Thursday, 6 October 2011

Shall I buy a new or used inflatable boat?

It comes down to budget AND preference for shiny new, or built to last used. Only you can decide on this so I expect you will have made up your mind on that one.
If you have chosen shiny new, stick to a good quality brand - honwave, avon, bombard, zodiac, seapro, with one of these brands you will have a boat designed and built right.
Choose your outboard carefully too, I have written articles and blogs on this so look at these. Mariner outboards are a very good choice - middle of the road price wise, and VERY reliable.
If you are thinking of a used inflatable boat then you need to go for a premium brand - avon inflatables, zodiac, bombard, Seapro in that order would be my choice. Make sure you can see the inflatable boat blown up and if possible test it on the water, look at the transom for cracks, look at the tubes for abrasion, cracks and leaks, also look for patches and or wear to the underside from beach launches etc.
You need to check the seams for fraying/wear, and the fixtures and fittings for over use - oars and oar locks, transom pad, grab lines and d rings will all give up their story of the type of use the boat has had. If it’s done a lot of work then walk away. Age is also a consideration, but this should be the last thing you look at, amount of use is way more important.


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