Why You Should Buy an Inflatable Boat

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So you want a boat, but something keeps holding you back. Maybe it’s the cost associated with owning a boat, or perhaps the time it takes to maintain one that has caused you to hesitate.

Fear not, dear reader, for there is a solution to this, and it’s owning an inflatable boat. “An inflatable?” you might ask; yes, an inflatable. There are two kinds of inflatable boats. The first kind is the type that you can find in many department stores, that are made of the same plastic that an inflatable pool toy is made, and the second is a rugged, built-to-last inflatable boat that is made of either PVC or CSM which is strong enough to have an outboard motor placed on its transom, and, with the soft hull models, can fold up so small that you can fit it inside of you vehicle or in other small storage areas.

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Can you spot the differences?

The cost of owning one of these inflatable boats can be lower than $800, which is a fraction of the thousands of dollars you would have to spend on other boats. If you decide to use an outboard motor on your inflatable boat, and if it is small enough, you don’t even need a trailer! Just pack your boat and motor into your vehicle and go! Along with the buying price, the cost to maintain an inflatable is very, very low. If you keep your inflatable out of the sun and wash it when it needs cleaning, the only thing you’ll be spending money on is soap and water. Maintaining your inflatable requires little energy and time, which you can then use for enjoying yourself on the water.

After you inflate your boat, you have two options: you can either deflate it and put it away, or keep it inflated. The time to completely deflate your inflatable boat and dismantle it can be done in five minutes or less; all you have to do is open all of the air valves which you do by pushing in the pin, and remove the anodized aluminum floorboards. Then just roll up the inflatable, and store it. After deflation and disassembly, the inflatable boat can be as light at 70 pounds; one or two people can lift the boat and easily store it. One of the RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boats length is 10 feet 6 inches when fully inflated, and can deflate to 45x25x18 inches which uses very little floor space. This capability is ideal for those who want a boat but don’t want to use a trailer for their boat. If you do decide to deflate and store it, I would suggest that you put it into a storage bag that the RibRave DurAquos inflatable boat comes with. It keeps debris off, prevents damage from abrasions, and helps to keep rodents from chewing on your boat.

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The DurAquos Inflatable Boat fits in virtually every vehicle unless you have one of those tiny European cars!

Keeping your boat inflated after using it works, too. You can simply tie your inflatable to the dock cleat and leave it in the water, or attach it to your larger boat and tow it. Say you want to keep your inflatable boat inflated, but out of the water. It is perfectly viable to do so, however, you should use a boat cover. Covering your boat will protect it from UV rays which cause oxidation of the boat material, making it degrade faster and reducing its lifetime. What’s great about keeping your boat inflated is that the next time you decide to go back out on the water with it, all you have to do is take a minute to add a little air into the tubes if need be.

It’s a lot of fun when you pair up your inflatable with an outboard motor. The boat is so light that it requires little power to get it into planing mode.You would be surprised at how well an inflatable boat performs, especially the ones with a Deep-V keel. It’s a very smooth and dry ride. Inflatables are perfect to simply get around in, but it’s capable of moving fast—and controlled—if speed is your thing. It’s quite thrilling! I was in Jacksonville, Florida a little while back and I was riding the RibRave DurAquos 10ft 6in Inflatable Boat using a 6HP outboard motor on the intercoastal; though the 10ft 6in model is capable of handling up to a 15HP motor, the 6HP did the job. As I revved up the throttle, I could feel the bow descending ever so slightly at first, and as I gained a bit more speed, the bow was almost parallel with the surface of the water, and I was planing. “Pretty cool”, I thought in that moment, because not fifteen minutes before then, the boat that I was now zooming down the waterway with was folded inside of my car. I slowed down as I approached a fisherman sitting in his kayak, and he was surprised to know that the inflatable boat had a soft hull. When I was finished that day, I rode back down to the slip, packed it up, and was about my way.

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The DurAquos Inflatable Boat easily planes on water with a small outboard motor.

Owning an inflatable boat is low cost and low maintenance, and you can get a ton of enjoyment out of it. So what are you waiting for? Get a RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat today and start having fun!

How to Set Up an Inflatable Boat

Here is our step by step video tutorial about how to set up an inflatable dinghy!  The boat used in the video is the RibRave DurAquos 10′ 6″, made of 1100 denier count  PVC, and is 0.9mm thick. I hope that this video is helpful to you, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact us.

