Bestway Hydro Force Marine Pro Review

Bestway Hydro Force Marine Pro Review

Here Goes my Bestway HydroForce Marine Pro Review!

Most people that we speak to are skeptical about buying inflatable kayaks because they aren’t sure whether it would be worth the investment.

Nobody wants to spend close to $300 and end up with a glorified pool toy that punctures at first contact with a rock or topples over, even in mildly choppy waters.

The fact though, is that inflatable kayaks can do a lot more than that, provided you are not looking to buy the $100 ones that you see on the shelves at Walmart.

A good quality inflatable is perfect for recreational use for a small family. It saves space, is cheap, can be folded and thrown into the car, inflates in minutes and can be carried anywhere.

Today, we will talk about the Bestway HydroFrorce Marine Pro, a mid-level inflatable with a very attractive price tag.

We first saw this beaut in action in Baja a couple of years ago and right then, we knew that we had to get our hands on one of these.

Two years and countless beach, lake and river trips later, we couldn’t be more satisfied with our choice.

Here’s our review of the Hydroforce Marine Pro.

A sturdy inflatable with lots of room

The HydroForce Marine Pro is a three-person inflatable kayak manufactured by Bestway. (That’s the manufacturer recommended limit. We have stretched it to four people on many occasions)

We’d never heard about Bestway before. And if we hadn’t seen the Kayak personally, we would probably have been swayed to buy a more expensive one, like Advanced Elements or Feathercraft.

But we did some background check on the manufacturer.

About Bestway

They are a globally reputed brand that has been in business for the past twenty-five years or so. They have an impressive product range that includes inflatable kayaks, air beds, furniture, rafting tubes, ring pools and snow tubes.

The manufacturinf units are in Shanghai, Nantong, and Yancheng city and they have research centers in the United States and Europe. So, their kayaks are manufactured in China. (What isn’t these days?)

Coming back to the Hydroforce Marine Pro, it is beautifully designed with a two-tone (blue and white) nylon exterior.

When inflated, it is 115 inches long and 50 inches wide, with a maximum weight capacity of 594 pounds.

So, there’s ample room for two adults, a trolling motor if you intend to use one and your sundry details (fishing gear). Without too much gear, two adults and a child can easily fit in.

What you get in the package

We ordered the Hydroforce Marine Pro on a Wednesday and had it delivered Friday morning, neatly packaged.

We had read some reviews about the kayak getting damaged in transit and even one about receiving a used one (Yikes!).

But when we unboxed it, it was new and shiny, much to our satisfaction.

The package includes a pair of oars, one 14.5″ Air Hammer inflation foot pump, a pressure gauge, a storage bag, inflatable seats and a repair patch kit.

You can give the storage bag a miss. But all the other contents are pretty good for the price.

Newbie-friendly design

The Hydroforce Marine pro has a round tail design with a grab rope all around. Makes it easier for the kids to get in and out of the boat.

If it’s only you and your partner on a fishing trip, then you can inflate the seats. They have high back rest and make your ride more comfortable.

There’s ample room in the boat and even on a long day paddling in the waters, your legs don’t feel cramped.

The nylon outer layer is thick and there were times when we inflated it in the car and dragged it to the beach in rocky terrain. Zero ruptures or tears so far.

In the two years that we’ve owned it, we have stored it in the sun on numerous occasions and it has held up just fine. So, if you have reservations about the UV resistance, just toss it aside.

Some people that we spoke to, recommended making a DIY plywood floor for the Marine Pro.

But we didn’t feel the need for it. The inflatable floor works just fine.

Like most inflatables, the Marine Pro has three chambers. So, even if one of them ruptures accidentally, it’d still be stable enough to get you ashore. (Although we are yet to encounter that situation)

The oars are designed in such a way that they tend to touch the middle at times. So, if you are new to kayaking, take some time to get used to it and be careful to not pinch a finger.

Overall, it is a well-rounded, newbie-friendly design

How the Hyrdoforce Marine Pro performs in water

The big question that everybody has is how well, a kayak at this price point performs in the water.

Here’s what we found.

  • Air pressure retention: We inflated it manually in about 10 minutes and let it rest in the garage for a week to see how well it retained air pressure, especially in fluctuating temperatures. And we were pleasantly surprised because the air pressure remained consistent. Most budget kayaks tend to lose air in three days or so and you will most likely need a refill in a week. Not the Hydroforce Marine Pro!
  • With a motor mount: Kayaking is our favorite form of exercising and we don’t usually use a trolling motor. But we borrowed one to test it out with the Hydroforce Marine Pro. It was a 2 HP Intex trolling motor and it fit perfectly.
  • In calm waters at the lake: Our first test was at the lake in calm waters with four people on board (Two adults, a child and a rambunctious collie mix). As expected, it performed flawlessly. We spent five hours or so on the water. The kayak was a breeze to maneuver and control. We even rowed directly into winds over 12-15 mph without any problems whatsoever. We only inflated one seat for the person rowing the kayak and we still had room for our fishing kit and other essentials. Roomy and comfortable!
  • In the Bay: Next up was the Choctawhatchee Bay trip. What started as a perfect day with calm waters quickly changed into a windy one with swells of 5” or so and some heavy chops. We found the Hydroforce Marine Pro a little difficult to track because of the lack of a keel. But it wasn’t half as bad as it could have been. We made it easily to Marler Park for a quick lunch and some break time for the kid. Were back on the water in an hour.
  • In Class II Rapids: We have reasonable experience kayaking in whitewater and were really tempted to take the Hydroforce Marine Pro in Class IV waters. But thankfully, good sense prevailed and we decided to test it out in a Class II river first. As made evident from the design, this isn’t a boat designed for whitewater use. But we had very few problems making it through the course. We did get splashed around quite a bit but were able to maneuver it around rocks and strains. More importantly, it didn’t pop.

How easy is the Marine Pro to inflate/deflate?

Part of the appeal of an inflatable kayak is that you don’t need a trailer to lug it around. And if you live in an apartment, your neighbors won’t walk in and find a full sized boat parked in the living room.

The Hydroforce Marine Pro inflates in about 10 minutes if you use the manual foot pump and in less than two minutes if you use an electronic pump.

Ditto with deflating it. Took us about 2 minutes to deflate it partially. That’s enough to throw it in the back of a car.

If you want to deflate it completely and fold it neatly, it would probably take you 10 minutes.

Like we mentioned earlier, you will mostly need to replace the storage bag that’s included in the package. We store it in a 30L duffel bag that we picked up for cheap. Fits in perfectly.

What is it best used for?

The Hydroforce Marine Pro is best used as a recreational kayak or a family fishing boat.

You can also use it as a dinghy to get to a trawler marooned a couple of kms. in the sea.

Having said that, it can occasionally accompany you to Class I and II rapids. Anything beyond that would be a stretch.

Why we like it

  • Budget-priced inflatable kayak
  • Perfect for recreational use
  • Spacious enough for four people (Two adults, two kids)
  • Tough nylon material
  • Easy to inflate
  • Can fit a trolling motor easily
  • Can be deflated in 5-10 minutes, folded and stowed away

Things that could be better

All said and done, we do have a few minor grumbles with the Hydroforce Marine Pro.

  • The storage bag could have been way better. It’s just pathetic, even at this price point.
  • The pressure gauge is not the most accurate one that we’ve seen either. Once again, that’s not a deal breaker.

Final thoughts

The Hydroforce Marine pro is one of the best investments that we’ve made in the recent past. It was well outlasted inflatable kayaks that cost twice what we paid for it.

And the only grumble we have is that we didn’t buy two of these back then.

If you are looking for a comfortable, roomy, durable and stable inflatable kayak or fishing boat for your family, you’ve just found it.

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The Only Inflatable Boat Guide That You Will Need

Inflatable Boat Guide

How to Choose an Inflatable Boat

It may interest you to know that inflatable boats are the bestselling boats aside from big yachts. In fact, they are so popular that people even use them when going for fishing trips in lakes, and in addition, they are very portable. However, the problem is, inflated boats can be a mixed blessing at most – their best aspect is their buoyancy in water, portability, their combination of the freedom of compact powerboats with the ease of marine multi-tools, and their running costs, which you can compare to those of a pet gerbil. The worst part about them is that they are lumpy, heavy, smelly, and space-occupying things that just sit all day in your garage storage. In this straightforward inflatable boat guide I will tell you what you should be looking for, for your particular needs and try to answer all of your questions.

You can easily become irritated at the space these things occupy, and you can even want to get rid of them – this is completely understandable. However, remember that they make great tools, as long as you choose them wisely. There are plenty of drawbacks, for example trying to figure out where you can stow the boat, getting somewhere to store its fuel tank (which smells bad, by the way), or finding enough space to carry the boat when it is fully puffed up with air. Another concern is the weight bulkiness – and truth be told, inflatable boats can be heavy and more difficult than you think. You also expect the elements to bully your boat once you are in the water, especially when the wind is strong.

Despite these downsides, there are plenty of valid reasons to love the inflatable. In fact, when you look at it critically, you will realize that the issues have less to do with the boat itself, and more to do with the owner’s poor buying decisions. I have put together a review article about the best inflatable boats. These boat will have everything that you want in them but I still recommend reading this article in its entirety before making a purchase.

With everything to consider, it can be a very important question of how to choose an inflatable boat. When choosing this important item, consider the following factors to help you in your choice.

Hypalon versus PVC

All the inflatable boats you will get are composed of two materials – either from Hypalon or from PVC. The main tradeoff, in this case, is the durability versus the price.

PVC boats are very popular because of their lightweight nature and easy portability. You can fold them easily after use, and the recent development in polymer manufacture have resulted in strong quality modern PVC. Some PVC boats come with intricately woven threads, and the manufacturer uses denier to measure these threads. Higher rating means the threads are stronger but do not just look at this aspect – pay attention to the nature of the weave.

Tightly woven threads, such as 6×6 per cm, as opposed to 3×3 per cm, prove to be more resilient in their structure. The drawback to PVC boats is their vulnerability to extended sunlight, humidity, and heat. Hypalon boats, in contrast, are heavy, very strong and costly fabric.

If you want a boat that is heavy-duty, Hypalon boats are a better option than a PVC boat. Therefore, your intended use should inform the choice of boat you go for, not just your budget. If you want a boat that can serve you regularly, then go for Hypalon boats. If you want boats that serve you occasionally while retaining their compact and portable nature, then a PVC boat is the better option.

