable boats can now be 45 feet lon, with uses ranging from recreational fishing to Coast Guard rescue

Manufacturers make inflatables from Hypalon or PVC fabrics. Hypalon is stronger and resistant to chemicals and ultraviolet light. PVC isn’t as durable but is lighter and less expensive.

Portability and Performance

Inflatable Marine Products says fiberglass rigid bottoms have the best impact and abrasion resistance characteristics but are more difficult to transport. Roll-up units with inflatable floors, which are easiest to stow, lack the strength of rigid-bottom craft

Tube Size

Bigger tubes create higher load capacity as a result of greater buoyancy and have a drier platform with more stability.

An inflatable with a good keel has the ability to maintain directional stability underway. Flat bottom inflatables are difficult to row or steer under power.


Transoms made of reinforced fiberglass or epoxy coated marine plywood are sturdiest. Look for reinforced joints, bonded securely to the floor and tubes.

Leave a Reply