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Defender Marine offers an extensive line of inflatable boats from rigid hull to soft bottom inflatables to commercial series and military inflatables ranging between 6 and 42 feet. Fully rigged RIBs and/or inflatables are available to get you started on the water with plenty of accessories.
Inflatables offer an all-around fun experience for new boaters and stability for the not so seasoned crew. Soft bottom inflatables make the perfect tenders and boast a portability rivaled by few boats because of their lightweight design. If you are looking for a more versatile rig that works well in all types of seas and conditions, a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) has more extensive options, deeper V-hull designs, more weight and higher horsepower rating.
Adhesive bonding or high heat bonding? Solid panel flooring or roll up or air floor? 1100 denier PVC fabric or CSM (Hypalon) tubes? Aluminum or Fiberglass hull material? Defender Marine's vast inventory of inflatable boats is a virtual smorgasbord of options and the best part is every option is a world class one. Let Defender Marine help you navigate the choices and find the perfect boat, style, and construction for your needs.
Inflatable Boat Brands
AB Inflatable Boats
Achilles Inflatable Boats
Defender RIB Inflatables
Highfield Aluminum Boats
Mercury Inflatable Boats
Zodiac Inflatable Boats
Zodiac Military / Pro
Inflatable Boat Styles
Inflatable Air Floor
Roll Up Floor
Rescue / Dive Boats
Military / Pro Boats
How To Choose Your New Inflatable Boat
The toughest thing about choosing your new inflatable is all the options to choose from. As with all major decisions - owning a boat is truly a love affair so it is a major decision - it is best to determine your use first. Think not about the way you want to spend your time on the water, but the actual way you do spend time on the water.
- Is this a family boat that needs extra seating?
- Are you a fish head and need tackle storage?
- Will you be running up on a beach or anchoring out?
- Will the primary use be as a tender or cruising the shoreline?
Today's inflatable boats offer speed, stability, fuel efficiency, ease of stowage, rapid deployment, tow ability and fixed features. One of the great benefits of shopping for an inflatable boat is the affordability of this class of vessel. Just remember, dreams of performance can outweigh a budget even when inflatable boats offer more bang for your buck!
- If this boat will be towing water skiers and wakeboarders or running to the canyons for tuna, the max horsepower may be a consideration. Speed does matter when there is limited time to drop a line or you need torque to pull Uncle Bob to his “feet”.
- Do you boat in a predominantly windy area with a lot of chop or run an unstable inlet with a Hawaii-Five-O style bar? Stability is a given with Rigid Inflatables that boast a deeper V hull and wider beams.
- With a bigger boat comes the issue of transport. Most of the larger RIBs are not easy to deflate and stow so a wet slip or trailer (truck and accessible ramp) are a requirement.
- Fuel efficiency is a standard benefit of owning an inflatable an RIB. When deciding on horsepower, capacity and features weight becomes an important issue. Does your wish list of features literally outweigh your fuel efficiency?
- Soft Inflatable Boats generally offer more stow away options - faster deflating time, smaller storage bags, and lighter weight designs - than Rigid Inflatable Boats. A SIB as a tender can easily be packed up and stored down below while in route. Another consideration with ease of stowage is boat length - the larger the boat the more difficult it is to deflate and store. When you are ready for that day on the water, deployment is also an issue. How easy is it to pump up and assemble?
Finally, especially for any self-proclaimed boater, is assembly. All boats are built from marine safe materials and all boat builders strive to balance performance and cost while under the influence of an industry where innovation happens every day. But do not let that scare you - weighing the pros and cons of construction is easier when the budget and application are kept in mind.
- PVC fabric and CSM (Hypalon) offer two choices for tube material. Keep in mind that a) a tube is only as good as its bond and b) even the "best" bonding might not be the best choice. Hypalon utilizes an adhesive bond which is commonly regarded as weaker than a high heat welded bond, but plasticizers in lower grade PVC fabric could migrate to its thermo bond and compromise the integrity of the construction. Here is where your budget wins out - the rule of thumb in choosing boat building materials is to go with the best construction your budget will allow.
- The type of boat deck that works best for your application could have options of materials as well. Owners that plan to deflate, store and deploy their boat on a regular basis may find an air floor model easier to man-handle, while owners who need to keep the stowage footprint small but want sometime more solid under foot might like a Panel Floor. Owners who are not concerned about stowage and want better performance they might be better off with a RIB.