The surge in the water based recreational activities has resulted in inflatable boat models. Inflatable pontoon boats are inexpensive means by which we can have the experience of pontoon boat activities without much hassle of the full boat. They are mostly used for fishing. These are more durable, lightweight and easily portable, which make them best choice for some waterway enthusiast interested in owning a pontoon boat but couldn’t have one because of the associated costs. In this article we will deal with inflatable pontoon boats, related facts and some of the best options.
What are inflatable pontoon boats?
An inflatable pontoon boat floats using two inflatable pontoons or air tubes. They are supported by a metal frame or curved air bladders so that the pontoons are held together. It acts like a deck, so that passengers can be supported. They are commonly used by fishermen. The seat which is in the middle of the boat provides a stable and high vantage point for fishermen. In case of frameless designs, the seat will be inflatable. However, in metal frame designs, the seat will be real boat seat. Also called as catamarans, the inflatable pontoons are easy to inflate and deflate. Also, the frames allow quick and easy assembly and disassembly making the whole procedure hassle free. They can come with many features and weight capacities, usually fisherman friendly. As features and the load capacity increases, so does the cost associated with the model.
In some states, it is required to register the pontoon boat. So do check with the state agency regarding the same.
Materials Used In The Construction Of Inflatable Pontoon Boats
What Are The Pontoons Made Of?
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) are heavy duty and abrasion resistant material which can be used in the construction of inflatable pontoons. TPU is more abrasion resistant than PVC. They can resist extreme temperature variations and also can be used for prolonged hours without any safety risks. Those with Nylon outer layer can have more added protection.
What Is The Frame Made Of?
Frameless models do not have a metal frame. They have curved air bladders to support the pontoon which make them more expensive. However, they can handle more loads. The lack of metal frame makes them easier to transport, assemble and disassemble. Now in case of framed models, metal frame supporting the pontoons can be of powder coated mild steel or aluminum. Steel can be strong, but they weigh more. Aluminum is more durable and lightweight option and allows easy assembly and disassembly. However, they are more expensive compared to steel. The oars can be made from aluminum.
Why Go For Inflatable Pontoon Boats?
The inflatable pontoon boats are the best option for someone who intend to have pontoon boat experience, but cannot afford a full size boat or the troubles related with the maintenance of a full sized boat. These are stable on water. They can be stored with ease. Being lightweight, they are also easy to transport making them inexpensive option for enjoying your fishing activities. There can be large decked options to single seaters, so that you can choose the one which best suites your needs. Waterway explorers, wildlife explorers, photographers, etc. can also make advantage of this handy watercraft. When they are out in the Pontoon boats help in their exploration activities of the outdoor enthusiasts by providing them with an easy to use means of navigation which is safer too.
Types Of Inflatable Pontoon Boats
There are mainly three types of inflatable pontoon boats:
- Single-seaters: These are the most common type of inflatable pontoon boats. They are so compact that they allow easy transportation and fast assembly and disassembly. They can accommodate smaller motors. There can be storage spaces so as to haul the fishing accessories. This is the most affordable option among inflatable pontoon boats.
- Two-seaters: They can be useful for those intending to go into the water in pairs either for fishing or for wildlife exploration, photography, etc. They are not so easy to transport like the single seaters. They are not so compact. Some people also like to keep them fully assembled and haul them to the destinations using trailers. They are also more expensive. However, they can accommodate bigger motor.
- Heavy Duty Large Platform Highly Portable models: They provide the most in terms of easy transportability. They can be best suited in case of remote fishing locations. However, they can compromise with the features they offer. Being easily collapsible, they won’t offer you much in terms of storage spaces or even chairs or motor mounts. In most cases they will be a heavy duty large platform.
What To Look For When Buying Inflatable Pontoon Boats?
- Load Capacity – Look for inflatable pontoon boats that can carry all that you want to carry. They also come with two passenger options so that you can have fun with your close buddy. As load increases you need to choose the inflatable pontoon boat model that can handle the load. Never overload inflatable pontoon boats as it can be dangerous.
- Choice of fishing spot: Inflatable pontoon boats can be used in lakes, rivers, bays etc. Rivers may have rocks, logs and many other obstacles. Hence the inflatable pontoon boat should be more durable and sturdy so that it won’t tear easily. This can add to price and weight. In case of lakes, you can use a more lightweight option. There are inflatable pontoon boat options suitable in saltwater too. Based on the medium where you intend to use, you can select the model accordingly.
- Material used in construction: The materials used in the construction of inflatable pontoon boats are PVC, nylon tops, aluminum, steel, etc. Look for quality, durable models, which can be used in various conditions and last longer. Oars with bronze locks offer good quality.
- Stability – The wider pontoons can make larger contact surface with water. This will balance the pontoon boat, making way for stability. Though most inflatable pontoon boats have seats. There are models which allow standing while fishing. Such models will have the related stability aspects in their construction which makes it possible. In such cases, you can also watch out for models with lean bars which add an element of additional safety. Lean bars allow you to lean and hence balance yourself while you cast.