Rigid stacks versus air decks

One feature you will notice on all inflatable boats is that they come with either rigid floors constructed from interlocking aluminum or plywood, or high pressure, inflatable ‘air decks’. This will ultimately influence the net weight of the boat.

If you want a more forgiving ride experience, an easily portable boat, or a simple assembly process, then a high-pressure air floor is the best. If you want higher operating speed with less flex and higher structure rigidity, and more effective use of power, then go for a hard deck boat. A cautionary measure, however: rigid deck slats tend to trap unwary fingers and injure you more frequently.

RIB choices

RIB is an acronym for Rigid Bottom Inflatables. They provide you with many advantages – they have improved performance levels, they have better sea keeping ability, and they have unlimited size and style choices. The drawback is that they are more costly than simpler inflatables.

Their portability is not so contrasting to fiberglass boats of similar sizes, so this makes them very intriguing. In fact, if you are thinking of purchasing a RIB boat, here are some pointers to help you make a good choice.

  • The deck must be able to shed water efficiently
  • The boat must have proper support and protection on its helm
  • It should have an area for dry storage
  • The grabbing points need to be well-0positioned and strong
  • The boat should have non-slip surfaces, both on its tube tops and underfoot
  • The seating space should be sufficient for its intended use
  • Decent reserves of power for watersports need to be available
  • The build quality must be high and has a standard finish
  • Payload needs to be sufficient for both equipment and passengers
  • It should equal or surpass your expectations on the water

Extra assets

You may not have all the money in the world to splash on an inflatable boat. However, even with an entry-level budget, there are accessories that every boat should have. A set of oars, pump, carry bag, seats, repair kit and lifting points are essential and must be part of your buying price. I have purchased most of my accessories on Amazon and they can be found here.

Aside from these, features you should look out for include multiple air chambers – these will serve you well in emergencies, and inflatable thwart for added strength. Inflatable keels enhance directional stability, while optional tabs and fins improve the boat handling.

When you need to move the boat up and down beaches and docks, you will require a set of wheels. If you want a small outboard, think about purchasing electric power – it is more efficient in transport and storage, not to mention, it is cleaner than using fuel. Regardless of the outboard type you choose, extended tillers help in shifting your weight forward to enable easier rides.

Our pick for the best inflatable boat brand: Intex Recreation Corp. The brand has some impressive Hypalon and PVC boats, all renowned for their durability and function. They also make other inflatable items like pools, beds, toys and many more. They have ten varieties of boat types, and regardless of the one you ultimately pick, they will all serve you well for a long time.

Inflatable Boat Versus Regular Boat (rigid boats)

On the surface, a boat is just a boat. However, these two types differ from each other in many ways, and we will explain these differences in various aspects.

Coastguard certificates: Normally, inflatable boats do not have certifications from the Coastguard. This is because they lack specific testing protocol, so their ratings are arbitrarily determined and set by the manufacturer. Regular boats, however, require extensive testing and certification from the Coastguard. They are subject to very strict standards, such as weight capacity tests to five times the rated capacity level, and then loaded and tested for weight stability.

Weight: inflatable boats are surprisingly heavy, considering their size. For example, a simple looking 10” inflatable can weigh up to 450 lbs. when you add an item like a 30hp motor, as well as a few options like seats, it can approach close to 700lbs. regular boats, however, have weight limits. A normal boat, for example, can weigh a little over 355lbs. if you add a 30hp motor and a few other options, the boat can weigh close to 600lbs.

Build: all inflatable boats excluding RIBs are deflectable for storage. Regular boats, however, use a fiberglass construction process with no wood. They can use yacht quality hardware and hull to stabilize the construction, in addition to high-quality marine sealants to further make the boat waterproof.

Stability rating:  the boat becomes slippery when it gets wet, so inflate walk-around boats fully for maximum safety.  Regular boats have non-skid floors. They also have safety stands on their gunwale to add egress and ingress.

Floating: For inflatables, their ribs often have many air chambers, but these can let you down when one of them punctures and deflates. For regular boats, they instead have standard, closed-cell chambers that the coast guard approves. These allow for floatation even when loaded with items or people.

Ride:  Inflatable boats need a larger horsepower motor, and the tubes need proper inflation to ride on the water smoothly and track adequately. Regular boats are easier to plane and have a straight track line with smoother rides.

Storage:  inflatables lack storage facilities, though they can offer you a bow locker. Regular boats come with a lot of storage, including both a bow locker and tubes. For example, the boat can have more than 12 cubic feet of storages space.

Dryness: inflatable boats get wet easily, so it is part of the experience. Regular boats do not get wet easily.

Maintenance levels: To take care of inflatable boats, keep the pump close by, and the tubes need protection from the sun. Any leaks should be quickly fixed, and watch out for sharp objects and organisms like barnacles. Regular boats are very easy to maintain, only needing some waxing and washing.

Performance:  Inflatables usually lumbers onto a plane, while they have uneven motion at high speeds. Their movements are somehow predictable because they bounce like balls in bumpy water. Regular boats are easier to navigate, even in bumpy water. They have a nimble motion and take bumps in stride.

Safety levels: For inflatables, they are very good at promoting safety – that is until the air chambers puncture and deflate then start leaking. This means that you have to wait until you get help because the boat cannot move. For regular boats, they are Coastguard certified and go through numerous stability tests before they approve. This means you do not need to worry about your safety, and as long as the motor is functional, you can head home.

Comfort: the seating in inflatable boats is adequate, and the ride is comfortable, though it is wet. Regular boats have comfortable, well-designed seating, and the ride is dry.

Quality of design: Many inflatable boats have a good quality of construction, and are highly good and durable quality. The major issue though, is that the product has various flaws. Their life expectancy is usually around ten years. As for regular boats, the design is of yacht quality, with no sparing of expenses – and the life expectancy lasts for about forty years.

Customized colors: a majority of manufacturers of inflatable boats only offer you one boat color, so there is not much variety in this area. They also provide you with cushions, fuel tanks and lights, though the basic structure does not allow you to do much. Regular boats, however, tend to have varieties in customization, and you can purchase them in any color you want.

Gel coating: RIB inflatables use a gel coat on their fiberglass portion of their rigid hulls, while regular boats use superior, durable and UV-resistant fiberglass finish.

Hardware:  The tubes and the hardware of inflatable boats are together. Regular boats use yacht quality stainless steel throughout the boat structure, secured further by using backing plates.

The interior: inflatable boats are somewhat narrow because of the narrow shape of their tubes. These intrude on the floor width and the floor space ends up cluttered with unnecessary gear due to lack of enough storage. Regular boats, on the contrary, have big interior storages, thanks to their flat vertical interior gunwales that increase the interior width by 4 to 6 inches.

Warranty: inflatables have warranties usually lasting between 5 to 10 years, while regular boats have warranties of up to 5 years, which are typically no-hassle.

How to Inflate an Inflatable Boat

Learning how to inflate an inflatable boat both easily and quickly can help you in emergencies, as well as save your life. There are various options for inflation, and this will largely depend on the boat size. For example, if you have a small boat, you can inflate it by using your mouth, though this will not be efficient for larger boats. Here are some other examples:

Using pumping equipment

If the thought of blowing air into the boat with your mouth were unappealing, an alternative option would be to use a compressor or an inflation device. Air compressors will need power supplies, so this option is only suitable if power is available to you. The air compressor should inflate the boat quickly without requiring you to blow it up yourself.

There are several pump options that you can use to inflate the boat, which includes:

  • Hand pumps – this is a cylindrical-shaped pump that blows air into the boat. It comes in two varieties – single action pumps and double action pumps.
  • If you go with double action pumps, these push the air in on the up and down stroke. Single action pumps on the other hand, only push air during down strokes. The pumps come with inflate and deflate function on their handles.
  • Foot pumps – these are smaller than hand pumps, making it favorable for both storage and transport purposes. It works in a similar way to single-action hand pumps, which only push air in during down strokes. They also come with inflating and deflating functions. They are good for people with back issues because they do not require you to bend over while using them.
  • 12-Volt electric pumps – these are mostly used when the power point of your car provides the power. They are the easiest and quickest solution because there is no effort required on your part. The only thing to them is that you need to put in a small amount of effort, as they cannot fully inflate the boat on their own. Use them in conjunction with hand or foot pumps to inflate the boat to recommended levels. I use this electric pump from Amazon because I got sick of the hand pump that my boat came with.

Note that it is very easy to overinflate and damage your boat when using an electric pump. If you are using it for inflation, you must stop before the boat gets full inflation, then use your mouth or the hand or foot pump to finish the job.

Use airbags

Unless you own a pack raft, you will not see an airbag. Packrats usually have it because it is light and compact. It is essentially a large bag, open at one end and has a connector at the other end. What you do is take the bag and pull it through the air until full.

Once the bag is full, close the open end by gathering it together, and then you attach the connector to the inflation valve of the boat so that it allows air into the vessel. Once the airbag and valve area connected, squeeze the air into the chamber. Repeat the process until you inflate the boat completely.

This method is very good because the bag is very light, so it is good in cases of backcountry use. It is also convenient for trips where a pump or air compressors are prohibitive in weight.

Before you start on the boating adventure, make sure the boat is in top shape. You do not want incidences of being stuck in your journey before you begin, just because something went wrong with the boat.

  • Open all the valves on the boat
  • In case your boat has multiple valves, choose one to start checking and inflate them to recommended pressure levels.
  • Move to the next valve and reiterate the process, until all valves are okay.
  • Once this is over, double-check the boat. Check that each chamber is full – after all, you do not want the boat to tip over – and make sure the boat can stay steady in the water.
  • Inflate the thwarts and cover each port with their individual covers.
  • Check all the sections in the boat, ensuring you do not miss any sections.
  • When this is over, your boat is now ready to sail, so you can now set up the oars. Have a spare set for safety reasons.

