05 Jan Inflatable Fishing Boat Guide 
Are you trying to decide on which inflatable boat to buy or are you about to buy one but confused on the size, material, design etc? Whichever the case, this guide will help you answer any questions you may have about inflatable fishing boats.
Before we get into details, let first understand what and get familiar with the different terms associated with Inflatable boats.
What is an Inflatable Fishing Boat?
Any boat that can be inflated in order to become a study water vessel. When it isn’t in use, you can deflate it and store it in a relatively small space can be referred to as inflatable boats.
These boats come in different design concepts:
- Sit on kayaks
- Sit in kayaks
- Stand up paddle boats
- Pontoon boats
- Float tubes
Furthermore, depending on the size of the inflatable boat, it can be used for various purposes:
- As emergency vessels on water vessels such as ships or yacht
- For rescue missions on the water
- To reach drowning swimmers in open water bodies
- For short scuba diving trips
- For various water sports such as racing or white water rafting
- Most especially for fishing
Why should you own an Inflatable Fishing Raft?
Do you really need one? Perhaps not, however, there are a number of reasons why you should own one of these boats. These include:
If you plan to buy a boat, an inflatable boat is much cheaper than Solid boats (those made with metal, aluminum). This is true of both the cost of buying and the maintenance value of these inflatable boats.
When you own a solid boat, you need to have storage options. You need a big garage or a trailer if you don’t live next to the water. With an inflatable boat, you don’t have to think about space. You can comfortably store it under your bed or in the trunk of your car, assuming you don’t have any space to spare.
An inflatable boat can be transported easily. The same cannot be said of solid boats as you need to have a vehicle big enough to carry it like a trailer.
There is a wide array of uses that inflatable fishing boats can be applied to when it comes to water activities including fishing, water sports (water skiing), rescue missions and recreational racing.
See also 6 Reasons To Buy An Inflatable Boat
The only, and pretty major, downside to buying an inflatable fishing boat is that it isn’t as durable as solid boats. With rough rocks, it can easily get punctured. However, most inflatable boats come with a repair kits — to repair the puncture to get the boat back on the water.
Factors to consider while choosing a boat
Before you buy an inflatable fishing boat, you need to consider some factors. These will help to determine what characteristics you need in the boat. It will also help to narrow down the options and focus your search on what works for you.
You need to consider:
Frequency of use
If you are going to be using the boat a handful of times within the year, then there is no need to get a sophisticated boat (those with upgraded features). On the other hand, you need a sturdy and durable material if you will be using the boat often.
Level of experience
A recreational fisher, one who fishes often but for sport and a fisher who plans to sell his fish all have different needs. The more experienced fishermen would need boats that have more features and complex designs. On the other hand, a recreational fisherman can do well with something as simple as a float tube.
Number of people
If you plan on using the boat on your own, a 1-2 persons float boat or raft is perfect. For more people, you must start considering 4-5 persons or more inflatable fishing boats — they have more space and are sturdier.
You may be considering buying a large size inflatable boat for utmost comfort. However, some large size inflatable boats may cost you a fortune. Remember that the more space and features you can get on an inflatable boat the higher the price of the boat.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Boat
After considering the above factors, you can now embark on perusing through the options available to you. To make the best choice, you need to know the :
Are you looking for a small float tube or a large sit-in kayak? The right size depends on the number of people that will be using be using the inflatable boat at any given time. 2 person inflatable fishing boats are smaller. You can also opt for larger inflatable boats. Some inflatable boats manufacturers are known to manufacture relatively larger inflatable boats. These larger boats have a larger carrying and storage capacity.
Inflatable fishing boats come in two main materials: PVC and Hypalon.
PVC is a type of plastic. It is easy to transport and store. On the other hand, Hypalon is heavier. It can, therefore, withstand tougher weather conditions and bumping against rocks. However, the downside is, it is harder to move around because of its weight.
Inflatable boat floors can either be made of solid aluminium planks or rubber. The former makes the floor safer and stronger while the latter is more comfortable because it absorbs the bumps from the water motion.
There are various accessories that you can enjoy on an inflatable fishing boat. These include
These are the simpler accessories that you can find on any inflatable boat. However, there are other options that are part of the boat. These include:
There are inflatable fishing boats with tents. These are best suited for those who would like to fish and camp at the same time. You can also use the tent as a shade in case the sun is too hot or the rain starts pouring before you get back to shore.
You can choose from the many options in the market based on the additional features that you would like to have.
Generally, inflatable boats do not come with motors. However, if you want to cover a larger distance on your inflatable boat, you can choose to get one that has a motor. They are more expensive but absolutely worth it. In some cases, you can get an inflatable boat that allows you to attach a motor when you need it.
There are many more accessories to consider based on what you want to use your boat for.
Tips on using an Inflatable Boat
If it’s your first time using an inflatable boat, the following tips should get you started.
- First remove your inflatable boat from the bag and check for any anomalies. Does your boat have a visible hole? Do you have all the accessories?
- The next step is to inflate your boat. To do this:
- Unfold your boat onto a tarp to protect it from damage
- Find the air valve you will use to pump the air in
- Ready your pump. You can use a foot pump or whichever pump comes with your purchase
- Place the pump nozzle into the air valve and let the air in
- If your inflatable boat has aluminium floorboards, pump the boat until it has enough air to comfortably place the boards in
- Proceed to pump air in until your boat takes shape
- Remove the pump and close the air valve
- You must check to see that the inflated boat is stable before pushing it into the water
- Wear a life jacket for safety
These are the basic steps you need to follow before setting sail. See also Hоw Tо Clean And Maintain Yоur Inflatable Boat
One cannot, with absolute certainty, pick and present a specific boat as the best. As there is no such thing as the “best boat”, every inflatable boat has its own unique features.
Besides the word best is relative. However, in other to buy a boat that will fulfill all your needs, you have to compare and contrast a couple.
At the end of the day, the opinion is still biased.
This guide therefore equips you with tips on what to know, things to consider, characteristics of a good inflatable fishing boat etc.
All of these are geared towards empowering you with the necessary information to make informed decision when choosing a boat.