If you are a typical boating aficionado who still has to purchase your first boat, or are planning to buy a new one to replace your old and weary hard-shell, then consider getting what is lovingly known as a rubber ducky. There are several advantages offered by inflatable boats and you should seriously take them into account as you plan on a new rig.
As opposed to their hard-shell fellows, inflatable boats are constructed from tough materials that don’t easily break or tear when they smash into tough or sharp objects. Hypalon and neoprene are often used to make such boats, which are known for being blow- and puncture-resistant, unless these were done intentionally. When well-cared for, your inflatable can last for years.
This is one of the biggest reasons boaters, rafters, and kayakers often shift to inflatable counterparts of their rigs from those hard-shelled types. They are easy to fold and store in the trunk of your car or even in your handy dandy backpack. Even if you plan to go cross country or out of the country to catch some great rapids, there’s no need to worry about lugging a boat behind you and spending for extra baggage. They are also appropriate for combined hiking/camping/boating adventures where the inflatable boat will be used for crossing streams or rivers and simply folded away when unneeded.
Unlike hard-hulled boats, the cost of inflatables can be amazingly low. While you used to pay tens of thousands of dollars to buy a hard-shell in the past, you can purchase a quality inflatable having the same or even way better features for just a couple thousand. And they come with great warranties. Additionally, as you can pick smaller motors, you need not spend so much on that department either, which only drives your costs further down.
Inflatable boats have buoyancy tubes attached to their sides, allowing them to stay afloat even in the harshest water conditions. Also, it is almost impossible to capsize them, considering their center of gravity is extremely low and they sit flat on the water surface. Not to mention they have separate chambers for each and every tube, which means punctures on one will not automatically degrade the integrity of the whole boat. And being easy to repair while on water, they couldn’t be safer for your family.
Easy Storage and Maintenance
Finally, at the end of your trip, you just need to hose them down with soap and water, dry them well, and deflate them before folding them into storage. No thieves to watch out for at night!