Review and Buying Guide for the Best Inflatable Fishing boats
An inflatable fishing boat is a great option if you don’t have the means to transport your equipment. These boats are great for anglers with limited budgets or who fish on lakes that have limited engine horsepower.
These are not pool toys. Special forces use the most powerful designs for amphibious assaults. If they trust them enough to withstand rough beaches and stormy seas then you can, too.
Inflatables are now a serious fishing tool, thanks to the advancement in manufacturing technology. This type of boat has many advantages.
It pays to do your research, distinguish fact from fiction, and be aware of what you are getting into when you look at inflatables. We are here to help. Below, you’ll find an in-depth discussion on their strengths and weaknesses as well as handling characteristics and design types. We will also be reviewing some of our favorite products.
Here’s a quick look at the top inflatable fishing boats currently available:
- Classic Accessories Colorado XTS
- Inflatable sport boats that kill whales
- Intex Mariner 3
- Intex Mariner 4
- Newport Vessels Dana
- Sea Eagle SE9
How to Buy the Best Inflatable Fishing Boat.
We would like to talk about the elephant in the room right away, dispel any concerns, and get the truth straightaway.
Inflatable boats are durable and can withstand severe punctures. How durable are they? This question can be answered with two examples. Inflatable boats are used by both professional whitewater guides and Navy S.E.A.L.s in extreme conditions.
The best inflatables are made from extremely strong materials and feature multiple air chambers. They also have air-tight valves. They will often have a cover made of layers of tough synthetic rubber or vinyl. Although they are not puncture-proof they are more durable than you might think.
Because they are filled with air, they can withstand hard impacts that could crack fiberglass or break aluminum. They wouldn’t be able to withstand high-speed impacts like those that might crack fiberglass or cause a leak in aluminum.
These pool toys are not overgrown, so the myth can be dispelled.
You get what you pay, as with most things. You will see the price difference between aluminum and inflatable when you need something super tough and super capable.
Despite this, inflatables can be much cheaper than fiberglass and are much more convenient to transport.
Video of a torture test on an inflatable kayak – impressive! This is what it looks like!
Inflatable boat vs Class 5 Rapids
Inflatables’ outer skin is usually made of one of two materials: PVC and Hypalon.
PVC –The most common plastic polymer used in the construction of inflatable boats is polyvinyl chloride. PVC fabric is a popular choice among manufacturers, as the technology for making it has improved over the past few decades.
PVC is very durable, light and relatively inexpensive. The only problem with PVC is its UV sensitivity. PVC boats can last up to ten years if they are well maintained.
Hypalon –Hypalon is a brand for chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CSPE), which is basically synthetic rubber.
Although it’s very durable and UV-resistant, it is heavier than PVC and much more expensive. This material should be reserved for extremely hot climates that have extreme temperatures and UV exposure.
You can choose which option you prefer, but most manufacturers now use PVC to reduce costs.
Transportability, weight, and storage
Inflatables excel in this area.
They can be used immediately and then deflated once you are done.
Even if you decide to inflate them at your home and then transport them on your roof, truck bed, or trailer, they are incomparably lighter than aluminum and fiberglass and so will be easier to manage.
The Zodiac Classic Mark II inflatable 13’8″ with a rigid bottom weighs in at a slim 192 pounds. A 2019 Tracker Grizzly1448 Jon weighs in at 562 pounds, compared to the Zodiac Classic Mark II, which is just 2 inches long.
Imagine both hulls being handled on dry ground. While it is possible for two to three people to unload and drag a Zodiac, it would take five to six to manhandle a Grizzly.
This is a huge difference.
The inflatable can also be stored in an outside building or corner of a garage, even when it is deflated. The smaller models are small enough to fit in your car’s trunk or in your closet.
Safety and Handling
Inflatables can be transported easily and are extremely durable. Many models are not very good at handling. However, safety is excellent.
The best inflatables can perform in rough water and even surpass it in terms of performance. Outboards can make inflatables turn at a moment’s notice. If you have to travel long distances in order to reach your destination, you can use the Newport Vessels Dana and ISB Killer Whale.
However, handling is dependent on the particular design. We’ll make sure to note this feature in every review.
Two design options are responsible for the problems you might encounter with inflatables:
High guns/lots of rocker Inflatables are designed with high sides and lots rocker. They are able to catch wind easily with their high bows, gunsels and sterns. However, they can track poorly and won’t keep a straight line.
This design has the advantage that they are theoretically unsinkable at their best. Many can even stay afloat without a tube. They are also unwoundable.
Low weight These inflatables are great for transport, but their low weight can make them dangerous on the water. This makes it more vulnerable to being pulled by wind or lifted by waves.
Some models have a removable skeg that can be used to improve tracking and handling. When it becomes available, we’ll be sure to mention this feature.
Inflatables can be grouped into various design categories to provide some guidelines.
Boats such as the Intex Mariner series or the Sea Eagle SE9 Simple physics will prevent them from tracking and using oars. They’re not as stable and maneuverable as a kayak, canoe or traditional dinghy. They will also be pushed quite a lot by the wind.
We like stability, but we would keep them on rivers and smaller lakes.
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS is a pontoon boat that can be used with the Classic Accessories Colorado XTS. They can be handled well when used with a trolling motor. The pontoons are well spaced and provide stability. However, the higher seating position can cause a higher center of gravity. This will create plenty of surface for wind to catch.
We recommend that you keep these on quiet water.
Inflatables such as the ISB Killer Whale or Newport Vessels Dana A trolling motor or outboard can make handling easy and improve your seaworthiness. These are the best options for rough weather and foul seas when purchased from reputable businesses.
These are extremely stable and can handle saltwater and large lakes with significant swells.
This inflatable style is ideal for amphibious assaults.