If you like doing water activities, whether fishing, water sports, or lounging floating on the water on lazy days, you will love to own an inflatable dinghy.
Although the most common usage of inflatable dinghies is to transfer people from one vessel to another, they are versatile. They can do what most other types of boats cannot.
Dinghies also come in different types, sizes, and construction.
Because these products are inflatable, you should identify those with good qualities or learn to expect the worst if you settle for the poor-made ones.
If it is your first time to buy one, you will need something to guide you throughout, which this article can help you. You will also learn some of the best products on the market to help you find the best dinghy that you can use based on your preferences and needs.
Top 6 Best Inflatable Dinghy Reviewed
This section introduces you to some of the best inflatable dinghies on the market. They will help you identify the best qualities a high-end dinghy should have or add one of them in your shopping lists.
- Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker
- Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Dinghy
- Tangkula Inflatable Boat Tender
- Airhead Angler Bay
- Inflatable Sports Boats Killer Whale Model 330
- Intex Mariner 4
- Number of Chambers: 3
- Capacity (pounds): 1199
- Length: 10’1
- Weight (pounds): 37
The Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker is a different dinghy because it uses an enclosed hull, which is different on the typical ones separated by a transom.
Instead, the Stealth Stalker uses a single hull, which is great for outdoors.
This product has large tubes that make this product stable even at full capacity. The floor that enhances stability is marine-grade wood. It also has H-bar and side struts that help make this product usable in different kinds of water and weather conditions.
It also has two significant seats, carry handles, motor mount, Scotty mounts, and receiving bracket. It has a green hull that blends to the environment, making it stealthy. Despite its excellent features, this product is exceptionally portable, because it weighs only 37 pounds.
|Highly portable||Low horsepower|
|Folds small||Only for fishing
- Number of Chambers: 3
- Capacity (pounds): 1067, 1124, 1248, 1519, 1603
- Length: 8’10, 9’6, 10’6, 11’9, 12’6
- Weight (pounds): 107, 116, 132, 160, 165
The Newport Vessels Dana is a highly portable dinghy that allows a single person to carry it everywhere. Despite its portability, it can already accommodate a few passengers, whose combined weight is 1067 pounds.
This product has 110 Denier Korean PVC construction with hot air-welded seams and German adhesives.
The Dana has a solid floor and 18-foot tubes that provide stability even if you are running it at high speed. Its wooden transom enables this boat to navigate up to 20 mph.
|Uses wood floor and large tubes for stability||Small oarlocks|
|Convenient to carry anywhere||Small cockpit
- Number of Chambers: 4
- Capacity (pounds): 1248
- Length: 10’6
- Weight (pounds): 50.7
If you are running out of budget, you can go for the Tangkula Boat Tender. This product is a thick PVC-made with D-ring and built-in oarlocks. That is why towing this product is effortless. Aside from those features, it also comes with oars and other accessories.
It has room for two people and some cargos, making it an ideal boat to enjoy privacy on your date night.
This product is also portable as most of the other inflatable products. Packing it is not a problem because you can fold it and stash it into your car trunk.
|Complete accessories||Fits only two people at most|
- Capacity (pounds): 1200
- Length: 11’8
- Weight (pounds): 45.9
What makes the Airhead Angler Bay excellent is that it comes with full features. The packages include inflatable floor, movable seat, two-rod holders, and molded drink holders. You cannot ask for more.
This product is PVC-made with welded seams. It has grab lines, oarlocks, and safety valves for quick deflating or inflating.
However, Airhead claims that this product has a six-person capacity. It is not entirely true. What Airhead means by these claims is that it can accommodate two adults and four small children. As you would notice, its weight capacity is not as excellent as it is with the other products.
|Complete accessories||Differing claims on capacity|
|Has four drain plugs|
- Number of Chambers: 3
- Capacity (pounds): 1268
- Length: 10’8
- Weight (pounds): 115 pounds
The term Inflatable Sports Boats Killer Whale Model 330 is fitting for this dinghy’s characteristics. This boat can carry up to five passengers, possibly because of the extension at the backside. Like a killer whale, it performs beautifully and fast in the water.
Its black and white design that resembles the killer whale is pleasant to look at, and its contour makes it effortless to navigate.
It uses an 11000 denier PVC hull with welded seams. It also has an aluminum floor that makes it durable, whether you use it in fresh or saltwater.
