Inflatable Boats 101 – A Guide for Those New to Inflatable Boats

Inflatable BoatsWe usually think of boats as solid vehicles. Made of steel, wood or other tough material, we rely on their sturdy casing to safely take us places when we need to cross a body of water. From yachts to fishing boats to big ships, these vessels need to be made of materials strong enough to keep their passengers dry, while at the same time light enough to stay afloat. This is a feat that engineers continue to improve on as the years go by.

Now, however, steel and wood aren’t the only materials to make boats with. Plastic has already proven its mettle in the making of light and durable inflatable boats. The sides and bow of these rubber dinghies have flexible tubes that contain pressurized gas. These tubes are located in different sections of the boat to protect the inflatable from deflating fully and causing disaster in the event of a puncture. The floor and hull of smaller boats are usually made of rubber material as well, although larger ones are made of aluminum or plywood.

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Designs of rubber ducks vary. Tenders and dinghies are perfect for newbie boaters who like a good paddle with a stable boat. Large or small, these boats generally work without motors. If you want more buoyancy, an inflatable boat with keel cuts through water better than the tenders. Fully inflated, the bow of the boat has a V-shaped keep for better handling. High performance inflatables are those that work at high speeds. Racing boats and rescue boats are placed in this category where a complex system of tubes give the boat added lift when it has to go full speed ahead.

What is a RIB? (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats)

RIB designs feature a rigid fiberglass hull with an inflatable collar. These are great for fishing and relaxing since they also come with such amenities as built-in seating and storage areas. They may also be used for rescue purposes because they’re safe and easy to navigate.

Aside from these, there are also other inflatable boats that follow the style of traditional boats. There are already inflatable kayaks and inflatable canoes that you can bring conveniently with you during your hiking and camping trips. These can be fully deflated when not in use and only takes ten minutes to inflate when you’re ready to conquer the rapids. For those who love to fish in areas that can’t be reached by most fishing boats, there are inflatable pontoons for this purpose.

When a rubber boat gets punctured, repair is done by vulcanizing the rubber coatings together through the use of products that make the synthetic rubber or PVC of the inflatable boat stick together. If it needs more extensive care, synthetic rubber coatings may be used to repair the holes and punctures as soon as it reaches port.

These so-called rubber ducks can easily be deflated and stored in a compact space, making them easy to transport in different locations. These boats have been found extremely useful in rescue operations, in military operations and in various sporting events.

Lastly, it’s important to make note that not all inflatable boats are equal. While there are several different makers of inflatable boats today, we only recommend Sea Eagle boats due to their affordability, high-quality construction, and rugged durability.

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