- High stability with low weight -
An air-floor inflatable boat is a rubber boat with an inflatable bottom. The floor consists of a multi-layer laminate with a special fabric that is 67 mm thick. The floor weighs 1950 g / m² and has a maximum strength of 3000 N / 5 cm on both sides. High air pressure of 0.8 bar gives the floor increased stability and firmness.
A high-pressure air-floored dinghy is light, quick to set up and easy to transport and store. As the air can be completely released, the dinghy can then be deflated and folded into a small size, making it extremely practical. Rubber dinghies with an inflatable keel feature excellent sailing characteristics: when going straight, they have high stability and low drift.
Despite high-quality material with a thickness of 0.7 mm, an air floor is more susceptible to damage than a rigid floor made of aluminium or GRP or a slatted floor. Pointed objects or animals (e.g. dogs) should not be taken on board. Even sand or small stones can become a problem. The floor can of course be repaired with patches if damaged. Compared to an inflatable boat with an aluminium bottom or rigid hull, an air-floored dinghy of the same length can usually accommodate less engine power.
SVB TIP: Think about what you want to use your dinghy for. An inflatable floor boat is cheaper to buy than a rigid hull inflatable boat, but the floor material is more sensitive. It makes a good tender if there is little deck space on board where you can stow a dinghy.
Those who have little space on board or do not want to pay for a permanent berth often use either a slatted floor dinghy or an air floor. Both inflatable boats are easy to transport and store, as they can be folded to a small size after deflation. However, unlike air-floored inflatable boats, slatted floor boats require the slats to be stored in addition to the actual inflatable part of the boat. Air-bottomed inflatable boats can be used with more powerful motors and have a higher payload than slatted floor inflatable boats. At high speeds, air-bottomed inflatable boats can demonstrate better handling. This is mainly due to the stable pressurised air floor. Slatted floor inflatables are better if you want to use your boat for fishing or bring dogs on board, as they are less prone to damage.