This product comes with two aluminum oars, foot pump, carry bag, repair kit, and removable seat cushion, adding to the product’s perks.
|Extension on the back for enhanced support||Bulky|
|Can navigate in fresh and saltwater
|Comes with several accessories|
#6. Intex Mariner 4
- Number of Chambers: 4
- Capacity (pounds): 880
- Length: 10’9
- Weight (pounds): 77
The Intex Mariner 4 is your other option if you are looking for another more affordable inflatable dinghy. Its features and advantages are good enough for its price.
This product uses high-quality PVC vinyl, which is resistant to the everyday challenges you may face while in the waters, such as salt, UV rays, puncture, and abrasion. It also has a solid plastic floor that makes this product even more durable and stable.
Intex claims that it can accommodate four people, but most of the time, it can accommodate three. After using, you can simply deflate, roll, and fold it to keep it in storage.
This dinghy comes with grab lines.
|Solid plastic floor and inflatable keel||Low capacity
|Easy to store
Our Favorite Inflatable Dinghy
There are tons of inflatable dinghies on the market. That is why it feels overwhelming to choose which among them is the best product.
That is why this article helps make the selection easier for you by listing some of the best that most users love. Among these lists, what stands out the most is the Newport Vessels Dana.
This product is hard to sink because of its three chambers. It is also available in various sizes. That is why you can find the best product that is perfect for you and your family or friends.
The Dana is highly portable. A single person alone can carry from one place to another. Despite it only having a PVC construction, it is highly durable because of the welded seams and German adhesives.
Aside from these features, it is also exceptionally stable because of the large tubes and solid floor. It can also move at high speed. Although it may have small oarlocks and cockpit, these are minor issues compared to the perks that you will get.
For this reason, you will never go wrong with the New Vessels Dana dinghy.
What Is the Difference Between a Boat and a Dinghy?
You might be wondering what the difference is between a boat and a dinghy. Both look almost the same when you search on the internet on this topic.
The boat is a general term that refers to the mode of transportation used in the water or the fishing vessel.
There are different classifications of a boat. These are man-powered, sailboats, and motorboats.
The dinghy can be sailboat or motorboat, depending on what you use to propel it.
Aside from the different classifications, there are also different types of boats: the fishing boat, dinghy, deck, bowrider, catamaran, cuddy cabins, center console, houseboat, trawler, and cabin cruiser. For this reason, a dinghy is a type of boat.
A dinghy is a small boat that is typically rubber-made. It consists of rowlocks and thwarts. To propel it, you need paddles, oars or outboard motors so that you can move from places to places.
People use a dinghy to serve as a lifeboat, leisure boat, or tender. You can usually find a more substantial boat towing it to serve as a secondary boat to penetrate small water areas.
Dinghies that are below 3.7 meters use oars. Typically, there are two to three persons aboard who row it.
The ones that run on a motor are usually dinghies with a flat bottom and commonly runs on two horsepower.
Many people know dinghies as rowboats, inflatables, or sailboats.
The primary use of dinghies is to transfer people from one boat to another. It is helpful while you are in the middle of the sea or ocean. People also use them to penetrate the narrow places in some bodies of water. Also, others use it as a companion boat for camping and fishing. Others use it for water sports.
Dinghies come in different types of floorings. These differences are available to accommodate the different needs of people when used in some bodies of water. Also, these differences aim to meet the diverse needs of people when it comes to their features.
The modern dinghies are versatile and lightweight. That is why one person is enough to carry one from place to place.
Advantages of Inflatable Dinghy
As mentioned, there are different types of boats. You might be wondering why you should use a dinghy when you can buy the other kind. The following are the reasons what make an inflatable dinghy an excellent option.
Because these dinghies are inflatable, you can quickly deflate to fold it and store it in your car trunk or a box. You do not need to pay rentals or storage fees just to keep a large boat.
Also, because of its inflatable feature, you cannot help but think that it might be fragile. You probably think that a small puncture from sharp rocks can burst while you are in the middle of the ocean. Although it can be right in the materials used before, it is different from the modern dinghies.
Thanks to innovations. Inflatable dinghies nowadays are not as fragile as the products before.
It uses PVC that underwent different processes to ensure its durability. It often has several layers of heated sealed seams. That is why you can assure that it can withstand the common hazards in the waters.
Because of this, you can guarantee that your dinghy can last for long years with proper maintenance and care. You can even use it in either fresh or saltwater.