Tips for checking the boat

If you want to ensure that the air pressure remains stable, here are a few pointers:

  • When the boat is fully inflated, take it to water and put it for a few minutes. After you retrieve the boat, check the air pressure and add some more if required. This is because water temperatures can affect the air pressure, making it less dense. This step will, therefore, prevent dangerous situations from occurring.
  • If you are using the boat in high-temperature weather, keep in mind that the pressure of air will increase as air expands. Therefore, check the pressure after every few hours, and release some air if the pressure is above recommended levels.
  • If using the boat in cold weather, the air pressure drops because the air contracts, this will lead to loss of air in the boat, so bring a pump along with you so you can increase the pressure when required. Again, check the pressure after every few hours
  • Once everything has been checked you’re good to launch your inflatable boat

Are Inflatable Boats Safe?

This question is a frequently asked one, and this is understandable since many people are concerned about the safety of these boats mainly because they easily puncture on sharp items. The good thing is, inflatable boats are similar to traditional boats in terms of safety, and you do not have to worry too much about them. In some instances, they may be safer than traditional boats. Here are some reasons why.

They are unsinkable

Inflatable boats have separate tubes, which are actually separate air chambers. If one of them accidentally punctures and deflates, the craft is still buoyant because of the air in the other tubes. However, do not use this as a reason not to take safety precautions. Here is a great guide on picking the right life vest which is something that everybody should have.

More bounce

The valve tubes are oversize, so the boat becomes quite buoyant on water and floats very easily. It is therefore difficult to capsize it, thanks to its low center of gravity. Some modern boats do not have the buoyancy that inflatable boats have, and tend to sink when they hit obstacles such as rocks.

Inflatable boats are easier to enter the water

The problem with some traditional boats is that they capsize easily when you try to board from the water. Inflatable boats do not have the same problem, so swimmers can board them from the side.

The US Coastguard uses inflatable boats

The US Coast Guard is the ultimate organization that knows inflatable boat safety. The military and emergency personnel also use them to move around, as do rescue craft operators.

All kinds of water activities are fun because they allow you to experience nature and the outdoor form a new perspective. The element has a refreshing effect to our senses, and thanks to more affordable boats, water sports such as white water rafting and canoeing.

Nevertheless, remember that water is still a powerful force of nature, and you cannot control it easily. You should, therefore, take certain precautions when dealing with inflatable boats. Some of these are:

  • Make sure that you have all the necessary equipment before you leave the port. These items include floatation jackets (I use this one from Amazon), flashlights, handheld radios, paddles, and maps.
  • Inform someone of your planned schedule, the names of people with you and the planned time.
  • Have confidence in your boating skills – if you are not knowledgeable on your inflatable’s operations, do not attempt to go on your own.
  • Take a boat safety course to increase your knowledge about navigation
  • Make sure you are familiar with water regulations in your area or get in touch with local authorities who can brief you.
  • If you have passengers on the boat, explain the safety regulations to them and have someone to assist you. Part of this involves wearing life jackets and sitting down while the boat is moving.
  • You should not operate a boat when you are unwell or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Ensure that the switch lanyard of the boat is functioning properly.
  • Ensure you know the amounts of fuel you need – you do not want an embarrassing situation of being stuck in the middle of the sea without fuel.

How to Attach a Motor to Your Inflatable Boat

Ah, boat motors. The simplest boat motors will only require you to set them on the boat transom and then tighten the clamps.

If only it was that easy!

You end up with many questions – what if it is too low, how do you tell when it is too low, or what if you long shaft motors but you want or need short shafts? Here is a comprehensive guide on inflatable boat motors (trolling motors) that I have written.

If you are making use of a standard inflatable boat motor system, you need to consider some factors.

Get the height of the motor right

You may think that short shaft motors go with boats that have short shaft motor designs, right? The truth is it does not work out this way. This is because it is vital that you adjust a motor to the ideal height.

If your motor is too high for the shaft, ventilation occurs and there is decreased thrust power. If the motor is too low, there is decreased momentum, more splash, and more difficult steering.

A general rule is that the ideal position of the anti-cavitation plate on your motor should be 2.5 centimeters or one inch below the bottom of the boat’s hull. You may find that it is better to raise or lower your motor because you may find your propeller works easier in that position.

Motor tilt angles

You need to adjust the tilt of your motor according to the sea conditions and the motor’s weight. When heading out to a head on the sea, you should tilt your motor inwards or place it a negative trim position, that is, at the first or second hole of the tilt pin. This will push the bow down. You can also want to move the weight in your boat towards the bow.

In a following sea, you want to push the motor outwards, or on a positive trim, that is the third or fourth hole on the tilt pin. This will push the bow upwards. You can also move some weight towards the stem of the boat for added stability.

How fast can you go?

An important point to note: just because your motor produces high amounts of thrust power, it does not mean it will move faster. In fact, more thrust motors of seemingly high power can end up being less efficient than a less powerful motor.

A rule of thumb – 12V trolling motors are for bigger boats that gave larger load amounts. The maximum speeds trolling motors can achieve is 5mph, regardless of how much thrust power they have.

The trolling motor is going to steer your boat, and it is very easy to install. For my inflatable boat, I use this motor which can be found on Amazon. This motor has been great to me so far and it can handle lakes with no problem. Additionally, it is a pretty quiet motor and comes with a great warranty. I have also written some reviews of the best trolling motors here.

Here is a breakdown of the installation procedure:

Tools: wrench kit with needles and pins, screwdriver, drill machine

Steps

  • The boat has two sides – the starboard side and the port. You can actually mount the motor at any side, depending on where the steering is. If you are steering from the port side, the starboard side is your mount base. If you are steering from the starboard side, the port is where you place the motor.
  • Remove the screws that secure the panels and detach the plates. Within that area are the mount holes.
  • Assemble the motor parts. You need to fix the motor to the shaft, and the head assembly to the mount. This and the motor are together, and place the motor in a stand position and keep the bow parallel to the side.
  • Fix the shaft to the boat center. When the trolling motor is in use, you can find out drifting and steering problems from this point.
  • Position the mount’s front accordingly, after clearing the bow tip. This can differ among motors, but all of them require a flush position, and you should not alter it more than one inch in any case.
  • The trolling motor head and its positions will undergo checks later, and it must nit overhand on the side of the boat. If it does, you then check the position twice. If it is still in a hanging position, you will need to break the motor head. The final mark point should be the boat size, and the motor must perfectly fit the boundaries of your boat.
  • The next step is to drill some holes; at least two pilot sized ones. If you can find someone to help you hold the mount, it is even better. This ensures the mount is steady and does not shift to another position. The screws at the drilled holes can fix the motor, and you can drill the other holes easily without the tension of motor shifts. Once you get to this point, you can remove the shaft or the motor head to make drilling easier.
  • Fix the bottom part of the bow with the screws, which steadies the position of the mount. You can now fix the side plates of the boat.

How to Attach an Anchor to an Inflatable Boat

You may not realize it, but it is essential to set up your inflatable boat anchoring system early so that you can use it in case of emergencies. In cases of adverse weather conditions or maintaining fixed positions, you need two anchors. Inflatable boats are easier to anchor than traditional boats because of weight differences.

The first thing to find out is the type of anchor you want, and you can know this by the following criteria:

  • The type of inflatable boat you have
  • The water conditions you will experience
  • Where you want to use the boat
  • The bottom type

When you choose your anchor, also keep in mind the correct anchor weights you need. A general guideline is that for every 3 meters of your boat length, an anchor that is at least 1% of your boat weight should support it. Bigger boats require less support than smaller boats. For my inflatable boat, I use this anchor from Amazon, which has always worked very well for me.

You should also get some shackles with your anchor since proper chains increase the effectiveness of the anchor by 1.5 to 2 times. Look for stainless steel or galvanized chains – you do not want it rusting and transferring rust to the boat.

Here are some steps to follow when anchoring.

  • Select the best anchor for the conditions you want to fish in.
  • Attach the chain. It should be strong enough to withstand friction from the substrate
  • Ensure that the length of the rope you are using is long enough to cope with strain and protects you from the impact of waves and wind.
  • Work out the type of bottom you are over as well as the water depth.
  • Using this information, choose the best anchor and chain length you need, and secure the chain on the anchor.
  • Adjust the bow of your boat to the direction of wind or currents
  • Once you are satisfied, put the engine into neutral and slowly lower the anchor in the water. You can set the anchor by slightly reversing the boat.
  • Choose some points as landmarks – these will alert you if you are drifting.
  • Here is a more in depth guide on how to anchor your inflatable boat

How to Fish from Inflatable Boats

Inflatable boats can seem like delicate things – you are afraid that when you place extra weight on them, they will capsize or sink. If you are wondering whether you can fish from such a boat, the answer is yes, you can.

They are actually more advantageous because they have lower operating costs as opposed to hull types, which leads to lower fish costs in the end. The difference here is the convenience an inflatable offers.

The first noticeable thing when you fish in an inflatable is you are above the water, instead of in it. This makes it slightly more challenging to pull fish on board, but it gets easier when making strikes. Inflatables are usually silent and lightweight, which is good for you, as you do not need to announce your presence to potential catches. The process is not different from fishing in a traditional boat, however. If you are going on your adventure solo I would recommend one of these inflatable fishing floats.

How to Clean an Inflatable Boat

Cleaning your boats for storage is very easy, as long as you know what you are doing. Hypalon and PVC boats need similar cleaners and methods to have effective results. Sometimes using the wrong inflatable boat cleaner can destroy the boat because they are more delicate than aluminum or fiberglass boats.

Stay away from products like MEK, solvents, toluene, highly alkaline cleaners (any cleaner with pH levels higher than 11.5), ammonia, acetone, bleaches, abrasive scrub pads and steel wool. These will all damage or discolor the boat fabric and attack the adhesive quality. Detergents and soaps have sticky residues, also known as scum, which attracts dirt and acts as a conductive base for mildew.

There are specialized products on the market that are good for cleaning inflatables, though you can use a very mild dish soap. You should also rinse the boat after each use thoroughly, or else debris can enter the boat and cause friction or mold may begin developing. Typically, when I clean my inflatable boat I use this product which can be found on amazon for a pretty good price.

How to Repair an Inflatable Boat

If you are losing air in your boat due to punctures or similar circumstances, you want to repair the boat as soon as possible.

  • The working conditions

Ideal repair conditions are a dry, shaded and well-ventilated area with no naked flames, relative humidity should be less than 60% and temperatures of between 18-25oC.

  • Fabric type

Identify the fabric type of your boat. This will help you select the best adhesive for your boat.

