So, you’re interested in buying an inflatable boat, but you might have some questions. Anyone who’s ever gone the inflatable boat route has been there. I know I was a little skeptical at first, but I have learned much along the way.
Before we go about trying to find the best inflatable boat for your needs, take a moment to check out some of my favorite reasons to own an inflatable boat.
1. They Can Be Remarkably Affordable
This may be surprising to some people, but there are a lot of really affordable options available on the market. As I went with the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat, the whole thing cost me less than $100 and what I got in return is a surprisingly durable and serviceable boat that has more than enough room for two people to fish in it. There are a lot of higher-end expensive models on the market, but the fact that you can get an inflatable boat that’s pretty heavy duty for such a low price was a big surprise to me.
2. A Tiny Car Pump Makes Setup a Breeze
as you may have come to expect, having an inflatable boat means that every time you want to use it you’ve got to pump it up.I’m Certainly not going to deny it, this can be a little bit of a pain in the butt even though the manual pumps that come with inflatable boats do move a lot of air quickly. It’s not too bad to do, and you do get a little bit of workout, but if you frequently expect to use your inflatable boat, this will quickly become a sore spot. Luckily, a tool that you likely already have in your car can come to the rescue here.
Maybe I just got lucky, but the little car pump that we keep in the car for emergency repairs actually has an adapter that allows it to pump up my inflatable boat. This saves me a bunch of time and has made owning an inflatable boat that much easier.
3. No Registration Required (If You’re Lucky)
Now, this depends on the state that you live in, but it’s entirely possible that you won’t have to bother with registering your inflatable boat. As of now, the majority of states do not require an inflatable boat to be registered with the DMV if it does not use a mechanical type of propeller (think electric trolling motors). With that said, be sure to do your research here to know that you’re compliant with your State’s laws. Also, it’s possible that your state’s DNR might require you to register your inflatable boat if you’d like to take it out on state park waters. You can check out this article to learn more about whether you need to register your inflatable boat.
4. They’re a Lot More Durable Than You Might Think
I know I was surprised at first, but inflatable boats manufactured by reputable brands are a lot more durable than you might initially think. Even with the bargain models, such as the Seahawk for that I purchased, the vinyl material for the hall is very thick and heavy and is designed to resist punctures and abrasions from regular use. Some of the higher end models incorporate advanced materials that allow for both excellent performance and exceptional durability.
5. Have a Blast Fishing with Them
Maybe I’m just enjoying the fact that I’m on the water fishing a lake for less than $100, but I have a ton of fun fishing from my inflatable boat. They’re very comfortable to ride in and so far I haven’t had any concerns about durability. Many of the inflatable boats on the market are specifically designed for fishing. As such, they have been designed with thick materials that resist punctures from fishing hooks and pointy fish fins.
6. Get Creative and Add DIY Customizations Galore!
One of my favorite parts about owning an inflatable boat has been the number of customizations I’ve been able to add. Given that I haven’t sunk a lot of money into the purchase of the boat itself, I’m much less worried about something going wrong on a DIY project. So far I’ve made a custom floor for the boat (made from plastic, no kidding!) and I’m working on some DIY rod holders just for fun. The addition of the plastic floor has been a big upgrade for my boat, as I’m now able to stand and fish. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m considering possibly building a storage box that could house the battery for an electric trolling motor, which is something you see a lot of people do. As you can see, the possibilities are endless, and the projects have been a lot of fun so far.
7. Fishing Hidden Lakes is Totally Possible
Since inflatable boats are generally lighter and are much easier to carry, it’s possible to haul them in and fish remote Lakes that you might never have considered before. This has become one of my favorite things to do as the fishing is usually great, the scenery is spectacular, and I’ve come to really enjoy getting the chance to fish remote lakes in the National Forest. You can read more about how I find these hidden lakes by checking out this article.
8. Storage is Easy and Doesn’t Require a Garage
Live in a studio apartment and don’t know where you would store a boat or kayak? No problem here as inflatable boats don’t really take up that much space once they’ve been dried and put away. This is a huge benefit as it means a lot more people can get on the water with their own boat.
9. Throw Them in the Trunk – No Roof Rack or Trailers Needed!
Just as storage is a breeze, transporting your inflatable boats to the lake or river is super easy. As they fold up into a small space, you can just throw them in the back of your car and get on your way. Save yourself the added expenses of roof racks or trailers (not to mention the registration of said trailer) and instead maybe treat yourself to a new paddle or perhaps some fishing gear.
10. Hate Paddling? Add a Trolling Motor
While I haven’t done this yet, many inflatable boats designed for fishing are entirely compatible with electric trolling motors. As I can be sometimes tricky to paddle an inflatable boat and to steer them effectively, this is a significant upgrade and can make your fishing experience that much better. It’s important to note that if you do add a trolling motor to your inflatable boat, then it is possible you might need to register your boat with the state.
11. So Many Different Options on the Market
Whether you enjoy whitewater rafting or a quiet day at your favorite fishing hole, there are so many different inflatable boats on the market that it’s a breeze to find the right boat for you. I’ve been delighted that I can go fishing for such a great price and I’ve definitely got my eye on some higher-end inflatable fishing boats should I decide to up my game in the future.