Compared to the other types of boats, the dinghies are more maneuverable even at high speeds. You can also stand on it without losing your balance.
As mentioned, dinghies are versatile, depending on which product you choose. Commonly, you can use a dinghy in different activities.
As you would recall, this article mentioned that the primary use of dinghies is to transport people from boat to boat. Others use it for doing water sports, while others use it for fishing. Some people use dinghies to navigate the narrow areas of water, where large ships cannot enter.
Although there are dinghies that you can use exclusively for fishing, there are others that you can use for various activities. All you need is to buy the accessories appropriate for its intended use, such as storage, canopies, rod holders, and the like.
Parts of a Sailboat
Depending on the type of dinghy you buy, it can be a sailboat type. Knowing the different parts of a sailboat can help you determine if you are purchasing a premium type. If you happen to damage some of these, you know what to buy from hardware for a replacement.
That is why knowing the parts of a sailboat is helpful. It also allows you to understand some of the words mentioned in this article, especially in the product review section. The following are the parts of a sailboat.
The bow refers to the boat’s front
The stern is the opposite of the bow, which is the boat’s back.
The painter is a rope used to anchor the dinghy to a dock or to tow it. An excellent painter should float. If the dinghy uses a motor to propel it, the painter should be short to avoid jarring the engine.
The ring secures the painter in place. There can be instances that the painter tends to foul the engine for motor-operated types. The ring helps keep the painter in place.
Commonly, there are a total of three rings. One is to secure the painter. The other two are at each side of the stern that functions to help lift the boat for storage.
Gate or oarlock are other terms for the rowlock. It is a brace that secures the oar and makes it effortlessly movable. It is the main reason why rowers can move the paddles in place in a circular motion.
The mast is a spar with a construction material made from wood or metal. This part serves as a support for a sailboat.
The standing rigging is the part of the boat that consists of wires, rods, lines that help support the mast to help it stand against the wind.
The forestay is a wire made from stainless steel standing rigging that helps support the mast at the bow part of the boat.
The backstay is the same as the forestay, but it attaches to the boat’s stern.
The boom is a spar placed horizontally at the mast rear. This part helps keep the sail flat once it reaches an angle beyond the centerline.
The hull refers to the body of the boat without the other parts.
The keel is a blade-like protrusion from the underside of the boat. It helps keep the dinghy stay in momentum once the wind blows. It also helps keep the dinghy from falling sideways by working against the wind.
The mainsail is a part attached at the mast rear.
Uphole is another term for the topping lift. It is a line that holds the boom as the rower lowers the sail. If the rower raises the sail, the rower removes or loosens the topping lift.
The rudder is the squarish part submerged in the water. This part allows you to steer the boat.
The kicking strap is a line that connects the mast aft to the boom. It helps generate boom force.
The triangular jib refers to the sail at the foremast.
The stern’s cross-section is the transom.
Dinghies come in different varieties. Some parts are unavailable to some types, while some parts can be present on the others.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Dinghy
You know the different parts of a dinghy, understanding the buying guide, and even the product review mentioned in this article is far more manageable.
When buying an inflatable dinghy, you cannot just snag anything that you can find in the store. You have to know that dinghies come in different varieties. Also, you need to choose its construction that is appropriate for its intended use.
Here are the factors to consider
When it comes to the inflatable design, you should know that no one is better than the other. Each has its pros and cons. Their differences commonly lie on the floor and hull used for its construction.
Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB)
The RIB has a solid hull, but it is more lightweight than the rigid hull inflatable (RHI) because it allows you to fold the transom. On the other hand, it is not as portable as the sport dinghies or roll-up, but it is lighter and more portable than the RHI.
Sport dinghies have removable rigid floors. The floors used for this type provide enhanced stability. That is why you do not need to use added weights to maintain the boat’s momentum.
Aside from stability, Sport dinghies also give enhanced speed that can handle currents and waves. The only problem with this type is that it is costly because of the materials used and the various functions that it can perform.
Most of the products mentioned here are roll-up dinghies. With this type, the floors are not rigid enough, because the construction materials used for them are wood or aluminum.
It is usually a type of dinghy that does not have keels. On the bright side, it is an affordable option because it is the cheapest option. Yet, this type is less durable.
The perk of using this dinghy is that it allows you to roll or fold your boat and store it in a small space. You do not have to worry about occupying much space in your garage or renting a place where you can keep it.