Process

  • Repairs can be either large tears (over 20mm long) or punctures. A patch to the outside of the affected tube can repair punctures, while larger ones need patches both on the inside and outside.
  • Locate the tear on the tube. If unsure of the puncture’s location, apply soapy water to the inflated tube, observe any bubbles forming at the puncture, and dry the area after marking it out.
  • Prepare the patch. Cut a fabric patch with rounded corners that allow a five cm overlap around the hole, put the patch over the hole and mark around it with a marker.
  • For Hypalon patches, abrade the patch rear and the marked repair area on the tube with abrasive paper to get a key for the adhesive. Do not over-abrade – this can damage the material.
  • Clean the patch rear and the repair zone using a lint-free cloth that has either acetone or MEK solvent. Wait until the solvent evaporates, then clean the area.
  • Mask the repair zone on the tube using removable masking tape to prevent overspills when applying the adhesive.
  • Mix the rib store adhesive according to the instructions. Apply at least two coats, leaving each coat for 20 minutes to dry. Once it dries, you can carefully place the patch to the area and leave until it dries and becomes tacky. This repair kid on Amazon has helped me in the past.
  • Before launching the boat, leave the repairs for at least 24 hours to set.

Wrap up

Inflatable boats can seem like a lot of work – which they can be – but as long as you take care of them, they will be reliable for many years to come, and will not let you down. With everything to consider, Here are my best inflatable boat picks! Let me know in the comments section what you think!

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What is the Best Inflatable Boat Brand?

What is the Best Inflatable Boat Brand?

Best Inflatable Boat Brand of 2018

Yearning to take your family for a fishing expedition by the lake? Choosing an inflatable boat would be a great idea. If you do some research, you will find out that the market offers all kinds of inflatable boats for different reasons. Some are used for pleasure while others are used for business. You can also use a small inflatable boat in case there is an emergency by the lake.

There are different models from different brands that you can choose from. Such brands include:

  • Intex
  • Flex boat
  • Zodiac
  • Walker Bay
  • AB inflatables
  • Advanced Elements
  • The Creek Company

Despite the fact that there are so many varieties to choose from, Intex brand is among one of the best inflatable boat brands that you will definitely like. Reasons why you should choose this brand are discussed below. First, we will look at a brief history of Intex brand so that you can understand how far they have come and if they have a future.

Intex Inflatable Boat Brand

Intex Company is a global leader in making inflated boats catering for all your sailing needs. With over 40 years of service, they keep on receiving praises and high ratings for quality inflated boats.  Over the years, this company has gradually grown from manufacturing water sports products that include inflatable boats, pool boats, marine boats, lake boats and kayaks.

Having started by the name Wet Set, this company rebranded its name at later stages to Intex. Beach ball was the first inflatable item that they ever produced. They continued progressing by incorporating specific technology in manufacturing their inflatable boats which makes them produce unique boats with high performance.

Their creativity in borrowing ideas from previous produces is what has led them to be a world recognized company providing you with the best inflatable boats. If you were worried about their credibility, with this background, you can now purchase a model from intex confidently knowing that you are buying from the best.

Further reasons why you should choose Intex brand

Strong material in manufacturing

Models from these brand are made from laminated Vinyl, high molecular PVC which is super tough to prevent your inflatable boat from abrasion, strong sunrays and high impacts. You also do not need to worry about sailing on salty water since the material protect the metallic parts of your inflatable boat from rusting.  Your boat is therefore durable to let you experience years of nothing but fun.

Affordability

Compared to other brands, Intex brand provides models putting into consideration your budget. It is easy to purchase a pocket friendly model from intex brand. Even the big size intex models are cheaper than other brands.

Compact and foldable models

Intex brand models inflate and deflate easily without giving you a hard time when you are worn out from your trip and ready to pack. Once you are done for the day, easily fold back your inflatable boat and put it at the back of your track without much effort.

Spacious inflatable boats

Models from Intex provide you with enough space for you and other family members to fit depending on the intex model. For instance an intex mariner 4 would accommodate you and three other friends perfectly for you to spend you weekend relaxing on an island. You can also carry around everything that you need to have fun on a boating trip.

Safety

Intex brand pays keen attention in producing inflatable boats that have passed the best safety standards. Therefore, you can be sure that by buying such models, you are not at any serious risk that can be caused by an important part malfunctioning. Further product testing done by intex employees should assure you that buying inflated boats here is the best decision you ought to make.

Other sets of accessories

Unlike other brands, intex provides you with a set of accessories such as paddles and pumps making it convenient so you don’t have to go looking for extra accessories to be able to paddle your inflatable boat.

Unique features and specifications

Features such as I beam floor in the models improves rigidity while at the same time making you more comfortable. Models from intex brand are equipped with air chambers and valves to make your bought buoyant while at the same it enhancing safety for your inflatable boat to stay afloat. You can attach the adjustable seats to make you more comfortable. Rod holders and gear pouches are also featured in intex inflatable boats. If you are planning to have fish for lunch on your adventure, fishing rods provided by this brand will come in handy. The rods let you fish easily from the comfort of your seat without straining.

Categories of Intex Inflatable Boats

Depending on what kind of a sailor you are, intex inflatable boats are categorized into two. You could be a professional sailor or one that uses boats for recreational purposes. These categories are referred to as:

Professional series boat

Models in this category are designed for high performance since this type involves serious sailing. The models are constructed to last longer compared to sports series boats since they cover longer distances every day. If you are a pro at sailing, go for a professional series boat that you can use for years.

Sports series boat

For those who use inflatable boats once in a while going fishing or just to relax by another beach, an intex sports series boat would be the most ideal. Such boats are fitted with unique accessories for your recreation.

Some examples of models from Intex brand include:

Intex mariner 4 inflatable boat

Have you always planned to go for a cruise with your best friends but do not know which inflatable boat to take you there? Go for an intex mariner 5 inflatable boat and bring your 3 best friends with you. Unfolding this model is an easy process that you can handle by your own. The Boston valves will help you pump air into your boat for fast inflation. You however need is some assistance from your friends to carry it near the shore before takeoff.

Intex Company has manufactured this model with your needs in mind. A rock guard along the hull is placed to protect your inflatable boat from impacts in case you accidentally hit a rocky surface. A unique feature that you won’t find in other brands is an inflatable keel inside this model. This improves tracking while sailing along strong waves.

The mariner 4 inflatable boat also contains oar locks and oar holders to provide you with a strong grip so that your paddles do not fall in water. If you are small sized, worry not because unlike other brands, paddling with this model does not strain you or leave you feeling completely exhausted at the end of you camp. Retain your strength by choosing an intex mariner 4 inflatable boat.

 

Intex challenger 2 inflatable boat

Looking for a pocket friendly inflatable boat that does not compromise on quality? Go for this intex brand model and save some few notes to buy a unique sea creature at the other side of the island. Bring out a loved one for a romantic adventure along this two seater intex brand model. If you are not an experienced sailor, this inflatable boat will teach you all the basics you need to know without having to worry about breaking the bank.

Fitted with a 3 air chamber, you can still rely on it even when one piece accidentally breaks. Intex Company designs the inflatable boat for you to train along calm water. You can easily use the carry handle and the bow to give you better performance as you sail across a river. This model also lets you utilize some extra features such as a repair kit and an intex hand pump.

 

Intex Seahawk 4 inflatable boat

Intex Company constructs this model with durable materials that make the boat flexible so that you can fold and unfold it easily. If you are looking for a thrilling adventure across waves, fit a motor into this model and enjoy sailing in super speeds with family members.

Your young ones may feel hungry along the way. The built in gear pouch provides you with room to carry some snacks for your kids so that they don’t suffer on a long trip across the ocean.  Use the rod holders to catch some of the biggest fish from deep ends without tripping since Intex Company ensures that this inflatable boat can hold your weight since with a maximum weight capacity of 1,050Ibs. Intex Seahawk 4 inflatable boat also comes with extra aluminum oars and high output pump to make you as comfortable as possible.

Final Thoughts

Staying true to their word, such models from intex brands are a clear indication that this brand manufactures their products putting into consideration all that you may need while sailing. Their customer support is excellent providing you with instant feedback when you need it. Also, your inflatable boat from Intex comes with an elegant packaging that leaves you impressed with your purchase. You can easily order any intex brand model online and wait for a free delivery from the comfort of your home.

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What Is The Best Anchor For An Inflatable Boat?

What Is The Best Anchor For An Inflatable Boat?

Whether you enjoy fishing on sandy, grassy or rocky bottoms, the folding grapnel fishing anchor is just what you need for your inflatable boat. Since fishing takes some time, you need to be comfortable enough to catch some lunch from the sea without interference caused by using an ineffective inflatable boat anchor. If you are embarking on a fishing competition, a good anchor will keep your inflatable boat in check so that you can concentrate on your game.

The best anchor for an inflatable boat should be a self-contained anchor that comes with all the necessary accessories to hold your inflatable boat in place even when the conditions of the sea may not be very friendly. Folding grapnel fishing anchor is a true definition of a good anchor for any inflatable boat. Wondering why? Below are some of the features of this inflatable boat anchor.

Features of Folding Grapnel Fishing Anchor

Best Anchor For An Inflatable Boat

Its compact design

This inflatable boat anchor is made from galvanized iron and 4 fluke grapple design. Choosing grapnel fishing anchor prevents you from the hustle of always looking for lubrication oils to apply on rusty surfaces of your anchor because the finishes of your anchor are well protected. The high quality material used does not rust even when you take your inflatable boat on salty water for a while. Grapnel fishing anchor does not flake off easily even after years of using it. This prevents you from constant replacements that makes you spend when using mushroom anchors.

Accessories

Buying this inflatable boat anchor gives you a wide range of accessories that come with it. You therefore end up spending less buying an all in one anchor which provides everything that your need for your inflatable boat. Some of the accessories of a folding grapnel fishing anchor include:

  • Polypropylene rope
  • A nylon bag
  • A float
  • A buoy ball
  • Stainless steel hook

Each accessory is well designed to make your sailing comfortable. For instance the rope is made from polypropylene making it strong enough for durability purposes. It is also 40ft long to handle large diameters for you to fish conveniently for further distances. This rope is long enough to sit at an angle of your inflatable boat. You do not need a short rope that does not cover a wide area because such an inflatable boat anchor would make you strain as you try catch fish faster from a good spot.

