Getting out onto the water is a fantastic way to spend your time.
It’s relaxing, it’s a great way to unwind and you can even bring a friend or two.
But if you have a larger boat, getting out to it from the dock can be a problem. The same goes for visiting an island or other point of interest that is too shallow to reach with a larger vessel.
That’s where a good dinghy comes in.
But bringing a dinghy with you can be inconvenient, and take up a lot of space. A great solution to those problems is an inflatable dinghy for cruising. You get all the convenience without running out of space on your boat.
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We review each of the units in our roundup of inflatable cruising dinghies in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick look at the boats we reviewed.
Below we take a brief look at a couple of well-known dinghy models and talk about what it is that makes each one worth your money.
When picking a dinghy, one of the first things to keep in mind is often the types of material it’s made from.
The Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy is luckily made from premium-quality material that consists of coated PVC which is glued with advanced German adhesive, and also features marine wood flooring.
It’s the perfect size for a single person but can also house several people if you’re planning it take a few friends out to the water. This dinghy has most of the core features required to make it a fantastic option for travelling out on the water. It’s easy to carry and comes with sturdy handling and storage options.
It even has its own drain plug in the event that the boat comes filled with water or if an accident occurs out on the water.
This dinghy can comfortably sit around 2 people, but we found that 3 could easily fit if one or two of them were children. The maximum seating is at 3, but if you’re willing to squeeze in you can make a few adjustments. If you’re looking for a simple way to travel across water, then a dinghy is arguably the cheapest option.
However, a high-quality one like the Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy is a fantastic option because it can help ensure that your dinghy stays sturdy no matter how often you use it or how many people sit in it. It’s the perfect little dinghy for multiple purposes, it’s built with high-quality materials and the construction is top-notch, resulting in a fantastic little multipurpose dinghy.
The Tangkula Inflatable Tender Dinghy is a rather thick PVC inflatable boat that comes with built-in oarlocks and stainless steel D-ring which make it easy to tow.
Contrary to its size, it can actually comfortably fit two people plus a little cargo with no real issue.
However, don’t expect to fit more than three full-sized adults especially if you do want a little space to move around. As with most inflatable dinghies, you’re going to need a motor to get any kind of speed, but it’s a fantastic little boat that manages to remain high-quality in terms of materials and features while still being relatively affordable.
Portability is one of the things that makes the Tangkula Inflatable Tender Dinghy such an attractive option especially for those who love to go camping.
It can easily be packed away and greatly reduced in size, inflating it doesn’t take a very long time and can easily be managed by a single person and the entire construction only takes a couple of minutes.
Included are also a pair of oars so that if you choose not to use a trolling motor, you can skip it and use it with the included accessories. In short, you get everything you need in this single handy package and there’s little extra you need to buy in order to enjoy it.
In fact, the size and portability of the Tangkula Inflatable Tender Dinghy makes it perfect for fishing trips. It’s small, light and easy to fold so it won’t take much space, and you have plenty of stability while on the water to ensure that you won’t tip over while you fish.
If you’re looking for a reliable dinghy then the Newport Vessels Seascape Inflatable Tender Dinghy is the perfect option. With USCG rated triple-layered 0.9mm/1,100 denier speciality coated PVC, it’s arguably one of the most sturdy dinghies we’ve added to this list of reviews.
The material is resistant against corrosion and also protects the dinghy against elements like salt. This helps it stay sturdy no matter where it’s used and also means that you can use the dinghy in many different environments without worrying about its longevity.
The boat comes with a drop stitch air floor, an included pump and repair kit, and even a bag. There’s an aluminum bench seat as well and two included aluminum oars which will help you move the boat if you choose not to add a trolling motor to it.
To add to the lightweight dinghy and its portability, there’s also an included carry bag which can help you travel around with it. This makes it perfect for short fishing trips or recreational activities when you’re out camping or on a small holiday outing with friends and family members.
However, do be careful with how many people you try to fit into the boat. While it can support up to three people, we recommend that you stick with two full-sized adults and perhaps a young child. However, you may be able to fit four children in the dinghy if you plan to use it for the sake of recreation.
In short, it’s a well-made dinghy boat that is surprisingly lightweight and portable despite the size. It’s a fantastic way to get started with exploring waters and can also be used effectively for fishing or other water-related activities.
Most inflatable dinghies come with similar features. For instance, most of the ones on the list are made with heavy-duty and premium-quality materials, but the BRIS 9.8 ft Inflatable Dinghy comes with a rather unique addition that helps to secure it as the most reliable dinghy on the list.
The seams on this dinghy are actually heat welded which means that the seams are perfectly smooth and, assuming it’s taken care of, could last longer than other dinghies. It’s guaranteed to last in all types of conditions such as fresh water or salt water and even extreme humidity conditions.
Most of the seams are quadruple overlap in order to provide the dinghy with even more strength and it will ensure that the dinghy does not fall apart.
To add to the sturdy nature of the BRIS 9.8 ft Inflatable Dinghy is the aluminum floor panels, bench seats and oars. This gives it a reliable feeling that you won’t find with some cheaper dinghies available on the market.
So if you’re looking for something that is truly going to last you a long time, this is one of the better options to go for. It also comes with a couple of accessories that will make transporting it much easier. The carry case is always a bonus and the included oars make it a little easier to use since you don’t need to worry about purchasing additional extras just to use the dinghy.
To conclude, the BRIS 9.8 ft Inflatable Dinghy is a solid dinghy boat that comes with a variety of useful accessories. It’s perfect for fitting two full-sized adults or an additional younger child, and it’s perfect for a wide variety of conditions and situations, making it a versatile dinghy option.
With military-grade multi-layered PVC materials and a maximum capacity of 4, the Outroad Inflatable Dinghy Fishing Boat stands out from the other options on this list for having the highest capacity.
Although trying to fit four people into the boat is no easy task, it’s certainly possible and does add some possibility of this being a very good option for larger groups.
The extra-thick materials help to protect it from scrapes, abrasions and other types of damage, and it offers a fantastic amount of stability as well.
Included with the Outroad Inflatable Dinghy Fishing Boat is a bunch of accessories such as the drum pedal, and it has a thick bottom to protect it from all sorts of damage while being as small as possible.
There’s also an included foot pump which is great for travelling purposes, and the included aluminum oars make it very easy for you to move the boat around with a loud and often expensive trolling motor. It’s fantastic little dinghy that will help you with hobbies such as fishing but can just as easily be used for entertainment.
To conclude, the Outroad Inflatable Dinghy Fishing Boat’s selling point is that it can house 4 people as opposed to the typical that most other dinghies have. So if you want a boat that can easily fit more people, this is a fantastic little dingy.
One potential problem with any inflatable boat is a leak. Here is a good YouTube video that walks you through a repair in the event you get one while out on the water.
Hey, I'm Nick - one of the editors on Watercraft Watch. I grew up around water and have been boating and yachting from the age of 5. Today I'm a professional sea kayaking guide and sea rescue volunteer. When not kayaking or writing for WCW, I'm usually out and about trail-running with my wife and our very active border collie.