If you are an experienced diver, you may already know what inflatable boats are used for and how safe they are. However, if you are new to diving, it may be helpful to learn what these boats are all about and what benefits they can offer to your dive experience. Here are some top reasons why inflatable boats are essential elements of the dive gear that every diver should have onboard their vessel.
Types of Boats Used by Scuba Divers
There are three types of boats used by scuba divers. These include inflatable boats, rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) and catamarans. Of these, the inflatable boat is considered more affordable than other kinds. It is also easier to handle than the rigid-hulled variety that needs some special skills to maneuver, especially when it comes across a high sea condition.
Catamarans are mainly used to transport divers to remote locations that can’t be accessed through smaller vessels or when water is too shallow for RHIBs to sail comfortably. However, suppose you want your boat only for your personal use. In that case, you should opt for either an inflatable boat. The choice depends on your budget and personal preferences since there aren’t significant differences between them.
An Inflatable Boat as a Dive Boat
Typically, diving involves a lot of travelling to various destinations. Although travelling with scuba gear is more practical, it can still be quite an inconvenient process. However, renting or buying an inflatable boat lets you easily travel from one place to another while carrying all your diving gear on board. Because these boats are filled with air and not liquid like regular boats, they’re very light and easy to maneuver around in most waters.
So if you plan on venturing far away from land, keep reading and find out why owning an inflatable boat may become a necessity in your life as a diver.
What Makes an Inflatable Boat Good for Diving? There are many different types of inflatable boats available in stores today. Still, you should make sure that you buy a model specifically designed for diving. These models usually have some built-in mechanisms that will allow your dive equipment to fit correctly inside, including places where you can store extra tanks.
If you want your inflatable boat to serve as a dive support vessel, make sure you buy one big enough to hold several divers plus their complete gear set. It would be best to consider how durable and well-built your new vessel is.
A flimsy inflatable won’t last long under heavy usage, so try to spend more money on high-quality materials, such as PVC. Another useful feature you should look for is a wholly sealed hull. This way, your boat won’t leak when you dive below water so that no water will get into its insides through any holes or cracks.
Aside from being safe, many inflatable boats are highly portable. It’s common to see some people own two of them – one that stays at home and the other being taken on every trip because it packs up easily into a duffel bag! Some models can even be converted into kayaks by deflating both ends. To sum things up, if you love exploring oceans or lakes underwater, then having an inflatable boat is something worth considering!
Rigid Inflatable Boats for Diving
Rigid inflatable boats are widely used in professional diving operations. These boats often have multiple air chambers, which can help preserve their stability while providing more safety to divers. They include more equipment onboard than recreational inflatable boats. Since they were designed with professional divers, rigid inflatable boats offer top-of-the-line performance and unmatched durability.
RIBs are built to withstand heavy loads, harsh weather conditions, and numerous dives without wearing out quickly. However, these models come at a higher price point than most of our recommendations for pleasure boating since they are made from high-quality materials that don’t require any special maintenance after each use. Additionally, there is no step in front of most RHIBs, making boarding easier for recovering divers who need help after a dive.