Happy Boating,

Phil

Aluminum Floor vs Inflatable Floor

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We get asked often “Which kind of floor should I get for my inflatable boat?” or “What floor is better for me, an inflatable floor or aluminum floor?” When it comes to an inflatable boats floor, you can usually choose between having Aluminum Floors or Inflatable Floors. The two are very different from one another; however, each one has its own advantages. Depending on how you intend to use your inflatable will help you decide which floor is better suited for you.

Slated Anodized Aluminum Plate Floor for Inflatable Boats

Aluminum floors take more time to set up in your boat, but they’re tough and stable.

Aluminum floors are great to have on your inflatable boat, a few common examples are leisure boating, fishing, placing equipment on the deck, and having pets on board. There are no limits as to what you can do or have on your deck when you use an aluminum floor. The only drawbacks compared to having an aluminum floor versus an inflatable floor is the setup and breakdown time which takes longer than an inflatable floor, and the weight of the aluminum floors, as far as lifting goes.  The slated aluminum flooring is a separate part of the boat, which means you can stack them or store them however you see fit. Aluminum floorboards are very durable; they are lighter than marine grade plywood floors, you can put whatever gear you have with you right on the deck and not worry about damaging it, things like fish hooks and other sharp,  pointy objects. Anodized aluminum floors, such as the one the RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat™ comes with, will not rust when exposed to either fresh or salt water. Also, when standing in the boat while it’s on the water with aluminum floorboards inside, it feels very stable, much like standing inside a boat with a fiberglass hull. The aluminum floorboards have no ‘give‘, or in other words, does not bend at all, despite how much weight the floor might be withstanding. Additionally, the aluminum floorboards are locked in place by the side rails that hold slated floor together, and once you inflate the keel tube which sits underneath the floorboards, the tube pushes up against the aluminum floor. With that combination, the aluminum floor on a RibRave DurAquos will not budge at all, hence the great stability it offers. As far as stowing away your boat with the aluminum floor, we recommend removing the slated floor and rails, then deflating and folding your boat. Removing the floor from your inflatable boat is easy and can be done in very little time, but keep a spot in mind to place the aluminum floor. It usually takes a little more time to assemble and disassemble an inflatable boat with slated flooring compared to using an inflatable floor, but if you’re willing to put in that little extra time, you’ll feel like you’re in a hard bottom boat when riding it. If you have the means to transport your inflatable boat once it’s assembled, you can just keep it inflated so that you don’t have to dismantle it when you’re finished boating.

Pros and Cons of aluminum floors for your inflatable boat:

Pros: 

  • Great for handling sharp and rugged material
  • Can have pets on board with no risk of damage to floor
  • Low cost compared to an air mat floor
  • Stable to stand on

Cons:

  • Heavier than air mat floors
  • requires a larger space to stow away
  • Takes longer to set up and take apart compared to air mat floors

 

Drop Stitch Constructed Air Mat Floor by RibRave

The inflatable floor takes only moments to set up in your boat, but it isn’t as rugged as the aluminum floor is.

One of the greatest perks of having an inflatable floor is the convenience it offers. Simply unroll it onto your dinghy’s hull, and inflate! A RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat™ with an inflatable floor is typically used for ease of moving the boat due to how light it is, having a soft boat deck to sit on, quick assembly, and the capability of being easily stowed away because the entire boat rolls up.  The inflatable floor is made with drop stitch construction, the same technology used to make our incredibly rigid inflatable stand up paddle boards, which deflate small and compact just the same. Underneath the inflatable floorboards are two marine-grade plywood boards that cross the inflatable floor horizontally, across the width of the inflatable floor and long enough to reach the bottom of each tube on your port and starboard sides. The purpose of the marine-grade plywood boards is that when the boat, floor, and keel are fully inflated, the boards keep the inflatable floor in place to prevent it from budging and supports the inflatable boats maximum weight capacity—which is rated for over 1,000 pounds for all different sizes of the DurAquos Inflatable Boats. One of the greatest advantages of having an inflatable floor for your inflatable boat is how easy and quickly it can be set up. In a matter of minutes of inflating the boat and the floor, you can put your boat into the water and be on your way! A DurAquos Inflatable boat can be very light, some boats weighing as little as 70 pounds when used with an air mat floor.  When stowing away your boat, it really doesn’t get easier than having an inflatable floor, especially because you do not have to remove the inflatable floor from the boat at all. You can actually keep the floor in the boat and roll them up together by opening all of the air valves on the boat tubes, keel, and floor for the quickest breakdown ever.

