Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brief introduction to inflatable boats and its various types

Many inflatable boats accept standard steering and console units that fit most inflatable boats while others take custom parts made specifically for that inflatable boat brand. Take advantage of our universal inflatable boat steering and console products, many with free shipping. These products offer high quality marine components. These products provide you many options for configuring your boat to meet your exact steering needs and your budget, while providing you flexibility to add your own helm, wheel and cable choices in some cases.

Types of Inflatable Boats

Yacht Tenders

This category is ideal for first-time boat buyers, or for anyone seeking a practical all-purpose boat offering maximum safety and stability at an affordable price. The size of boats in this category range from about 6 feet to 20 feet. There are four distinctly different hull (or bottom) configurations available in a modern yacht tender inflatable:

The floors of these inflatables consist of a layer of fabric and slats (usually wood) running across the beam. They're usually painted or stained and are about 4 inches in width. The slatted floor system is generally found in inflatable from about 6 to 8 feet in length only, where there is no need for performance. Consequently, these inflatable don't tow, motor or row as well as inflatable with an inflatable keel and v-hull.

V-hull (wood or inflatable keel):

This consists of a separate longitudinal inflation tube or wood keel located beneath the floorboards. Once inflated, it provides a moderate V-keel at the bow of the boats by pushing the fabric floor down and away from the floorboards. Handling and performance is greatly improved as the keel cuts through the water cleanly. An added benefit is the extra buoyancy and flotation it provides.

High-performance hulls:

Here is where you go from conventional inflatable to inflatable offering high speed coupled with excellent handling. However, this added performance can often create a false sense of security and may lead to boating accidents. These boats are recommended for more experienced boaters. An example of a performance hull would be Zodiac's Futura model. The patented Futura hull has smaller "speed tubes" attached below the regular collar. Upon reaching plane the boat lifts up onto these speed tubes, trapping air underneath and exerting positive lift (hydrodynamic lift), leaving the boat riding on these two "speed tubes" like a racing catamaran.

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