You are provided with a durable nylon bag that gives you enough room to contain your inflatable boat anchor and its line. This makes it easy for you to transport and store your accessories without wondering where to take all the things that come with it. While going on a long trip, you need lots of space to stretch and carry other useful tools. Your stowage bag also prevents it from rolling around your inflatable boat when you are not using it. The nylon material is strong enough so you never have to worry about it tearing down due to excess weight of your accessories. It is also padded to dampen noise as you store your anchor.

Stainless steel hook and a buoy ball are also featured in a folding grapnel fishing anchor in cases where you need to disconnect for instance when you have spent hours on your boat and need to take a rest.

Weight

A folding grapnel fishing anchor is neither too heavy nor too light. You will not strain moving it around during storage. It is not so much light such that you are limited to fishing only small sizes creatures. This inflatable boat anchor does not limit you due to its weight. You can conveniently fish while standing on your inflatable boat knowing that it provide you with the necessary support that you require while fishing. Its weight enables it to hold well in steady currents and strong winds of up to 15 mph.

Flexibility

The fact that the inflatable boat anchor is flexible makes it more efficient than using mushroom anchors. Folding on its own, the fishing anchor does not occupy any space on your kayak. When folded, this inflatable boat anchor is 12in × 3 in making it convenient for you to store it in your inflatable boat.

Usage

It is a 3.5lb folding anchor that gives you multi functional use due to its simplicity. So, how do you use a folding grapnel fishing anchor? You can start by raising the sliding collar. The 4 flukes should be open to enable you to slide your collar at the bottom of your anchor and twist. You finally need to lock the flukes that you open so that you set your anchor in position. Use the sliding rings with slots to help you lock the fingers in position. Attach the trap line using the extra eye lines provided to increase stability. Ensure that you utilize as much rope as you can so that as to create a good horizontal drag on the surface of a lake or an ocean. Handle the anchor line with care on oyster beds

Other benefits of using this inflatable boat anchor

  • It retrieves easily and quickly
  • Made to sink easily
  • The storage bag comes with a carrying handle increasing portability
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Contain flukes for easy storage
  • It is an affordable anchor.

Final Thoughts

Going for heavy and big anchors for an inflatable boat will interfere with your fishing activity with every blow of wind that cuts across the sea. You don’t need an anchor that keeps on drifting away in the current blowing you off a good fishing spot.

If you a going for a long distance float trip, a folding grapnel fishing anchor is a good option that you ought to consider. It is compact enough to stay in place as you desire. Embarking on an ocean without a good anchor for your inflatable boat may be risky. Protect your inflatable boat from strong waves by choosing a folding grapnel fishing anchor. Here is how you can anchor your inflatable boat while on the water.

 

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Are Inflatable Boats Good for Fishing?

Are Inflatable Boats Good for Fishing?

Are inflatable boats good for fishing? The answer is yes. In fact, you may be surprised to find out that they may actually be better than other drift boats.

Having an inflatable boat can be far more rewarding. There’s the satisfaction of knowing that you can easily carry your boat with you in the trunk of your car. Recently, there has been a trend of using inflatable boats for fishing. Manufacturers have even gone ahead and come up with inflatable boats that are specifically designed for fishing.

In this article, I will highlight some of the advantages of using an inflatable boat for fishing as well as additional useful information on the same. For a more general inflatable boat guide, check out this article.

Advantages of Using An Inflatable Boat for Fishing

  1. Carry your boat with you wherever you go

Inflatable boats are quite easy to carry around. As I have mentioned above, you can easily deflate it and carry it in the trunk of your car. This means that you will not have to worry about the safety of your boat.

What’s more, they are way cheaper than other boats. If you are a fishing enthusiast and do not have enough money to get a boat, you can simply purchase an inflatable boat designed for fishing. This way, you can go fishing as often as you wish without worrying about renting a boat.

  1. Unlimited access to fishing zones

The thing about inflatable boats is that they are extremely lightweight. This means that while using them to fish, you are able to navigate to the untouched areas of your favorite river or lake. You are also able to navigate through narrow passageways as you fish.

The inflatable boats are also very portable. You can easily carry them over logs and fences to avoid the crowded and overfished areas. Unlike other fishing rafts, inflatable boats can float even in shallow waters. This allows you to access all fishing areas in whatever water body you are fishing at.

  1. Do not worry about rowing experience

With other rafts, you will certainly have to work on those oars for you to keep floating. This is, fortunately, not the case when it comes to inflatable boats.

Inflatable boats, especially those specifically designed for fishing, are quite easy to maneuver. They are able to float eve in shallow waters all by themselves. Unless you are fishing in really difficult waters, you will not have to worry about rowing your inflatable boat. Then again, you can always attach a trolling motor for ease of use.

  1. You do not need a boat ramp

Using an inflatable boat to fish means that you are now free of launching hassles. Launching the inflatable boat for fishing is easy. You can launch it even in places that do not have boat ramps, unlike the case with other fishing rafts.

This means that having an inflatable boat as your fishing vessel does not limit you to specific areas only. You can fish just about anywhere you would want to, be it your favorite river or the small stream near your cottage in the woods.

  1. Sneaking up on fish is easier

Inflatable boats are extremely quiet, and you can use that to your advantage while fishing. The fact that the inflatable boat is extremely quiet allows you to sneak up on the fish. You will probably get a better catch with the inflatable boats as compared to other rafts.

Choosing what inflatable boat to go fishing with can be a difficult choice. There are so many types of inflatable boats out there. So what do you go for? You will need to first determine what kind of fishing you will be doing before determining what inflatable boat to use. With different kinds of fishing, you will require different kinds of fishing crafts.

For saltwater fishing, a large inflatable sportboat will be your best option. Inflatable sportboats use large motors. The size of the motor you use will depend on how many people are going to be on the boat. Of course, the more people and material you load onto the boat, the more power you will need to propel your inflatable boat.

 

Freshwater fishing allows you a variety when it comes to the type of inflatable boat to use. However, the number of people who will be on the inflatable boat is a factor to consider.

Types of Inflatable Fishing Boats

There are around six types of inflatable fishing boats which are all designed for specific uses.

  1. Float tubes

Float tubes are the most common of the inflatable fishing boats. They are lightweight and very portable. They are also inexpensive making them the go-to option for anyone working on a tight budget. They are great for fishing in remote lakes or smaller water bodies. However, they do not work well in river fishing, especially rivers that have strong currents. Another disadvantage of this type of inflatable boats is that only one angler can use it at a time.

  1. Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats consist of two large air bladders connected together by a metal frame. The angler sits between the two air bladders.

Just like the float boats, pontoon boats are very portable. They are easy to paddle and can be used on both rivers and lakes. However, very few of them are designed for more than one angler. They are also not the best for recreational fishing.

  1. Inflatable fishing kayaks

These are the most versatile of all the inflatable fishing boats. They are easy to paddle on flat water and are ideally best suited for river fishing. If you are planning on going for an overnight fishing expedition, these would work best for you.

Inflatable fishing kayaks come in a variety of designs. However, most of them come with swivel chairs and rod holders. There is also the option to mount a trolling motor onto them.

  1. Inflatable fishing rafts

Inflatable fishing rafts are the most stable of the inflatable fishing boats. You can, therefore, fish while standing in the boat and it would be completely safe. They are the best for recreational fishing and like the inflatable fishing kayaks, they are suitable for an overnight fishing trip. Most of them have a huge weight capacity and allows for two anglers or even more.

  1. Inflatable canoes

These are relatively new in the market. They are designed just like the traditional canoe, only that these are more portable and easier to store. If you love fishing from a canoe, these may be the best option for you.

  1. Inflatable fishing SUPs

These are simply stand-up paddleboards that have been converted for use in fishing. They are best used in lakes and on shallow waters such as ocean bays. They are reasonably lightweight and quite portable. With these boats, you have the option of mounting either a gas or trolling motor. They are relatively stable and can allow you to stand without the fear of capsizing the boat. They are, however, not suitable for rivers with rapids.

Features of a Good Inflatable Boat for Fishing

Although you can use any type of inflatable boat for fishing, manufacturers have come up with some that are specifically designed for fishing. These inflatable boats have certain added features that make it easier for you to fish. When choosing an inflatable boat for fishing, you will certainly have to be on the lookout for some of these features.

Raised seating position

Having the seating position raised on these inflatable boats makes it easier for you to fish while seated. You will not have to strain your back and you can have a look at the waters as you fish.

Ability to stand in the boat

At times, you may want to stand in the boat, perhaps to cast your nets. Inflatable boats that are designed for fishing will allow you to do just that without fear of the boat capsizing.

Addition of rod holders

While you can place your fishing rod anywhere on the boat, inflatable boats for fishing come with holders. You can store your rod on the holder whenever you are not using it.

Built-in storage pouches

Of course, whenever you go out fishing, you will carry with you various fishing gear. The inflatable boats designed for fishing come with a variety of pouches that allow you to put any of your fishing gear that is not in use.

Ability to mount a trolling motor or a gas motor

You may at times want to mount a motor to your boat. Normal inflatable boats may not allow you the luxury to do so. However, with inflatable boats for fishing, you can mount either a trolling or gas motor to it.

 

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Can a Freshwater Trolling Motor be Used in Saltwater?

Freshwater Trolling Motor be Used in Saltwater

Here’s the truth:

Yes, a freshwater trolling motor can be used in saltwater. However, there are many factors to consider both during the trip and after the trip. Below we will outline everything that you need to know. 

Choosing the Right Trolling Motor

Did you know getting into the best fishing spots with minimal noise will boost your chances of catching fish? This is one of the main reasons why trolling motors are used. They are a source of boat propulsion with lots of ease and minimal hand work. Depending on where you need to use your boat, you can purchase the appropriate motor to suit your needs. The main selection for the trolling motors depends on the mode of steering and the water type. Here is a in depth trolling motor guide that I have written.

From possessing fish finders to using high tech GPS advancements, trolling motors have seen improvement and adoption over time by all those who enjoy good sails. Trolling motors are precisely high-tech replacements of an oar.  It is an outboard powered engine meant for more natural boat propulsion.

Trolling motors help in positioning the boat in the best form and spot, and when used for fishing, this angle is best to cast. Based on the control, the motor is classified as foot-control, hand-control or wireless remote control. These motors are further classified to salty water or fresh water motors depending on the water body they are used.

