Choosing the Right Inflatable Dinghy

Coastal constantly strives to offer a selection of quality boats at affordable prices. Our boats combine progressive technical features, rugged durability and great design, so you can be confident of superior value.
Here are some basic questions to help determine the best dinghy to suit your needs:
Whay is the Best Fabric?
There are two major factors in determining which fabric may be best for you. One is your budget and the other is where you will be using your dinghy. In many ways these fabrics are very similar: modern technology and improvements of PVC are minimizing the difference. The location where you intend to use your boat is the key factor in deciding which fabric, PVC or CSM (Hypalon). Both fabrics are rugged and dependable, but if you will do most of your boating in tropical conditions, CSM fabric will last longer because of its better resistance to UV degradation. PVC is more sensitive to UV radiation than CSM but now the special chemical additives in PVC have nearly solved the problem. We recommend CSM if you are going to use it in climates that are hot or, if you are looking for the best, long-lasting fabric and do not care about the price. In all the other situations PVC will do the job just fine. Whether you ultimately choose PVC or a CSM fabric, Coastal has the dinghy for you.Please check our PVC vs. CSM (Hypalon) page for more detailed informationAlumin, air deck or RIB
There are many designs and types of inflatable available in the marketplace today. Coastal offers two types: soft (roll up) boats and Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
We often refer to a RIB as being "the Cadillac of Inflatable Boats". RIBs offer the “real boat” performance and strength of a rigid moderate- or deep-vee hull. Their fiberglass hulls carve turns and cut through chop like conventional boats. RIBs can be easily maneuvered. RIBs respond to changes in motion more quickly compared to other types of boats. But unlike conventional boats, the addition of inflatable tubes to the topsides makes them more stable, more buoyant and less likely to scar the topsides of other vessels when used as a tender. Another benefit of a RIB is that there is no assembly required, just inflate it and go! RIBs do have some disadvantages. RIBs are more expensive than soft inflatables. RIBs are heavy and they take more space and care.
Inflatable Keel (Roll-up) Inflatable Boats with Aluminum or High Pressure Air Deck
Air Decks
  • Boats with an air deck are lighter.
  • Provides a firm walking surface. Stand on it, walk on it, jump on it!
  • You can forget the mechanical assembling of the boat - just inflate to make it ready!
  • Planes faster & more easily than comparable aluminum deck boats because of its light weight and rigidity
  • Air deck boats absorbs vibration better and is more comfortable to kneel on compared to aluminum.
  • Boats flex just enough to absorb wakes and waves
Aluminum Decks
  • Boat with an aluminum deck is heavier than a boat with an air deck
  • Makes the boat stiffer and less flexible.
  • Better performance with larger HP motors (9.8HP and above).
  • Highly recommended for all models larger than 12'.
  • Deck can't be punctured, torn or ripped
  • Designed for those boats that will only be inflated and deflated once or twice a season
We recommend the high pressure air deck:
  • If you planning to inflate and deflate your boat often
  • If you are concerned about overall boat weight
  • If you are looking to be "mobile", the air deck is lighter, deflates and folds easily.
We recommend the Aluminum deck:
  • If you are not concerned about overall boat weight and want the same features of the air deck deck.
  • If you will regularly have sharp objects on the deck of the boat (to include large dogs over 60 pounds!)
  • if you will keep your boat inflated most of the time
  • If you will be using the boat with larger HP motors
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What size?
There are several factors in determining which size you will need.
USE OF THE DINGHY: If you are getting a tender for your boat make sure you weigh all the factors according to your use. If the dinghy will ride on your swim platform, make sure it's not wider than the beam of your boat. If you are using the lifting davits, make sure the weight of the dinghy (to include the motor) does not exceed the loading capacity of your boat lifting system. PASSENGERS: The Maximum passenger's capacity set in Technical Specification for the boat, and a number or real seating places in the boat are different. First decide how many people you will need to carry, and then check how many seating places the boat has. Maximum capacity will mean the maximum number of persons that can be safely squeezed into the boat and transported from point A to point B in a safe manner of operation OUTBOARD MOTOR: Match the size of the outboard motor with the maximum engine power of the dinghy. BUDGET: Smaller boats are less expensive than larger boats. Determine how much money you want to spend. If you get a larger boat, will you need a trailer for transporting the boat or for off season storage?
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