Are Inflatable Dinghies Suitable for River Use?

Are Inflatable Dinghies Suitable for River Use?

Inflatable boats, inflatable dinghies and inflatable tenders are very often seen on rivers, but how suitable are they and what do you need to be aware of in terms of safety?

Here Marine Supplies Direct takes a look at a range of inflatable dinghies and water use, to help you understand what you need to know before taking a boat out on the water. 

Many inflatable boats are good for rivers. Whether you're fishing or on a relaxing jaunt, an inflatable is a cost-effective way of enjoying time on the water, without the need for heavy boats or trailers. 

The main thing to be aware of is safety. Whenever you are using an inflatable boat or any boat, always ensure you have got a life jacket or buoyancy aid for all passengers. This is by far the most important thing to adhere to when you are on water. While you may be a good swimmer, it is very easy to get into trouble so this kind of safety should be your main focus. 

Inflatable Dinghies

For a float down the river on a relatively clean river bed, you can take an inflatable dinghy with a smaller engine or even paddles to row with ease. Again, life jackets or buoyancy aids should be standard.

The thing to bear in mind is that inflatable rafts are just that - inflatable - so it's important to understand how many air chambers your boat has and to ensure you check the tubes each and every time you enter the water, looking for any issues or potential places for damage. 

Sharp rocks or even tree branches are something to take care around - especially if they are hidden underwater - which again is why a life jacket or buoyancy aid are essential, along with a fully charged mobile phone in case you need to ask for help.

Inflatable Dinghies with a Rigid Bottom 

For more challenging and deeper waters, then it's probably a good idea to think about a boat with a rigid bottom or v-hull. This basically works well in salt water giving you less drag. They steer relatively well and can be used in both shallow and deep waters. 

Other things to consider

How many people will fit in your boat?

All inflatable dinghies have a limit. Some are one person and some go up to 20 or more. When choosing a dinghy for river boating, consider who will be using it and how. If you are using it in sea water, again, consider how many people will be using it. 

What material is an inflatable boat made out of?

There are generally two types. PVC or Hypalon and each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Hypalon will be more expensive but has a better life span than PVC. It is also durable and more resistant to temperature, so this can be useful if you are fishing or using your dinghy on open water. 

PVC is a plastic polymer and it's generally cheaper but isn't as good at resisting weather and temperatures. It also generally has a shorter lifespan. 

How easy is it to inflate, or use an inflatable boat or dinghy?

An inflatable dinghy is fairly easy to assemble in minutes rather than hours. You'll want a pump and it's a case of inflating the tubes to their recommended PSI. Once you've done that, and you've done it in the right order (it does make a difference to the inflating experience), you've done the hardest part of the job. 

Some people prefer to inflate away from the water and then carry the boat to the launch area. 

As long as you follow the safety instructions to the letter, you should be able to inflate your dinghy quickly and safely with ease. 

Why not take a look at our great range of Waveline dinghies and see if you can find an inflatable dinghy for your spring adventures? Our prices are fantastic and with fast shipping, you could be out on the water in no time! 

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