The main difference between the fresh water and salt water motor is the material they are made of. For saltwater use, the motor compartments are made of material that repels corrosion brought by the corrosive properties of the salt water in the ocean. Water type thus plays a critical role in determining which type of motor to get.

What are the difference between saltwater and a fresh water motor?

There are some critical differences between these two motors that one needs to know before purchasing a trolling motor.

Freshwater has a dissolved salt content of less than 1%. The density of the salt is much higher in salt water, but fresh water is not entirely devoid of the salt. Salty water covers about 71% of the earth. From these statistics, it’s clear that in one way or another, the ratio of boaters on salty water vs. fresh water is quite high, so one might end up needing to use their freshwater motor in a brackish water body.

One main difference between the two motors is the sacrificial anode, which is a small metal tab on the bottom. This comes in handy when it comes to the performance and durability of the motor. In salty water, the anode is covered with material to prevent it from rusting easily. Brackish water is highly corrosive, and this covering is used to avoid the motor from rusting easily.

Can a Freshwater Trolling Motor be used in Saltwater?

The answer to this is a yes or no, or somewhat it depends. The main disadvantage of using motors in salty water is that salt corrodes metal and shorten the lifespan of the motor. Salty water trolling motors have some enhancements, meant to suit their use in the high salt density water mass. These include stainless steel hardware, sealed electrical connections and an advanced painting process for improved corrosion protection.  When using the freshwater motor in saltwater, ensure there is a service that is used to match the protective enhancement used in the salty water directly or indirectly.

How to protect a freshwater motor after use in salt water.

Some of the methods below are more permanent than others. The protective method of choice is highly dependent on why you would want to use the fresh water motor in saltwater and for how long.

If it is just for a quick one time sail, then just rinsing the salt off would be appropriate whereas if you want to make a shift to use your boat more in a salty water ocean, a more permanent solution would be preferred.

Run fresh water on the motor after use in salt water

This will help you flush out any remaining salt deposits in the motor

Attach sacrificial nodes to the motor

These are pieces of metal used to prevent corrosion. The anode will corrode such that the motor is spared from the corrosion. Monitor the anode and replace it regularly to protect the engine from rusting.

Never leave the boat submerged in salty water when the boat is moored

For more protection, thoroughly rinse the motor with fresh water after every use in salt water to prevent rusting.

Paint the metal surface

Painting is one way to prevent metal from rusting. You can apply temporary paint on the motor when you want to use it in salt water and can then quickly go back to the previous form of the motor by removing the paint.

Pain, however, is vulnerable to degradation thus one needs to be on the lookout to apply paint whenever it chips out.

Use anodization

Anodization uses electric current giving metal a protective coating which then prevents the metals from corroding. This create a corrosion and rust resistance layer on the metal. This process changes the structure at the top of the service and you can do this if you want to use the fresh motor on saltwater for longer timelines.

Use salt removal sprays

These sprays remove salts and suspend rusting more quickly. It is a refillable pump-spray bottle that is filled with chemicals to minimize the rusting.

There are different types of salt-off sprays that can be sued.

Final thoughts

The decision to use the freshwater motor on salt water is highly dependent on for how long and also if you are willing to go the extra mile of observing the protection to prevent corrosion. This follow up is a bit tasking and one quick solution would be buying the salt water motor instead. You can however just use your fresh water motor on salt water if this is just a one-time thing and quickly follow up with the protective measures.

Go ahead and try one of these protective method if you are looking to spice up your boating or fishing adventures cutting across different water bodies while still maintaining the durability of your motor.

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How to Anchor Your Inflatable Boat

How to Anchor Your Inflatable Boat

While you are out on the water on your inflatable boat, you may need to anchor it for various reasons. For example, the weather may get rough and you may have to sit that one out. You may also experience engine or boat failure. In this case, an anchor will keep you from moving around until you get the issue sorted. Another reason that may require you to anchor your boat is if you are stopping for fishing or you have had enough for the day.

Anchoring your inflatable boat is important and doesn’t have to be an exhausting task. It is, however, important to understand how the entire system works. You need to ensure that you are using a good anchor system. Situations such as rough water conditions will require a strong and sturdy anchor system.

The first thing you need to understand is that there are several anchor systems for the inflatable boats. Which one you choose will depend on a number of factors. For example, what type of inflatable boat do you have? Where do you plan to use it? What water conditions will you encounter? These questions among others will help you choose the right anchor system. A good anchor system should have the anchor, anchor rope, steel chain, and shackles. This is my favorite inflatable boat anchor, which fits all of my needs.

Types of Anchors

While there are many types of anchors, let’s take a look at the most common ones out there.

  • Fisherman anchor

This is by far the most common anchor. Its versatility makes it great to work in various conditions, whether water vegetation or sands and rocks. You will need to take into consideration the size of the flukes if you decide to settle for this.

  • The plow-style anchor

This particular anchor works great with most boats. It plows into the bottom sediment and is great for sand and rocky bottoms.

  • The squid anchor

The quid is well crafted for use especially by small crafts (that includes inflatables). It is very lightweight and easy to use as you fill the bag with materials of your choice. When the bag is full, flukes spread out and increase grip on the waterbed.

  • The mushroom- style anchor

The holding power of this anchor is weak and it should therefore not be used for bigger boats. It is a great choice for silt and fine sand beads. When lowered into the water, the head sinks into the silt creating a suction effect that holds the boat in place.

  • The fluke- style anchor / Danforth

This anchor is in most ways similar to the plow-style anchor. It is, however, more lightweight. It is a great anchor for soft mud or sandy bottoms where the flukes can easily dig into the mud.

  • The grapnel anchor

This anchor is a traditional design and looks like a grappling hook.  It is a great anchor for rocky beds. The prongs get attached to underwater rocks easily. With this anchor, you only need one or two prongs to set to provide firm resistance.

  • The claw anchor

With this anchor, you get an inexpensive option thanks to its simple design. It can be set in most types of sea and water beds. It is quite reliable and moves slowly to align with changes in the current or tide. It also works well with shorter ropes.

 

While choosing the most suitable anchor system, take into consideration the weights of the anchors depending on the size of your inflatable boat. It goes without saying that anchor should be heavier than the boat so as to securely keep it in place. If you are in doubt about which anchor to choose, always go for the heavier one.

How to Anchor Your inflatable Boat

Choose the best anchor

As you have seen, there are different anchors best suited for various water conditions as well as the waterbed. As a precautionary measure, it is good to have at least two types of anchors on the inflatable boat with you. Be sure you are conversant with the anchors and know which one is best for what condition. Depending on the current condition, choose the best anchor.

Ensure you have attached the chain

When it comes to a small inflatable boat, the use of a chain is not required but is highly recommended. Using a proper chain can increase the effectiveness of the anchor.  A stainless or galvanized chain is the best to ensure you do not get rust on your boat. The chain should also be strong enough to withstand any abrasion.

The chain works to provide a weighted section that provides a low pull angle for the anchor. For this reason, make sure the chain is long enough to cope with the heavy strain and cushions the wind and water waves.

Choose your anchor area

The area you choose to drop your anchor must be carefully chosen. Be sure that you are away from boat traffic and that the area provides the most protection from wind and water waves. If you are not in an emergency situation (engine failure) you can also take some time to observe the bottom and depth of the water before setting the anchor.

Choose the length of anchor line that you need

The length of anchor line needed will depend on the bottom you are over and the depth of the water. Once you have determined the length, secure the anchor line at the point you want it to stop to the bow cleat. Your anchor rope should be strong and at least 10 times longer than the water depth below your boat.

Move the bow

When the anchor line is securely in place, you will need to move the bow so that it faces the current or the wind. Do so until you find a suitable spot after which you can put the engine in neutral.

Lower the anchor

When you have stopped the inflatable boat, it is now time to lower the anchor. Lower it slowly into the water. Do not throw the anchor as this could tangle the rope, chain, and anchor and end up being useless.  To set the anchor firmly, reverse your inflatable boat just slightly.

Choose some landmarks

You want to be sure that the boat is not slowly drifting. Look around for some landmarks and occasionally be on the lookout for them to ensure that you are still in the same spot.

A few extra tips:

  • Attach a float to one end of the anchoring rope. This way, you can easily retrieve it if it accidentally falls into the water.
  • You can also add a connected clip to the rope. It will help you not lose your anchor as it ensures the anchor is connected to the boat before you use it.
  • Always make sure you have several anchors of different types on your inflatable boat. Be sure to know which one is best suited for what conditions.
  • In the case of anchoring for bad weather, it is best to use two anchors. It may take a longer time to set up, but the good anchoring will be totally worth it.
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How to Launch an Inflatable Boat

How to Launch an Inflatable Boat

How to Launch an Inflatable Boat: Whether you are using your boat for fishing, day trips to find right swimming spots or even treating your loved ones to dinner on a boat on a warm summer evening, in one way or another you will need to get the boat from dry land into the water.

Before an inflatable boat is launched into the water, it is just a pile of fabric and boards. When assembled, the boards and material are what the inflatable boat becomes. There are different methods to launch a boat into the water and this depends on many factors. It could be determined by the size of the boat, the depth of the waters or generally what option you are seeking to test out as you adventure on the waters.

Inflatable Boat Assembly:

Assembling the inflatable boat is quite easy and involves few steps, which come with a manual on the purchase and can be done at home. There are just a few pieces to put together hence the ease of assembly.

Roll out the boat on a flat inspected surface free of any sharp objects. This is to ensure the sharp objects don’t damage the boat’s fabric.

Locate the boat’s valves. The valves allow air in on one end. The other end is usually capped. The pipes are what provides air into the chambers when inflating the boat.

With the valves located, you can easily pump air into the chambers and soon the inflatable boat will starting taking shape.

Inflating the boat:

Once the parts have been identified and assembled, it is time to inflate the boat, ready for a sail.

Using a hand pump or a shop vac, inflate the boat. This is best done in an area free of dust so that you are not blowing dust into the tubes. Hold the edge of the vac or hand pump tightly on the valve to give enough seal so that air does not escape when pumping.

Inflate up to 70% full so that you getting the floorboards onto the board won’t be difficult. When the chambers are not very tight with air, it will be easier to tuck the floorboard under the edges of the tubes.

Place the paddles on each edge of the floorboards.

After the installation of all these parts, you can now fill your boat with air. You can use a hand help pressure gauge to check the pressure of the valves when pumping the air. Once fully pumped, replace your valve caps to ensure the chambers won’t lose air.