- Versatility – Most inflatable pontoon boats can be used in rivers, lakes, bay, etc. Oars can give you a traditional experience allowing slow travelling. They can be more of use when they have the versatility to include motors too. Options with motor mount can be useful in this case. This allows you faster movements. There can be models compatible with both gas/ electric motors. Speeds achievable with both these will be different. All this adds more versatility to your inflatable pontoon boat.
- Portability – Portability is something for which the inflatable pontoon boats are most sought after for. However, if you go for extremely lightweight and portable option, then there can be a compromise between load and storage options.
- Storage – Storage and holding areas add more utility to the inflatable pontoon boat. However as the gear requirements increase so does the size of the inflatable pontoon boat.
Best Inflatable Pontoon Boats
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Pontoon Boat
You can step up your fishing game with the Colorado Pontoon boat. It measures 9′ when assembled. They have a padded swivel seat offering increased mobility with comfort. The pontoon boat itself weighs around 80lbs and has a maximum capacity of 400lbs. They have a size of 108″L x 56″W x 26″H (to top of seat) when assembled. The Pontoon boat and its oars disassemble into a compact size which allows for easy transport and storage. It is built to American Boat and Yacht Council safety standards. The heavy duty pontoon boat comes with abrasion resistant PVC bottom, with a tough nylon top coating so as to offer more added protection. They have powder coated steel frame. The bladders are cold and heat resistant. The pontoon boat comes with 7 foot two piece aluminum oars with bronze oarlocks which are strong and non-corroding. The model offers high storage options with the 10 mesh pockets, 12 zippered pockets and the two insulated drink holders. There is also a large capacity rear storage rack with motor mount. With the detachable micro slit foam fly patch you can keep your gear at the ready. There have adjustable foot rests and seat mount. The transport wheels allow you to reach your favorite fishing spot with ease. They have removable side pockets which can combine to form a portable gear bag. The inflatable pontoon boat has removable stripping bag. Note that motor is not included. They come in dark blue and grey color combination. Bladder patch kit is also included. They offer 2 year limited warranty.
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Pontoon Boat
Classic Accessories Roanoke Pontoon Boat
The 8’ Pontoon boat measures 96″L x 55″W x 29″H when assembled. It is lightweight compared to XTS and hence more easy to maneuver. The heavy duty inflatable pontoon boat is made from abrasion resistant PVC bottoms with tough nylon topping, adding to the durability. There are 6 foot 2 piece aluminum oars with heavy duty oarlocks. They have molded plastic fold down seat. The 43 lbs boat has maximum weight capacity is 350lbs. The armrest storage comes with two large pockets which are zippered. There is a rear facing fabric platform for additional storage. The adjustable foot rests which adjusts to a range of lengths can add to your comfort. The inflatable pontoon boat is built to American Boat and Yacht Council Standards. They come with Class 1 river rating and one year limited warranty. They are not rated for motors hence you need to depend on the oars. The Roanoke comes in blueberry and silver color combination.
Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat
The Hunter Green 285fpb is a stealthy inflatable frameless one man pontoon boat meant for fishing or hunting. Being lightweight, it goes anywhere and can be set up in just 5 minutes and being ultra portable and frameless, it can even fit in the trunk of a car. You do not need a trailer to carry them to the hardest fishing spots. The 9′ x 4′ Pontoon boat is deflated to a 24″x14″x12″ size. It weighs 42lbs with floorboard and motor mount. It is great for lakes, rivers, bays, creeks or any other water body. They have a maximum weight capacity of 450lbs. The pontoon boat comes with a unique inflatable U-hull configuration which provides incredible. You get maximum fishing space with the least amount of hull weight. The material used in the construction is 1000 Denier Reinforced material with Quadruple Overlapping Superior Glued Seams. They have a full fabric floor with 7lbs removable wooden floorboard which installs in seconds and provides a stable casting platform. You can stand in this platform which can help in still water fishing. The 360° Swivel Seat the 7″ Pedestal offers a high and full view of the water. You can sit in comfort and turn to reach your gear, motor or to follow that fighting fish. The raised oarlocks allows for better rowing. With the three separate air chambers, maximum safety is ensured in any situation. They have large air chambers which can support huge amount of weight. They draft as little as 4 inches of water and hence you can even have access to shallow waters which are not meant for heavy boats. The inflatable pontoon boat has two Scotty rod holders and mounts at the stern which can accept a multitude of Scotty accessories, including rod holders, anchor locks, cup holders and more. Rod is not included. There are 4 carry handles. The inflatable pontoon boat comes with a 3 Horse Power engine capacity. The model is NMMA and CE certified.