Something to think about when using an air mat floor for your inflatable is whether you plan to keep your boat in cold waters for long periods of time. Due to the cold temperature, the air molecules inside of the air mat floor will shrink, thus making the floor lose its rigidity after a while. You might be asking “But won’t the tubes lose air as well if it’s in cold water?”, and the answer to that is yes; however, since the air mat floor holds less air in it than the tubes do, you will notice the air floors decrease in rigidity much sooner than you would for the tubes of your inflatable. So your boats tubes might still feel firm after about an hour in freezing water, but your air mat floor will not be as firm as when you first inflated it.

Pros and Cons of inflatable floors for your inflatable boat:

Pros:

  • Easy to setup inside of boat
  • Light weight, making lifting or moving the boat outside of water easy
  • Simple breakdown, just open all valves on boat and floor, then fold boat

Cons:

  • Not as good as aluminum floors when handling sharp and rugged materials
  • Costs more than having an aluminum floor
  • Not as stable to stand on compared to aluminum floors
  • Can feel ‘squishy’ to stand on after being in cold water due to air condensing

 

So you see, there isn’t really a ‘better’ kind of floor that you can get for your inflatable boat when choosing between an air mat floor or aluminum. What would help you decide which is better for you depends on what you intend to use your boat for, and your own personal preference. For example, if you want to be able to quickly set up your inflatable boat and drag it down into the water and just go, the air mat floor would probably be better for you, just as long as no one plans on wearing stiletto heels into the boat! Granted, the air mat floors we provide are made of PVC material and can withstand punctures and abrasions, but it’s better to be safe and steer clear of any objects—including stilettos—that might cause issues. Another example would be if you plan to take your inflatable boat out to the intracoastal waterway. You would probably want to have an anodized aluminum floor in your inflatable to feel like you have more stability when inside, in case you would have stand up on the deck to top up on fuel for your outboard motor or simply move around on the deck. Even though it takes more time to set up your inflatable boat with the aluminum floor inside compared to the inflatable floor, you’ll be glad you did when you feel a sturdy floor underneath your feet when you’re out in the ocean.

You can visit us at RibRave.com for more specifications and information, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until then, happy boating!

Phil

The Mobility of a RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat

Have you ever been on a boat that doesn’t track well, and you spend more time trying to get your boat going in a straight line rather than drifting left and right? How about a boat that just doesn’t plane at all, even though you have disbursed weight properly throughout your vessel and you know that the outboard motor you have should be able to get your boat planing?

The mobility of the The RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat is great, with or without an outboard motor on it. The RibRave DurAquos inflatable boat is also very easy to get into the water, especially since one does not require the use of a trailer to back the boat down into the water, like a traditional fiberglass bottom boat, which gives you more time doing what you love.  In any condition of water, the RibRave DurAquos is perfect for cruising on; whether you have choppy waves or the water is as smooth as glass, your DurAquos will conquer those waters time and time again. But about its mobility, the two things that make it so great for getting around it its Deep V keel, and the long pontoons—the tubes that extend past the transom—which allows one to achieve planing mode quicker than normal.

The RibRave DurAquos 10′ 6″ In Planing Mode Using a 6 Horsepower Outboard Motor

The Deep V keel adds a good amount of tracking to the boat, allowing one to precisely maneuver the boat while maintaining complete control, even at increased speeds. Let’s use a hypothetical situation and say that one didn’t have a Deep V keel, but instead used a flat bottom boat; the boat would ‘drift’, or sway right or left, while moving forward, thus decrease in performance depending in what application you are using your boat for.

The extra-long pontoons on the The RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat serve the unique purpose of getting the boat to plane at low speeds. When the boat is in the water, and one throttles the outboard, the bow of the boat lifts out of the water until it gains enough speed, at which point the bow slightly lowers itself back down and the boat goes into planing mode, meaning that the boat is operating on top of the water, rather than plowing through it. The pontoons function is to decrease the time—or the required speed—it takes to achieve planing mode by preventing the bow from lifting far from the water. If you have an additional passenger or equipment on your boat, it help to have them towards the bow of the boat if you are attempting to have it plane.

The RibRave DurAquos Inflatable Boat offers plenty more than just increased mobility and peak performance. You can read more about the RibRave DurAquos by visiting our website at ribrave.com

Happy boating!