Now you are ready to put on the seats, install the motor and launch the boat into the water.

Mounting the motor involves just placing it well on the transom and tightening up its clamps.

What to Know Before Launching the Boat:

Everyone on board must have a coast guard approved personal flotation device.

Different boat sizes can be launched on different locations. Larger boats will require a boat ramp or well-constructed docks while the smaller boats can just be launched from the shores without needing a ramp and into the water. The choice used to launch the boat depends on the waters into which the boat is being launched into. Deep waters will definitely require a ramp.

Inflatable boats come in different sizes and forms. This gives versatility in the launching process. One of the most preferred advantages of the inflatable boats is that in some, you do not require a ramp or trailer to launch. You can just go ahead and launch your boat off the bank of a river or your favorite water spot.

Depending on the size of the board, some registrations are needed. Larger boats usually need to be registered with the motor vehicle department, and the boating rules and regulations apply

Ensure before launching the inflatable boat

It is permitted in the water mass where you want to launch. For most launches, you will need to obtain a permit through the boat ramp maintenance controllers or own a copy of fishing license if you are starting the boat for fishing purposes.

Using a trailer:

Boat trailers are another way to get the boat into the water. They are mostly used for heavy, rigid inflatable boats that would otherwise be hard to move on the sand using launching wheels. With a proper boat trailer, it is easier to launch and transport the boat back to the car or storage space. The frequent use is having a car tow the trailer to areas near the water body where you want to launch your boat. Make sure the vehicle tow capacity supports both the boat weight and the trailer capacity.

What you need to know about using trailers

Beware of rust

If used on fresh water, there is a minimal worry for rusting as compared to using the trailer on salty water. When using salty water, make sure the trailer is well galvanized or purchase one made of rust-free material. Wash off the trailer with fresh water if you were using it in salty water to protect it from rusting.

Make sure the trailer fits

Trailers have size limits and are designed to carry varying boat sizes. Make sure the boat transom sits well on the deck. The trailer should support the boat capacity. Check the trailer tire pressure frequently.

Using launch wheels:

This is yet another launch option. Way better when you do not need to purchase the slightly bulky trailers. The wheels are easy to set up and in some cases, the boats are purchased together with the launch wheels. If you don’t have any, and want some, here are the best launching wheels for inflatable boats on Amazon.

The wheels are usually attached to the transom of the boat and make it easier to move the boat into the water from dry land. Using the launching wheels, you can move a heavy boat with minimal help on flat grounds and even on moderate slopes. These wheels are made such that they can move the boat even with the weight added by the slightly heavy boat motor.

Make sure you buy wheels that will support the weight of the boat and the motor combined.

The launching wheels are such that they have flip-up design underwater. When you have launched the inflatable boat into the water, fold the wheels and get sailing. Depending on the type of the wheels, you can either flip them up to a fold or remove them entirely. The flipping wheels are a better option as you will not need to reinstall them when you come ashore. The downside of flipping is that the wheels can get in the way while underway and in such a case, the removable launching wheels are a better option

What to check before buying launching wheels:

  • Make sure the wheels are rated for the weight of your boat
  • Check the size of the wheels as this affects how the wheels are used
  • Small diameter wheels are hard to roll across soft surfaces like sand, large diameter wheels turn better on sand so make sure the wheels have a more significant diameter when using fine gravel

Things that will make your boat launching easy:

Boat launch etiquette is a key thing when it comes to launching boats on the boat ramps. There are few rules that boaters need to know when launching the boats so that the process is more straightforward and calm practiced during the launch.

Before getting to the ramp or area near water:

  • Hook up the fuel line to the motor
  • Raise the motor
  • Inspect the ramp. How steep is the slope and how deep is the water
  • Ensure you have practiced reverse driving as most boats launched a boat ramp and with a trailer towed on the vehicle will need this. Practice this beforehand to ensure the vehicle doesn’t end up in the water during the launch.
  • Load up all the equipment before getting to the ramp. This will save everyone’s time as the ramp is a publicly shared space.

While on the launch ramp:

  • Guide the boat well into the water
  • Park vehicle and trailer away from the ramp when you have the boat into the water
  • Have a crew member near the dock to guide you on how to move and position the trailer as you launch the boat into the water.
  • Remove tie downs that secure the boat to the trailer. You can get assistance from a crew member to do this.
  • Slowly back the boat into the water until it starts to float

How to launch a boat alone on the ramp

If you are a single launcher, these are the steps to take while on the ramp:

  • Back boat into the water till it starts to float
  • Release the winch line and use the bow to guide the boat off the trailer
  • Tie the boat to the dock, remove the vehicle from the ramp
  • Pack the car away from the ramp so that you do not block other people who will need to use the ramp after you

Launching the boat with two or more people

If during launch you are two or more people, things even get easier!

One sits in the boat while the other controls the vehicle and the trailer. The other person can just be a potter as you tow the boat into the water and back the trailer down the ramp.

 

It is easier to launch an inflatable boat compared to other boats because it has less capacity compared to the drift boats. Let me know in the comments if this has helped you during your inflatable boat launch!

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What to do if Your Inflatable Boat gets Punctured on Water

What to do if Your Inflatable Boat gets Punctured on Water

What are Inflatable Boats?

Are you looking for a boat you can use for fishing, cruising while on vacation, paddling or even a rescue boat? The inflated boat is the perfect bet for any of the above at both a cost-effective and portability benefit.

Inflatable boats have become the preferred craft for many boaters over time. Starting off as a mere toy, these boats have come a long way and so has their diverse uses. They are excellent and cost-effective and hence their increased popularity.

These boats use inflated tubes for buoyancy and to help them stay afloat. The tubes are filled with pressurized gas making the boat difficult to sink. They come in different sizes and shapes, and one can pick a type depending on the use.

Why Inflatable Boats?

Versatile and diverse use

Unlike the other boats designed to fit a specific function, the inflated boats can be used for different purposes without any difficulty.

Highly portable

Portability sets these boats away from the other rigid boats. They can be deflated for both transportation and storage, and they also take up a small space.

Cost effective and easy to maintain

These boats are cheaper to buy and to maintain. Perfect for when you need a boat for minimal use.

Stable

The inflated boat sits flat on the water surface and maintains stability even on high speed. This is a crucial thing to consider when purchasing a boat as there is reduced chances of capsizing.

What to do if Your Inflatable Boat gets Punctured on Water

Assuming your boat has regular checks and maintenance

Inflated boats are known for their durability. Usually made from high-quality material and are hard wearing even in the harshest of weathers. Routine maintenance is essential if you want to keep the boat in excellent condition for a longer time. Even with excellent support and checks, accidents are still likely to happen and so the need to know how to deal with this, especially if you are in the water.

Punctures and leakages can be very scary especially if you are buried in the water and if they happen accidentally. Though they are scarce, it is advisable to know how to keep the boat afloat and still in movement so that you can finally get to the shores safely. Before you go into the water, it is advisable to do a check on your boat to ensure there are no leakages or any puncture that may cause air to escape from the tubes. Small leakages can be quickly repaired through while more significant problems will need a qualified boat mechanic.

If you are in the water and there is a sudden leak happening in one of the tubes, don’t panic as these boats have several other air chambers that will help keep the boat afloat. It is, however, good to check the extent of the damage and act accordingly.

Emergency repair

Always keep duct tape and a bottle of acetone on your boat at all times. These will come in handy in case you want to do an emergency repair. Leaks from an inflatable boat can be from anywhere, some places are accessible, and others are even hard to spot. If the puncture is in a convenient location, this method of repair comes in handy. The emergency repair while in the water is used for less severe leaks that have very small leakages.

To repair the leak, wipe down the leaking area with acetone and then apply the duct tape. Ensure the seal is tight after which you should pump in air to re-insulate the boat. After this repair, make sure you get back to the shore as you can to do more checks on the boat, monitor the extent of the leakage more and see if the boat is safe to get back into the water.

What if the leak is not accessible and I can’t even spot it?

The boat could be slowly deflating, and you are not able to spot the area where leakage is happening. In such a case, the first step to stop the leak is to find it. This can be very scary while in the water. You can still try to find out the leak spot while bringing the boat ashore, depending on the rate of deflation.

Identify the damage

There are a few ways to look for a leak in a boat. Depending on the area affected. Most interior surfaces of the boat are more accessible to spot leakages from as compared to the under the water line areas.

By now, it is clear that air must be escaping somewhere for the air chambers to become soft and the size of the boat to reduce. The best tool to find the leaking area is water mixed with detergent. Start by checking the valves.Most issues with punctures on the boat are usually caused by loosely fit pipes.

Finding leakages using detergent water:

Spray around the valves, if you see bubbles forming, check the valve fitting and make sure they are screwed in tight. After fixing the pipes and ensuring they fit well, and no air is escaping from them, check the other areas.

Repairing leakages on the boat

Scrub the detergent water over the boat surface.Watch out for tiny bubbles forming as you spread the detergent water on the boat.If you find one leak, never assume it’s the only one. The quickest way to repair the leak is using the emergency repair that in most cases is just a temporary fix. This uses the acetone and the duct tape.

For more severe punctures and long-lasting repairs, using patches are the advised solution. This is better done on the dry land.After patching, wait for approximately 30 minutes for the fix to cure before inflating the boat again.

Different types of glue work differently on different materials. Make sure the glue you use for your patch does not damage the boat’s material. Use the same patch the boat is made from for maximum effect.

Underwater line leakage:

Instances where the leakage is happening under the waterline, there is nothing much that can be done to patch or repair the leakage. In such a case, you will just need to keep pumping air into the boat to balance of the air leak and get to the shores as fast as you can. Identifying leaks under the main surface is best done in the dry land using the detergent method. In some cases, you would just need to pump air into the boat and listen keenly for leaking air. This is best done with a fully pumped boat and in a silent room.

What to carry on board when using the inflated boat.

You can rarely predict a puncture, and so it is best to be prepared when going out sailing with your inflated boat. Ensure you have these things on board as they will be vital in case the boat gets a puncture on water. The list below is not mandatory to have on board but they come in handy in case of a leak while in deep waters, and they are basically like emergency kits.

