If you’re the lucky owner of a boat, you can spend more time with friends and family. Or even get more fish. However, traditional boats have many disadvantages because they’re expensive and take lots of space.
The alternative is choosing an inflatable dinghy. The best ones are safe, they fit in the back of your car, and some can even accommodate six persons. Another advantage is lower costs because you won’t need to rent a storage room or buy a trailer. Or deal with ports.
Here’s the catch though: you need to know which inflatable dinghy to choose and what suits you best.
That’s where this article comes in. If it’s the first time buying a boat, we’ll explain which model to choose based on your needs. Read on!
IN A HURRY?
But if you’re in a hurry, here are some of the best-selling inflatable dinghies available on Amazon UK right now:
- The boat measures approximately 138" x 57" x 19" (351cm x 145cm x 48cm)
- Seahawk 4 is designed to hold 4 people and can hold a maximum capacity of 880lbs (400kg)
- The boat includes: 2 x 48" Aluminium oars and a high output pump (model 68614).
- The successor of the popular Explorer 200
- Inflatable floor
- All around grab line
- Approx inflated size 196 x 102 x 33cm
- Max. weight limit 120kg
- Inflatable floor, all around grab line
- INFLATABLE BOAT SET: perfect for lakes, beaches or rivers; for 2 adults and 1 Child; max weight...
- EASY TO INFLATE: and deflate with 3 air chamber construction and quick release valves;
- COMFORTABLE DESIGN: Inflated Size: 2.55 m x 1.27 m / 8' 4\" x 50\"with wrap around grab rope an...
- The boat measures approximately 93in x 45in x 16in (236cm x 114cm x 41cm).
- The Challenger 2 is designed to hold 2 people and can hold a maximum capacity of 375lbs (170kg).
- The boat includes: 2 x 48in oars and a high output pump and all round grab lines.
Common Terms Explained. How To Choose Depending On Your Needs
A quick Internet search will put you face to face with a ton of boats. But which one is the best inflatable boat?
Pro tip: it’s not the boat that costs more. It’s the one that can do what you need it to do.
Here’s how you can figure that out:
Type Of Boat
Take into account the boat category before making up your mind.
For instance, did you know that a dinghy is different than a tender, even though these words are used interchangeably?
A tender is a type of raft you can use only between a bigger ship and the shore, for short supply trips. You can use your dinghy as a tender, but you can also use it for fishing or recreation.
So, the best inflatable tender looks different than the best inflatable dinghy because you’ll only use this for short trips.
PVC and vinyl are good materials because they’re resistant to damage, they’re easy to patch, and they’re affordable. However, these materials can’t withstand UV rays.
If you plan to use your inflatable dinghy in places with lots of sunshine, you’d better get a UV spray or consider a Hypalon-made dinghy. Hypalon is more expensive and difficult to repair, but it’s UV-proof.
Choose the best inflatable boat size depending on the weather and terrain conditions, the number of people, and how much gear you have.
As such, a big boat over 10 feet in length is easier to steer and can face higher winds, but a smaller boat is best for lakes and mild rivers with fewer currents.
It’s counterintuitive to advise readers to buy items that don’t last long.
But there’s a “but.”
Durability is not as important for everyone. If you have a small budget and only planning to take your dinghy out once a month for short rides, you can compromise on durability. If you’re only planning to take your dinghy out on a lake with no currents, you can also compromise on puncture resistance because there aren’t any sharp rocks to navigate on.
But if you’re a boater enthusiast, get a dinghy that’s backed by a long warranty.
Pro tip: Regardless of the type of boater you are, always make sure the company you get your dinghy from has top customer service.
Make sure you can scale up your dinghy by customising it with extra accessories. At some point, you may want more storage room, a canopy for shade, or even to change the seat cushions so you should make sure your dinghy allows that.
Consider the accessories included in the package too. For example, you need sturdy and comfortable oars, a repair kit, and even a carry bag.
Best Inflatable Dinghies On The Market
Now that you know which factors to take into account, let’s see which inflatable dinghy you can choose.
Intex Challenger Inflatable Boat Set
But that’s not the case with the Intex Challenger Two-Person Inflatable Boat Set. A lot of happy customers say this dinghy is sturdier than it looks and that it lasts a lot. Some people have used this boat set for years!
That’s because the Intex Challenger 2 is made from PVC, a material that resists punctures and is known for its durability.
This dinghy accommodates heavy people because its maximum capacity is 170 kg, and you can also navigate easily in difficult terrain such as lakes with sunken tree branches.
You also get two oars included in the package, but this dinghy isn’t that scalable considering you can’t mount a motor on it. If you prefer to keep your options open motor-wise, consider the Intex Challenger 3.
Another advantage is that you can inflate it in less than ten minutes thanks to the high output pump. Once inflated, your dinghy is comfortable and safe. The I-beam floor and three air chambers keep your dinghy stable enough for mild currents.
That’s because, although this dinghy has an easy-to-steer 9-feet length, the oars are a bit short. As such, they’re better as paddles than oars. But, considering the low retail price, you can easily purchase your own oars for more fun in places with lots of currents.
Intex Seahawk 4 Boat Set
This dinghy is tough enough to accommodate four people plus a lot of equipment, including a cooler, the pump, and the trolling motor mount.
Even two large and tall people can lay down for a quick shut-eye or some cloud-gazing.
The reason is that the Intex Seahawk is built from a durable, resistant compound vinyl material. You can even stand up in it or navigate through a rocky river with no worries.
As such, you can use the Intex Seahawk for recreational rowing or fishing. This dinghy is very safe thanks to the rigid I-beam floor and the three air chambers that keep it stable.
Besides, you can easily inflate and deflate it because the two Boston valves work fast. Once you have it ready, you’ll find that the Seahawk is very comfortable for long periods.
You also get a lot of included accessories, such as rod holders, grab line, aluminium paddles and welded oarlocks, repair kit, and pump. The bonus is that you can mount an Intex motor because you get the included fittings.
However, Seahawk isn’t perfect. Some reviewers say they needed longer oars to navigate in windy weather, and you may need to buy a trolley because it weighs 17 kg. You also need to think where you’ll put it if you want to store this dinghy without deflating it.
If you read this article, we’re confident you can choose the right dinghy. Remember to consider where you’re going to use it and in what weather. Then, you’ll choose a dinghy that’s the right size, shape, and construction for your purpose.
Choose the Intex Challenger Inflatable Boat Set if you want a sturdy, two-person dinghy that’s easy to steer. If you want a bigger, better performing dinghy with lots of space for your gear and the option to install a motor, go with Intex Seahawk 4 Boat Set.
We’re curious to know which model you choose!
Drop us a line below once you buy your dinghy or hit us with your questions before choosing.