Inflatable Boats

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inflatable boat with outboard motor Inflatable boats aren't just for kids!  There are many good uses for inflatable boats for adults as well.

Inflatable boats are filled with air, which allows them to float on the surface of the water.  Today's modern inflatable boats have multiple air chambers to prevent them from sinking and are made from very durable materials.  While you may think that inflatable boats aren't as strong as conventional boats, think again!  The Coast Guard uses inflatable boats in bad weather when boats with standard hulls just won't cut it.

While inflatable boats are light, they are able to carry many times the load of conventional boats of similar size because of their incredible buoyancy.  Inflatable boats are fun for recreational boaters who like to try different waters, because most of them can easily fit in the trunk of a car when they are deflated.

Inflatable boats are also used by yacht owners.  They make great dinghies to get to and from moorings, and are also easy to stow on board for boaters who are making longer trips.  Because of their soft sides, inflatable boats won't scratch the yacht's exterior when they bump against it.

Some of the larger inflatable boats have a fiberglass bottom.  These kinds of inflatable boats give you the best of both worlds — a fiberglass vee bottom to smooth out the ride, excellent flotation and weight-bearing ability, and the capability to bump into other boats without scratching them.  Some inflatable boats also have twin outboard motors, which allows them to get up to a good speed.

Inflatable boat lengths range from 7 feet to 22 feet, and prices range from $300 to $20,000.  For the most part, inflatable boats are comparable in price to fiberglass boats of the same size.

Inflatable Boat Manufacturers

  • Achilles Inflatable Boats
    1407 80th Street SW
    Everett, WA 98203
    Producer of small inflatable boats made with multi-layer, reinforced fabric.
  • Porta-Bote International
    1074 Independence Avenue
    Mountainview, CA 94043
    Offers portable folding boats and dinghies as an alternative to inflatables.
  • Viking Life Saving Equipment
    1400 NW 159th Street
    Suite 101
    Miami, FL 33169
    Produces liferafts and powered rescue boats designed for life-saving missions.
  • Walker Bay Boats
    717 Butterfield Road
    Yakima, WA 98901
    Makers of small dinghies, inflatables, and small sail boats.
  • Winslow LifeRaft Company
    11700 Winslow Drive
    Lake Suzy, FL 34269
    Manufacturer of quality marine and aviation liferafts.

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Inflatable Boats