I will admit I’m an inflatable boat junkie. I love inflatable boats. Why? Simple, inflatable boats are inexpensive, versatile, portable and usually easy to set up. In other words, the boats provide a multitude of uses, from fishing to recreational floating on a Montana river. How big of a junkie am I? I have three different inflatable boats, and only my budget and lack of storage space prevents me from having more.
Inflatable boats have come a long ways in their design, capabilities and function. In the bad old days, it was all too common to have an inflatable boat literally rip apart by the seams by summer’s end. And if the boat didn’t rip apart, a fingernail, lost hook, coke can top or anything else that was vaguely sharp would puncture the fabric, leading to annoying and sometimes costly repairs.
Well, those types of boats are still available. Wal-Mart still carries a big selection of junkie boats that will be lucky to survive a season on a pond, let alone a long voyage on a Montana river.
Thankfully, technology has struck the inflatable boat market. Today, there’s a large selection of high quality inflatable rafts, kayaks and canoes that can last decades—while still being remarkably affordable.
This section of Big Sky Fishing is all about inflatable boats and covers them in gory detail. My hope is that people looking for a boat, whether for fishing or simple recreational floating, will find this information helpful. This guide sorts through the confusing terminology, explains the different types of inflatable boats available, will help you select the right boat for your needs, explain why some boats are better than others for specific activities, and much more (perhaps too much more).
The Different Types of Inflatable Boats Available
There’s a multitude of different types of inflatable boats available today. These boats come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes and prices. Because of this, boat shopping is often a confusing and sometimes frustrating experience.
For those who know little about inflatable boats – or don’t know what kind of boat best meets their needs – please read Help! How to Choose the Right Inflatable Boat.
To learn more about the different types of boats, click on any of the categories below.