The inflatable boat is the more popular vessels found on the sea today. Inflatable boats are also known as RIB – a rigid inflatable boat or rigid hull – and are high-performance crafts. Often deemed ‘unsinkable’ because of their unique design, an inflatable boat offers great stability and rigidity. The hull attaches to two side air tubes which inflate with high-pressure air which gives the vessel its buoyancy.
These vessels are fast and lightweight and can be used as a work craft or used as a rescue or lifeboat; although it has many uses on the water. The composite inflatable boat is unique because it combines reinforced plastic composite with aluminum or wood for its structure and gives extra strength. The material used is often rubberized and very strong. Composite inflatables are hugely popular for rescue crafts as well as recreational fishing and sailing vessels. Their overall weight can vary, depending on the specific vessel purchased. Inflatable composites are great but how to choose one?
What’s The Purpose of the Vessel?
Do you want to go fishing? Do you like kayaking? Or, do you like the idea of taking the family out for a spot of local sailing and sight-seeing? What you want to do with the craft will determine which you buy and you have to think very carefully about the reasons behind buying the vessel.
What’s Your Budget?
Money will always play a part in what products you buy and inflatables are no different. So you have to sit down and think about your budget. You have to logically look at how much you can afford to spend and what you feel is suitable to pay. It’s not always as easy as you think because costs vary considerably. It’ll depend on a variety of factors including its size and purpose, and much more. Also, costs will depend on whether you buy a new or used vessel, and of course, the actual brand or model of the craft.
Think About the Appropriate Size
This goes back to what you plan to do on the waves. For instance, if you want to do some solo fishing, a smaller vessel might be more appropriate. If you plan recreational day trips with a group of individuals or your family, a larger raft may be more suited. It’s essential to think about the size and what’s more suitable for the occasion. Of course, if you want to use it for a variety of activities, a medium raft may be necessary.
Always Consider Where It’ll be Stored After Use
How will you store the vessel? Where will it be stored? If you can’t answer these questions, you’ll struggle to buy the best vessel. Rafts vary considerably and no matter the type of inflatable boats you want to buy, they need to be stored safely and properly when not in use. Think very carefully about this so the right one can be found.
Where it’ll be used
If you’re planning to take an inflatable raft out on the open waves, you have to ensure it’s a high-quality, high-performance, sea-ready vessel. Also, it may require heavy-duty motors. Small inflatables probably aren’t suitable to go beyond a river or small inlet because it could be easier to sweep the vessel out to sea. Larger vessels could be safer but it must comply with local and regional safety standards and follow all safety guidelines.
Safety on the ocean waves depends on the overall size and purpose of the vessel. Sometimes, it’s easier to stick to a small inlet or river but again, it depends on the purpose of the vessel and the sea conditions. If you do plan to go out to sea you should ensure it’s a larger vessel with onboard motors. Also, you should plot a course and tell others where you’re going so that if something goes wrong, a rescue party can be called. It’s all about safety because you never know how or when the conditions change.
The Type of Hull the Boat Has
Reinforced hulls are essential because they offer more strength and stability. When it comes to buying a boat, you need to consider the type of hull it has. There are many different types of hulls, such as V, flat, and deep V, and it’s important to find a hull that matches your specific requirements. This may depend on your water activities.
Check the Durability of the Inflatable
If the vessel isn’t strong enough, it mightn’t be stable enough to hold or support the weight onboard and that spells disaster. It’s essential to consider how stable the inflatable is and the type of material used, such as Hypalon and PVC. Remember, buying inflatable vessels is easy but the right one is a little difficult. You absolutely need to check on the durability of the craft so that you’re sure it’ll last.
Always Consider Your Comfort
Comfort isn’t always the first thought for most buyers, yet, it’s essential for long-term use. In truth, there’s nothing worse than setting out on the waves and being uncomfortable for the duration. It’s not enjoyable and it’ll get annoying pretty quickly. What’s more, it probably won’t be used much over the years, so instead of wasting money, you must buy a comfortable vessel. If you’re can try before you buy it.
Are Inflatable Boats Safe?
Inflatables are popular because of their versatility and design but does that make them safe for the open waves? If they’re properly maintained, these inflatables will be safe to use and most will find they’re the easiest and sturdiest crafts to use on the waves.