It is an excellent option if you are looking for a dinghy that offers portability. It is also the best option if you only want to buy a dinghy, so you have something to use for short trips and slow navigation.
Rigid Hull Inflatables
The RHI consists of tubes that are inflatable but affixed to the non-inflatable hull. The RHI is highly versatile and stable, but the heaviest among the other designs. It is not the best option if portability is your concern.
What the RHI can offer are stability and versatility.
There are only slight discrepancies in the sizes when it comes to dimensions, but this minor difference can already affect the boat’s performance and your choice of accessories.
Typically, those dinghies that are more than 10 feet provide more advantages, because they offer better control, plane, and wind-resistance.
When it comes to sizes, you should consider the number of passengers that it can accommodate, the size of the motor, and gears to buy. You should also mind the number of accessories you should take aboard and the water conditions.
The hull’s construction is either Hypalon or PVC coated. Both materials offer durability and resistance. However, the Hypalon, referring to the neoprene-coated synthetic rubber construction, performs better in tropical areas. The Hypalon is UV-resistant.
Also, Hypalon is resistant to abrasion and typical water challenges. It does not harden when you expose your dinghy in extreme temperatures, and it is also lightweight and portable.
Once you damage your Hypalon hull, you only need a patch to cover the punctures and other minor issues. The problem with this hull construction is that it is costly because of the material used. Also, it quickly becomes dirty because of its porous property.
If you think that Hypalon is expensive, you can settle for a more affordable option, the PVC. Like the Hypalon, it is also portable and lightweight. It is also durable to some extent.
PVCs are available in various colors. You can repair it quickly once you damage it.
However, it is not as durable as the Hypalon. It tends to become brittle when you expose it in extreme temperatures for a long time.
It is advisable to choose an inflatable dinghy that allows you to put some upgrades to it even though you do not have any plans about it at present. You can consider it an investment because you can never tell what will happen in the future.
Some dinghies allow you to upgrade your boat by adding better storage, seating, or canopy. That is why choosing an upgradable inflatable dinghy is a wise decision. When a time comes that you need to add more features to your boat, you do not have to buy a new dinghy to accommodate your needs. You can just buy new accessories to add to it.
You can also choose some inflatable dinghies that come with some accessories. Some of these are oars, seat cushions, and carry bags.
There are different types of boats. One of them is the dinghy.
Dinghies come in different types and designs. It is crucial to consider its inflatable design, size, accessories, and the like when you want to purchase one and maximize your investment.
In this article, you have learned the different parts of a sailboat, which helps learn some of the words that seem foreign to you when you are not a typical buyer. You have learned some of the products that most people love.
Among them is the Newport Vessels Dana. This inflatable dinghy is highly versatile.
You only have to choose the appropriate size to accommodate your needs about its capacity. Aside from its versatility, this product is also fast, portable, and durable.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Will Inflatable Dinghies Last for a Long Time?
A: Nothing lasts eternally, which includes your dinghies. You can only hope that it will last a long time of usage. That is why the answer to this question is it depends. It depends on how well you take good care of your product. That is why it is crucial to remember to only use your dinghy to its intended function and not for anything else. You should also be mindful of how you store it. It being inflatable does not mean that you can keep it in any way you like. You should also be aware not to overload it than to its intended capacity. If you take care of it well, you can expect your dinghy to last for at least 10 years.
Q: Who Should Use a Dinghy?
A: Dinghies are versatile. As mentioned, aside from its primary use of merely transporting people from one vessel to another, you can use it for other water activities, such as water sports, fishing, and camping. For this reason, if you are the type who loves doing these activities and needs a boat, you will appreciate what an inflatable dinghy can bring you. Aside from leisure, the dinghy is also extremely useful if you want to prepare for emergencies. Dinghies are excellent emergency boats too.
Q: Can I Attach a Gasoline Engine Motor to My Dinghy?
A: It depends. In some types of dinghies, it is not wise to use a motor. The best way to know if yours can accommodate a gasoline motor is to study it if it has a pouch that provides a room for the battery engine, which most small dinghies have. If it is, it is a sign that does not accommodate a gas engine motor. Larger ones can have a gas motor engine because its primary function is to transfer people fast. Your dinghy should have a solid floor and back panel where you can place the engine.
Q: Will Inflatable Dinghies Never Sink?
A: All boats sink at some point. However, other boats are more difficult to submerge. If you refer to these kinds, these boats usually have several air chambers that help make the inflatable boat more buoyant.