YILI Inflatable Fishing Floatation Pontoon Boat Tube
This the most affordable option to have. It has a maximum weight capacity of 286lbs. The model is designed with great buoyancy so as to help you fish safely in the lake. The Hydrodynamic hull shape allows for superior tracking and easy steering. There is the thick inflatable seat with a high adjustable inflatable backrest, making it a comfortable and durable structure with good support for spending long hours fishing on the lake. The material used is abrasion-resistant 600D oxford fabric which is also waterproof. The Fish Ruler sleeve comes with a buckle strap that can be connected to the seat so as to ensure that you do not fall off the seat. They offer enough storage space with a left side storage pocket and detachable waterproof black storage bag on the right for holding mobile, water bottle, bait, etc. At the back of the seat, there is a net in which you can store fish. Velcro on the side and front of the tube can be used to place the oars and fishing rods. It can be inflated and deflated easily. All the necessary equipment is included.
AQUOS Heavy-Duty Inflatable Pontoon Boat Series FM 10.2
The AQUOS FM 10.2 inflatable pontoon boat weighs around 84lbs. The inflatable pontoon boat can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. Being compact and portable you can transport it by any means, on a larger boat or in the trunk of your vehicle to anywhere you want to go. The stainless steel grab bar offers you with extra stability and safety. The swivel seat which is height adjustable between 9.6″ and 13″ can make your long boat rides more comfortable. With the updated attachable 5.4’ two paddle design you can easily pass through any waters. The maximum loading capacity of the inflatable pontoon boat is 2 passengers or 700 lbs. The Aluminum Floor Board Size is 39” X 78.5”which can meet your different requirements. The latest addition of EVA anti-skid pad prevents you from slipping and falling. It also provides excellent resistance to cold and heat so that you can enjoy long hours of fishing trip. The 1680D coated waterproof Oxford fabric material has reflective stripes on the back which increases the night time safety. The Aquos inflatable pontoon boat has four individual air chambers with two side air chambers having patented design providing utmost safety and performance. The wide positioning of the pontoon creates more water contact surface so that better balance and stability is achieved. The inflatable pontoon boat has storage spaces for fishing rods: two on the front and two on the back. There is also a bottle pocket, three tool pocket and stainless steel hanging rings. There is also the new fishing bag and bait bag. The side storage bag with waterproof zipper design can hold clothes, electronic equipment, etc. The inflatable pontoon boat also comes with the certificate you may need in case for registration.
AQUOS Heavy-Duty Series Inflatable Pontoon for two
The AQUOS 11.5ft / 12.5ft Heavy-Duty inflatable pontoon boat weighs around 118lbs (boat only). The inflatable pontoon boat can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. Being compact and portable you can transport it by any means, on a larger boat or in the trunk of your vehicle to anywhere you want to go. The 304 high grade stainless steel grab bar offers you with extra stability and safety. The 360 degree rotating folding seat which is height adjustable between 9.6″ and 13″ can make your long boat rides more comfortable. It can be installed in any desired location and offers plenty of back support with the generous cushion. They have updated model of comfortable rowing oars. With the updated attachable 6.43’ paddle design you can easily pass through any waters. The maximum loading capacity of the inflatable pontoon boat is 2 passengers or 950 lbs. The Aluminum Floor Board Size is 51” X 95”which can meet your different requirements. The EVA anti-skid pad prevents you from slipping and falling and offers excellent resistance to cold and heat so that you can enjoy long hours of fishing trip. The 1680D coated waterproof Oxford fabric material has reflective stripes on the back which increases the night time safety. The Aquos inflatable pontoon boat has four individual air chambers with two side air chambers having patented design providing utmost safety and performance. The wide positioning of the pontoon creates more water contact surface so that better balance and stability is achieved. The inflatable pontoon boat has storage spaces for fishing rods: two on the front and two on the back. There is also a bottle pocket, three tool pocket and stainless steel hanging rings. There is also the fishing bag and bait bag. The side storage bag with waterproof zipper design can hold clothes, electronic equipment, etc. The inflatable pontoon boat also comes with the certificate you may need in case for registration.
Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 Frameless Fishing Boat
The Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 is an inflatable frameless two man pontoon boat meant for fishing or hunting. It is roomy, portable and lightweight. It weighs 78 lbs with floorboard and mount. Being lightweight and having a frameless design, it can be set up in just 15 minutes. The 10’1” x 5′ Pontoon boat is deflated to a 31″x40″x9″ size. It is great for lakes, rivers, bays, creeks or any other water body. They have a maximum weight capacity of 1200 lbs. It is a comfortable inflatable pontoon boat model for two which can be handled easily by one. The pontoon boat comes with a unique inflatable U-hull configuration which provides incredible. You get maximum fishing space with the least amount of hull weight. The material used in the construction is 1000 Denier Reinforced material. The 360° Swivel Seat with the 7″ Pedestal offers a high and full view of the water. You can sit in comfort and turn to reach your gear, motor or to follow that fighting fish. They have a motor mount for up to 4 HP gas motor or up to a 74 lb. thrust electric motor. The speed estimates is about 5-6 mph with gas motor and about 4-5 mph with electric motor. There are 4 built in rod holders. The inflatable pontoon boat has two Scotty rod holders and mounts at the stern which can accept a multitude of Scotty accessories, including rod holders, anchor locks, cup holders and more.