Which Inflatable Boat do I need?Nicola Middleton-Groom
Here at Boatworld we sell a wide range of small inflatable boats (SIBs). Our ranges cater for a wide variety of applications, each coming with everything you need to get out on the water and a bag to pack everything away in at the end of the day. Boatworld boats are portable and high quality; being constructed from reinforced PVC that ranges from 0.8-1.2mm in thickness depending on the boat.
However, choosing the right inflatable boat for yourself can be a complicated and overwhelming task. Single hand or family? Fishing vessel or tender? In this blog we will aim to summarise the differences between the different ranges of SIBs we sell. Including the pros and cons of each, so that you can make an informed decision as to what would suit your needs the best.
The Boatworld Pro Range:
The Pro range of boats are solid, efficient and high performance, ready for any on the water activity. The Pro range consists of an inflatable PVC boat with a non-slip aluminium floor with an inflatable keel underneath, ideal for getting on the plane quicker and providing a sturdy feeling when out on the water.
The advantages of this boat are that due to the aluminium floor it has a stable platform that is solid and very durable, great for offshore as well as inshore boating. The aluminium base also provides a flat, stable deck which is perfect for standing on when fishing or anything else for that matter.
However, some points to consider when looking at the Pro, are the weight and portability aspects. Due to these boats having an aluminium deck they weigh more than some of our other ranges and can be difficult to pack away and transport especially if you are alone. As such it is necessary to consider how this would impact you in the context of how you are planning on using your boat.
The Boatworld Kayak Range:
New for 2021 the Boatworld Kayak boat offers fantastic performance and agility. Based on a kayak design, this stylish boat is equipped with a high-pressure air deck over an inflatable keel that gives a smooth V planning hull. This model also comes with an integrated bow cover fitted as standard to keep all your kit stored out of the way of the water in the front of the boat. There is also the option of a fishing frame stand for leaning or grabbing on whilst fishing.
Kayak boats are a very portable and stow able option. You can be up and ready to launch in 10 minutes and can stow away for transportation in minutes. Due to the narrow beam, this boat packs away to a size that can fit in a small car without any fuss, lending itself to be a great day trip boat for the family. Due to its narrow beam, the boat has less drag and can carve effortlessly through the water. Another bonus of this boat is the high-pressure drop stitch air deck which provides a firm feeling deck whilst saving on weight and time to assemble over other boats. The high-pressure air deck is constructed from thousands of polyester fibres stitched together to create a material that can handle up to 12 PSI, providing a solid base for boating.
One aspect you should consider is that due to the long and narrow shape, the boat can be slow to steer when going very fast. Also, when out at sea this boat can be difficult to handle, especially if you are in choppy conditions. As such it is much more suited to sheltered waters such as lakes and rivers.
The Boatworld SL & SLD Range:
In this range, we have the SL Boat, which is an inflatable boat with a flat hull and slatted floor, and the SLD Boat which is very similar but has davit points. These boats make a perfect tender and are also great for recreational use at an affordable price. The main advantages of this boat relate to the ease of use and weight of the boat. It can be blown up in minutes as it simply needs rolling out and inflating, and can pack away into a boot or a boat locker without hassle. These factors combined make this boat very accessible to people new to boating due to its versatility and simple nature.
The only drawback is that due to the slatted floor this boat will not feel as sturdy as say an air deck or aluminium floor and the flat bottom means that these boats lack some directional stability in the water. These factors though are often irrelevant when you look at this boat’s purpose as a tender or lake cruiser.
The Boatworld Air V Range:
The Boatworld Air V is a great multi-use boat. Featuring a deep high-pressure V hull floor that is integral to the boat, this range is agile and high performance without compromising on stow ability. The key to this boat is the V hull which is more pronounced than other ranges with inflatable keels. This gives the Air V great directional stability in the water, paired with the transom tabs on the back, this boat has great performance and planes with ease. On top of this due to the way, the floor is fitted this boat has a very deep hull which when combined with the wide tubes, gives the boat a very safe feel.
The Air V range is often used as a tender, fishing vessel, or just for cruising in open/sheltered water however, one thing to consider when deciding which boat is for you is that this does not have a flat deck so this can make it difficult to stand in if you were wanting to go fishing.
The Boatworld Round Tail:
The Round Tail boat is a great all-round dinghy, it is perfect for use as a tender, an auxiliary boat or a small family dinghy. The novelty in this boat comes with its design, being a round tail it has 360 degree tubes with an attachable transom bracket and a slatted floor. The fact that the sponsons have been removed means you get more deck space for the length of the dinghy.
The main feature of this boat is that it can be folded however you want, perfect for getting it into a small boot or an awkward yacht locker. This is because you can remove the slats and transom bracket allowing lateral folding from side to side, rather than just lengthwise. All of these factors also mean the boat is super lightweight coming in at just 22kg.
Looking at other points to take into consideration. The flat bottom hull means that you will lack the stability and sharp steering of some of the other ranges, and due to the size and construction, you can only have a small outboard on the back. There is the option of an air deck on this boat though, which would add some stability and comfort to the ride, you could either place this over the slats or remove them completely and just use an air deck. Ensuring that you can make the boat fit your individual needs.
New for 2021, the Boatworld Air Deck boat is designed to be the perfect blend of the Pro range and the Air V type range. An ideal craft for any on the water activity this boat replaces the aluminium deck of the Pro with a high-pressure cross-stitched inflatable air deck, giving stability whilst also reducing weight. Beneath the air deck, you will find an inflatable keel which means a V-shaped hull can be formed, giving the boat better performance and steering.
The main benefits of this range are that it provides a stable flat deck without compromising on weight and how simple and easy to assemble it is compared with say the Pro range. However, when comparing it to the Air V it is noticeable that the V hull is not as pronounced as the Air V, which has the deepest V hull out of all of the ranges.
Uses of Each Range:
Inflatable boats have a wide range of uses. Our boats are great for fishing, sea cruising, river cruising, yacht tenders. Of course, you can also use these boats for anything else you want to do on the water.
Below are some suggested uses for each of our ranges:
Yacht Tender: SLD, SL, Round tail, Air V, Kayak.
Fishing Vessel: Pro, Air V, Air deck, Kayak, SL.
Sea Cruising: Pro, Air V, Air deck.
Inland Cruising: Kayak, Air deck, Air V, Pro, SL/SLD.
Legalities & Safety:
Before getting going on your new boat it is important to research the relevant legal and regulatory requirements in your area. Including but not limited to having permission to launch where you are and following the international rules of the sea such as COLREGS. It is also important to take note of the CE category ‘CAT’ rating on your boat; B (Offshore), C (Inshore) and D (Inland or sheltered coastal waters). Please make sure you research this before heading out. Also ensuring you have the correct safety equipment with you at all times is a must. This should include things such as life jackets, first aid kit, GPS, rescue kit.
We hope this blog has helped you decide which boat would suit your needs best.
For further information or to shop our wide range of water sports and boating products head to our website or contact us at: