Inflatable Boats - Kayaks, Tenders, & Dinghies How-Tos
Why Choose Inflatables?
Learn all of the reasons why an inflatable boat may be best for you on the water.
Stability- Inflatable boats have several advantages over conventional solid hull type boats. One of the main advantages is stability. With inflated tubes, the boats are almost impossible to overturn or to sink - even if you're a beginner! They quite literally go with the flow, sitting flat on the water's surface and flexing with water movement. The high level of buoyancy allows them to safely carry heavier loads with ease.
Storability- Inflatables offer the ease of storability which allows them to come along for any adventure. An 8 foot model can easily be stored in a two foot by three foot bag, weighing only about 80 pounds. Because of its storable size, it is easy to store your inflatable in a locker area of your boat, below deck, or at home in your garage, shed or closet. They are ideal for taking them along when camping next to a lake or river, as they are as easy to pack as camping tent.
Performance - The development of inflatables have come a long way and now rival their solid counterparts. Current designs offer greater lift and stability, creating less drag on the water for smooth sailing. This technology requires less power and allows greater speeds to safely reach your destination in less time. It isn't just about speed either - the boats are highly maneuverable, making it easy to navigate tight dock areas or land on virtually any shoreline.
Types of Inflatables Boats
Inflatable boats come in a variety of types and sizes, meeting almost any marine need. In deciding which is best for you, determine how you will be using your inflatable. The following are the different types of inflatables and the needs they fulfill.
This is a flexible-use boatthat is ideal for the first-time boater and is an all-purpose type of boat. They are usually six to nineteen feet long and are very safe and stable.
A V-Hull has either an inflated long tub or a wood keel, which is located beneath the floorboard, and allows it to slice through the water.
These inflatables come with a fiberglass hullwhich is mated to an inflatable collar, allowing a deep V-hull shape at the bow and then flattening toward the aft of the boat. This design allows for the best of both worlds: the buoyancy of an inflatable, but the handling aspects of a conventional boat.
The Zodiac Cadet is a sturdy, dependable vessel regardless of which size model you choose. The smaller Cadet models are built with as much support, buoyancy, and reliability as the larger models. Most models are accommodating to various engine styles, whether they are 2-stroke or 4-stroke applications. There are several features and specifications that combine to set Zodiac Cadet apart from the rest, making it one of best of its kind.
- Built-in support system to hold oars
- Conveniently positioned bow handles
- Space included for a cockpit locker
- German Melher PVC fabric with welded inside seams for maximum durability
- Trim Flap Fittings
- Reclining Oar Supports
- Rubbing Strake
- Towing Rings
- Built-in Tie-Down System
Tenders Built to Last
A Cadet tender has gone through extensive testing and is built to be more buoyant and, by extension, much safer. These tenders are built for extra passenger capacity and overall storage space and are compatible with 4-stroke engines.
Zodiac Cadet flooring is made with high-grade marine slatted wood, air floor, or aluminum. These materials accompany the tender, which improves overall maneuverability and performance. There are also light rollers that are lighter and more comfortable than most competitors' inflatables in the boating industry. The flooring is strong and sturdy to ensure long-lasting enjoyment.
Learn to Find or Fix a Leaky Inflatable Boat Valve.
Learn a quick and easy way to clean, repair and evaluate your inflatable boat valve to ensure your boating adventures are safe and free from disaster. Items needed: 1) Soapy water, 2) Rag, 3) Valve Wrench (specific for your boat) and 4) a Q-tip.
Valve failure can occur from dirt, grime, or accidental loosening of the valve - basically anything that can cause the seal between the boat material, the valve, or the rubber inside gasket to be separated.
Boat valve leaks can be found by spraying soapy water in and around the valve. Any bubbling will be an indicator of where the leak will be found. If the leak is found around the seat of the valve, the first solution is to take your valve wrench and complete a quarter to half a turn. If this does not fix the problem. It may be due to a piece of sand or grit preventing the seal to hold. If this is the case, you will want to completely remove the valve to clean the boat surface and valve. If you do need to take the entire valve off, be sure to leave the boat filled with air to help with the removal of the valve.
Once you get the valve off, you will want to thoroughly clean the underside of the valve and the top of the valve opening before putting it back on. Be sure the valve is screwed back on straight with pressure. Once done, you can fill the boat back up with air and take your valve wrench and tighten down even more.
Another common issue with an inflatable boat valve leaking would be the inner valve not seating correctly. This can be due to dirt or sand entering the valve and interrupting the seal. This can be fixed by spraying soapy water into the valve in attempt to flush out the debris. You may also want to have a Q-tip to assist you in cleaning out the debris. If neither of these work, you will want to completely remove the valve assembly and clean under between the plunger and the base of the valve assembly to ensure there isn't any debris breaking the seal.