Rigid vs Inflatable

What's the Difference?

Inflatable Boats
Rigid Boats
Coast Guard Certification
None are Coast Guard certified. They are not required to be Coast Guard approved. Since there is no testing protocol, ratings advertised can be determined arbitrarily by each manufacturer.Coast guard certified and tested to the latest safety standards. Rigid Boats were subjected to weight capacity testing to 5 times the rated capacity, then swamped and tested for stability with weights on each side. The test allows a maximum list of 15 degrees to pass.The Rigid Boat had a 2 degree list at maximum test weights. That means you are purchasing a safe reliable boat to transport your most valuable cargo, You and your family.
Rib inflatable boats are heavy for their size. As an example a popular 11′ 10″ rib inflatable weighs in empty at over 450 lbs. Add a 30 hp motor a few options and you will approach 650 lbs. total weight.Weight is a designed in process with Rigid Boats to limit weight.Our 12′ Sport weighs in empty at a 335 lbs. Add a 30 hp motor a few options and you will weigh in around 535 lbs. A 30 hp motor will drive the efficient Rigid Boat hull design.
Rigid inflatable boats are deflatable for storage, except ribs.Rigid Boats utilize a total fiberglass construction process with NO wood. The Rigid Boat uses yacht quality hardware, hull to deck construction fastened with SS screws plus a high quality marine sealant to further insure a secure leak proof attachment. The new soft rub rail allows for a “soft touch” to the mother ship with no noise from contact due to wave action.
Slippery when wet round inflatable tube. Walk- around tubes must be fully inflated for maximum safetyRigid, non-skid flat walk around. Safely stand on gunwale for secure ingress and egress
Most ribs have multiple air chambers; however, if one is punctured and deflates, it’s unlikely the boat will get you home.Standard, closed-cell coast guard approved, upright foam, flotation allows motor operation even fully loaded and swamped
Needs larger motor, tubes must be inflated properly for smooth ride and adequate trackingEasy to plane, smooth ride and tracks straight
Being wet is part of the inflatable boat experienceDependably dry
Basically none; some offer a bow lockerLots! Both tubes and a bow locker. Over 12 cubic feet in every Rigid Boat.
Keep the pump handy and don’t let the sun hit the tubes. Fix any leaks promptly, watch out for barnacles, ETC.A little wash and wax and you’re done.
Lumbers onto plane, jiggles at speed, somewhat predictable, bounces like a ball in bumpy water.Easily planes, nimble and predictable at speed, takes the bumps in stride
Great until she springs a leak and one or more of the chambers deflates. You will have to wait there to be rescued. I hope the water is not cold!Coast Guard approved and tested. Even swamped and loaded to rated capacity you can start the motor and head for home.
My experience has been… you are lucky to get 50% after 2 years when you sell your inflatable boat.We have sold used models for 90% of new cost after 2 years.
Seating is adequate, ergonomically adequate, ride is adequate but WET.Seating is comfortable, ergonomically well laid out, and ride is superb and dry
Most inflatable boats are very good quality and construction. The problem is you have a flawed product to start. Life expectancy is usually about 10 years.Yacht-quality design and construction with no expense spared with a 40 year plus life expectancy.
Custom Colors
The majority of manufacturers offer one color. There are a couple that offer several optional colors. I don’t believe any offer a custom color match.Any color you like!
Many do offer basic options such as cushions, lights and fuel tanks. The basic structure is somewhat limited to customizeRigid Boats has a history of working with clients to meet that special need plus a long list of special options.
Gel Coat
Ribs use a gel coat on the fiberglass portion of the rigid hull.We have a superior, long-lasting UV resistant fiberglass finish.
5 -10 years with lots of limitations5 no-hassle years
France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Canada, US, etc.Made in the good ol’ US of A
Specially designed, glued or laminated onto tubes.Yacht Quality 316 Stainless Steel all thru bolted with backing plates.
Interior Room
Inflatable boats are narrow due to round shape of tubes intruding on interior width, floor space cluttered with necessary gear due to no storage.Maximized by flat vertical inside gunwales increasing interior width by 4 to 6 inches.
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