If you’re considering buying an inflatable boat, be it a dinghy, pontoon boat, kayak, or just an inflatable raft, you are probably curious about its lifespan, so in other words, how long you can expect your boat to function safely.
Knowing how long inflatable boats last is especially important if you are considering buying a used inflatable watercraft.
Average lifespan of inflatable boats
It’s hard to give an average lifespan, because there are several factors at play that will shorten or lengthen it.
Here are the factors that can lengthen, or reduce the lifespan of an inflatable:
- age of boat
- material used (PVC vs Hypalon)
- hand glued vs machine welded seams
- amount of UV rays the boat was exposed to
- how the boat was stored when not in use
If I have to give a number, I would say
the average life expectancy of a properly kept inflatable boat is 10-15 years.
If you want your inflatable boat performing at its best, you need to keep it inflated at the correct air pressure.
But as with many things in life, the answer isn’t simple.
Read this entire article to find out what the correct air pressure is for an inflatable boat, be it a dinghy, kayak, SUP or a pontoon boat.
Recommended air pressure for the different parts of an inflatable boat
Here is the data you are primarily looking for. Mind you, these are averages. Be sure to read the rest of the article as well.
|Main tubes||2.5 – 3.5|
|Keel||4 – 4.5|
|8.5 – 11.5|
|SUPs||10 – 20|
With that said, keep in mind that the recommended PSI for your dinghy, kayak or pontoon boat may vary slightly. Read more
After buying an inflatable boat, you need to get it to the water of course.
How you will transport your inflatable will depend mainly on the type and size of your boat, and your car.
How hard is it to transport your inflatable boat to the water?
People with traditional boats have it tough. They either need to rent a dock, or have a trailer and winch ready to put the boat onto water.
Inflatable boats are much simpler to transport than bulky traditional boats. If you have a car, boating with an inflatable is literally just a drive away.
But what is the best way to transport your inflatable dinghy or pontoon?
Let’s have a look at several methods. Read more
If you’ve got the skills and a few tools, you can convert your inexpensive inflatable raft to a full fledged hard floored inflatable. Building a hard floor requires some handy-man skills, but it is definitely worthwhile if you are looking for more stability on your raft.
But why would you want to DIY a hard floor?
- It’s much cheaper than buying a hard floor dinghy.
- It adds stability.
- You’ll be able to use your raft in new ways, like fishing, longer river boat trips, or just to have a cooler in your boat while you’re out on the lake.
- And perhaps most importantly, floating on your own DIY floorboard will fill you with manly pride 😉
Let’s have a look at how to build a hard floor for your inflatable boat. Read more
Many people don’t realize that many soft inflatable boats (SIBs) can be equipped with an outboard motor. But why would anybody want a motorized propulsion system, when you have oars?
There are loads of practical and recreational reasons:
- Gliding on the water in a boat with a motor feels great!
- Getting from A to B is quicker than using oars.
- Traveling longer distances.
- Dinghies used as tenders for larger boats may need to be seaworthy.
- Fishing boats need a motor, since they are packed and heavy.
- And most importantly, sometimes you would rather relax than row.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of soft inflatable boats that can be equipped with an outboard motor, what you need to know about motors and my recommendations on boat-motor pairings. Read more
Boating is a great water sport, but staying safe while having fun is imperative. Many people have asked me the question:
Are inflatable boats safe?
If you’re considering buying an inflatable, or you’re going on a boat trip with an inflatable boat, rest assured. As long as the main safety guidelines are followed, inflatable boats are as safe, if not safer than hard boats. Read more
Learning how to inflate your inflatable boat may seem evident at first. Just pump away, right?
There’s a bit more to it than that. It’s not rocket science of course, but through my years boating with all types of inflatables, I’ve learned a lot about how to assemble them correctly. And how NOT to.
In a worst case scenario, not inflating the boat correctly can actually become a safety risk out on the water, as I’ve experienced on an island camping trip.
But more on that later. Read more
The flooring of an inflatable boat is an important factor to consider, since each floor type has it’s uses, pros and cons. The 4 types of flooring you’ll encounter in inflatable boats are:
- roll up floors
- hard floors
- air floors
- rigid floors in RIBs
Everybody who has a love for water absolutely needs some form of transportation on the water.
Whether you want to go fishing, find new beaches, go kayaking or need a tender for a larger boat, you should consider inflatable boats.
If you’ve ever seen an inflatable boat being set up at the beach, being paddled on the water or even driven with a motor, you’ll have seen how great they are both in terms of economy and usage. They are much cheaper than traditional wooden or fiberglass boats, are more portable and easier to maintain.
There are several categories of inflatable boats, with each type having a specific purpose.
Please choose wisely with a clear purpose, otherwise you will find yourself regretting your choice. The type of inflatable you will ultimately pick will depend on how you will use your inflatable watercraft. Read more