The reality is that unlike a traditional boat, they’re incredibly buoyant even if one air chamber is punctured. If it deflates, it won’t go down entirely and that makes all the difference in the world. With an air pump and puncture kit on hand, it can be temporarily patched up until you reach the shore and repair it properly. If you opt for a high-quality raft, it’s unlikely to sink completely unless it’s improperly maintained. These are buoyant and often difficult to capsize; however, there will always be a small risk of capsizing.
Knowing some safety tips may enable you to remain safe during your sailing expeditions:
- Don’t Over Inflate: All inflatables must be inflated properly which means they’re inflated to the appropriate level. If they’re inflated too much, they could ultimately burst because of the amount of air pressure in them. It’s essential to understand what is suitable for your raft, in particular.
- Keep Away From Sharps And Dangerous Objects: Whether the raft has been made from the strongest materials on the planet or otherwise, inflatable’s can burst. If they sustain a serious puncture it can result in costly repairs and that’s a real problem for most. Instead, remove any potential sticking point when you store the raft away.
- Don’t Drag Across A Rocky Shoreline: While you may be tempted to drag the raft to the water’s edge, it mightn’t be the smartest idea. For example, if the boat is heavy and you drag it over sharp rocks, it may snag and cause a puncture. It’ll have to be repaired and, as said above, will cost you a lot of money. It might be so damaged it’s impossible to repair so there are additional costs to replace the vessel. If you can, lift the raft to the shoreline or use an appropriate vehicle to back the raft into the water.
- Store Away Carefully: How and where the craft is stored will impact the condition and safety of the boat. You need to store away from sharp objects but also, keep it in a clean and dry location. This will help to keep the raft safe when it’s not in use and ultimately, last longer.
- Maintain: The raft should be cleaned before and after every use. This means removing all rubbish or debris from the bottom of the raft and washing it down. Don’t, however, use any harsh scrubbing brushes or chemicals as it may compromise the integrity of the craft. Inflatables should be washed with clean, soapy water and a soft sponge.
- Always Check The Conditions Of The Sea: It doesn’t matter if you’re launching the craft on the open ocean, a river, or anywhere else, you must ensure the conditions are safe for you to be out there. Remember, the weather can change at any given time and so too can the conditions on the water. You have to be extremely careful and cautious at all times. Before you set out, check the weather conditions. It may help you stay safe and reduce the risk of having an accident on the waves.
- Stay Close To the Shoreline: Those who are relatively new to inflatables or have limited experience with boating should stick close to shore. This is essential because if you do get into difficulties, at least you’re close to shore. What’s more, you may feel more comfortable being closer to shore than stuck out at sea.
- Know Your Surroundings: Sailing or boating is like driving a car; you have to be aware of other vehicles around you. Boating is no different. You’re on the waves and there are likely to be other boats or possibly other objects around you. If you hit one of these things, you could topple overboard and that puts yourself (and others) at risk. Even though most inflatables are safe, accidents can happen if you’re not cautious.
- Know How To Handle Yourself: Anyone can enjoy an hour or two on the waves but if you don’t know how to conduct yourself safely out there, you could put yourself – and others – in danger. What’s more, if you act silly or overload the inflatable boat, you could end up toppling it.
- Wear A Lifejacket And Plan Your Course: While this safety tip won’t prevent an accident during your boating trip, it may just keep you safe if the worst happens. Also, it doesn’t hurt if you plan a course too.
Composite Inflatable boats are strong, sturdy, and safe to use. Of course, they’re only as safe as the person captaining them. So, you have to take all precautions to remain safe.
Installing Motors on an Inflatable Boat
Inflatables are usually equipped with paddles and most people are content with using them to steer. They’re easy-to-use and are effective from getting to point A to point B; fortunately, you also have the option to attach a motor. Motors will boost your speeds and make your time on the waves a lot more enjoyable and it’s all possible because of the outboard design of the inflatable. Installing motors is easy and should take very little time to do.
So, know your steering side and assemble the motor’s parts. You’ll need to detach the side plate and fix the shaft to the center of the inflatable. Once you’ve done so, you need to carefully position the front of the mount and position the motor properly. You’ll then need to fix the bottom part of the plate; this might require you to drill and attach to the composite inflatable boat.
Find the Best Inflatable Vessel
Inflatable boats are among the best sea vessels to buy today. They’re sturdy and can be used for a host of activities, including fishing, rescue, and sailing. Buying one can take time and a lot of energy too but you need to determine what’s best. There are many options to choose from and if you think very carefully (and take things slowly), you’ll find the best inflatable craft for you and your family.