  • Personal flotation device
  • Every member on board the boat should have a personal flotation device which can be used in case the boat capsizes in water.
  • A whistle and Marine emergency radio to alert the people on shore or water patrol teams in case the puncture gets out of hand while in the water, and you need to be rescued.
  • A hand pump
  • After performing the emergency repair, you will need to inflate the boat to restore the lost air, and this will require the hand ump.
  • Duct tape, acetone, detergent water and a patch kit. These are the tools used to fix punctures and leakages.

What to know about fixing the inflated boat punctures

Inflated boats have different chambers so that if one chamber fails, the others still work to keep the boat afloat. So when one chamber gets deflated, do not panic as the boat can again stay stable with the help of the other chambers, This helps give you more time to fix the leaking chamber and also get to the shore to diagnose more of what could be the cause of the leak and subsequent repairs.

Repairs while in the water are mostly just emergency fixes that need to be replaced by permanent maintenance while on dry land. Extensive renovations are best done in the dry area, in a warm space with room humidity for lasting repair.

Some adhesives require more time to dry up affecting the time needed to inflate the boat again and get it back to the water. When doing the repairs, usually, apply several coats of adhesive to repair site and patch, leaving some time for it to dry before applying another patch.

Always be on the lookout while on the water for anything changing with your inflated boat. Could be the speed, the air chambers getting softer or the boat getting less stable. You can use these indications to know if something is happening to the boat and be able respond in early stages. I hope this article has answered the question of what to do if your inflatable boat gets punctured on water. If there is anything I have left out please let me know in the comments!

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Best Trolling Motor Battery Reviews

Best Inflatable Sports Battery

Best Trolling Motor Battery Reviews: Trolling motors are self contained. They are a mandatory purchase for those who love taking their boats out on the water. They could be gasoline powered or they could use batteries. In the latter’s case, battery powered trolling motors perform just as well as the former. Yet, this depends on the type of battery bought. Can your battery withstand water splashes? Does it use AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) technology? How long does it take to charge? How fast does it lose charge? Featuring a variety of trolling motor batteries, you can get to pick the most suitable one.

What are Trolling Motor Batteries?

Very few people pay any mind to trolling motor batteries. It is the virtual imitation of ordering your usual because that is what you are used to. Or your trolling motor for that matter. So you order the battery brand you bought your trolling motor with. If you were not lucky enough to buy it with your trolling motor, then you seek any opinions or recommendations from your fishing buddies. Even then, you are never sure whether the battery is the most suitable for your trolling motor. The list is quite long when it comes to finding a battery for your trolling motor. A variety of various options and battery configurations must be considered. These include amperage-hour ratings, wet cell or gel boat batteries or reserve capacity .Yet, you just want a review so you can pick the best for your trolling motor. Here is a review of 7 trolling motor batteries. You could find one suitable for your trolling motor. If you would also like to know more about trolling motors, here is an all inclusive guide.

Review of the Top 7 Trolling Motor Batteries

BatteryVoltageBrandPriceEditor Rating
12V 100AHVMAX$$$4.4/5
12V 35AHMAX$4.3/5
12V 35AHVMAX$4.2/5
12V 100AHNPP$$4.4/5
12V 100AHUniversal Power Group$$4.4/5
12V 55AHMightyMax$4.6/5
750 CCA(COLD CRANKING AMPS)Optima Batteries$$$4.2/5

VMAX MR127 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle Battery


This is one of the best marine deep cycle batteries in the market.  It is a 12-volt 100Ah Heavy duty marine deep cycle battery. The construction is very good and includes handles that increase its portability. The body is both acid and shock proof. This is all thank to the industrial grade plastic it is made from. It utilizes a suspension system running on electrolytes. This includes Of an AGM that is highly porous and completely contains the electrolyte after absorbing it in the VMAX tanks. As a result, the electrolyte is uniformly distributed. This makes it deliver constant power throughout its operations. No other contaminants or use of silica gels. It has heavyweight grids made with alloyed with lead and tin. These provide extra performance and longer service even after repeatedly over discharging. Its service is expected to last about 8 – 10 years. This is both in applications, float or cyclic.

It easily fits any battery box for group 27. This is mainly the MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center but also Cobra and Sevylor models. The fact that it can repeatedly be discharged and charged makes it a deep cycle battery. This however, has no effect on the maximum power of the battery. So no worrying over that. It has an extremely good result on deep cycle recharge due to the AGM technology used. Its deep cycle trolling battery capability is commendable. This is because it can deliver non-stop, constant power, when used on a motor boat. This battery can charge twice as fast as traditional batteries. Although, this highly depends on the charger, it generally takes less time than other batteries. When it is charged, it is dependable on as it gives constant power.

Pros

  • It has a solid and highly durable body.
  • It can be installed in any MinnKota unit as it is a Group 27 battery.
  • It uses AGM technology which is good for power distribution.
  • It has a tin alloy grid for longer service.
  • It gets charged in less time than other units

Cons

  • It is expensive because of the tin alloy plates and AGM technology.



Mighty Max 12V 35AH Light Trolling motor battery

 

If you like taking the weekend off to go fishing on your boat then this is the battery for you. Having power on the go is very essential for your favorite weekend activity. It could be fishing, spending time on your boat at the lake or even kayaking. Mighty Max ML35 is one of the best solar batteries there are in the market. It is both heavy duty and ultramodern. The battery is both lightweight and compact. This makes it ideal for outdoor use such as powering trolling motors. It weighs a forth of regular batteries and is only half the size.

The ML35 uses AGM technology. Meaning the electrolytes extend over the battery’s absorbent fiber glass. This prevents any liquid from leaking. Making it very safe for the user. It is also a sealed lead acid (SLA) battery. This is also known as a valve-regulated battery. This means that it comes with a valve that lets gases escape in case of overheating. This reduces the need for ventilation and the damage to the battery. As you drink your favorite beer to cool off, your battery is equally doing the same. Not drinking, cooling off. They are also made corrosion free so there is less maintenance to worry about as you go about your outdoor activities. Enjoy time on your boat and have no worries about battery maintenance.

The battery can be placed in any orientation and it would work just fine. This is all thanks to the use of AMG technology. Its body is specifically made to be strong enough to withstand shocks and vibrations. This is highly expected of portable devices as they are used outdoors and will also will be exposed to variations in temperature. Mighty Max designed this battery with thicker plates that enable you to discharge it deeper without worrying about soon losing power. This is not a drawback to how fast it charges. It can still charge up to five times faster than non-AMG batteries. In addition to this, the AMG technology ensures it discharges much slower than regular batteries when not in use. When it comes to charging, you can use the solar charger prescribed. However, if the skies are not clear enough, it is compatible with other chargers. So do not worry about using it only when it’s bright and sunny.

Pros

  • It is durable as it has sturdy construction.
  • It requires minimal maintenance as it is corrosion free and valve regulated.
  • Its rate of discharge when not in use is very minimal.
  • It is charger friendly as well as solar power friendly.

Cons

  • It is not powerful as it is a 12volts 35Ah configuration
  • The power connectors need to be bought separately.

VMAX857 12V AGM Deep Cycle Battery.


The VMAX857 is a HI functioning battery. It is ideal for trolling motors of battery Group U1. It is small in size and light. This makes it easily transportable. It is mainly designed for deep cycle purposes. It is a good choice for someone who requires a battery of this group for powering marine unit accessories. It’s has a 12volts battery with 35Ah rating with a 75 minutes reserve capacity. It is manufactured with AGM technology that makes it dependable on and maintenance free. It provokes no dangers of flammable fumes or dangerous gas leaking. This is because it is completely spill proof. It has very high utility as it is approved for mobile, maritime and air travel. Its plates are manufactured from special custom built military grade alloys. This gives special physical as well as chemical structures. It is resistant to severe vibration, heat and extreme weather conditions. It can even be used in cold climatic conditions.

 

This VMAXTANKS battery offers supreme power density and amazing deep cycle capability. It can either be charged by the smart charger of a micro processor controlled charger. It can run for approximately 4 to 5 hours. When used on trolling motors it can go to up to 50% to 60% depth of discharge. It can last you at least 8 to 10 years at most.

Pros

  • They are durable and can recover from deep discharges.
  • It uses no silica gel and other contaminants hence it offers higher performance.
  • None of the excessive gas accumulate in the battery as it has automatic release valves.
  • It has low self-discharge rate.
  • It is leak proof
  • It does not have issues of case bulging and plate warping

Cons

  • It is only applicable for deep cycle purpose and not for cranking purposes.
  • It only uses an AMG smart charger and incase a wet battery charger is used it will cause permanent damage.
  • It is only suitable for 18 to 35lb trolling motors and not greater weight

NPP 12V 100 Amp 100Ah

 

This is a 12volt battery with a 100Ah rating. It’s a front access deep cycle battery terminals with buttons. It has numerous applications. On either them is the uninterrupted power supply that makes it a good trolling motor batteries its case is made from a non-conductive ABS plastic. This is strong and resistant to shock, vibration, chemicals, weather and heat. Other additional features of the NPP12V trolling motor battery include an alarm system, emergency lighting system and also firefighting equipment. Aside from these applications, the extra features include, a standby power supply and telephone switching system, an uninterrupted power supply, an electric wheelchairs telecommunication system, computer standby power supply system, a solar system and  DC Power System.  All these are in the form of applications.

Pros

  • It is durable because it can withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • It has extra applications
  • Great customer service
  • Good value for your money
  • Manufacturer provides a two year warranty

Universal UB121000 12v 100AH Deep Cycle


The universalUB121000 is a 12-volt 100AH rating battery. This guarantees an excellent storage capacity. It has a functional lifespan. This is for use with trolling motors and equipment that requires consistent energy at low current. It uses AGM technology. This ensures better performance, faster recharging and longer usage period.  It has a less than three percent self -discharge rate per month. Its 100AH makes sure it gives ample power and energy capacity for use with trolling motors. However, it needs to be used alongside a starter battery to be able to crank your engines and other electrical equipment. It weighs about 63 pounds and measures more than 12 inches from one end to the other. This makes it very bulky. The Universal UB121000 is sealed and requires no addition of water during the life of the battery. It can be mounted in any position and would still work as efficiently. It can be transported by air or ground without any special handling regulations. It has no hazardous fumes escaping from the case as the gases are processed with the battery itself. It can be used for both float and cycle use and is virtually maintenance free. This battery just answers all your questions and clears up all the doubts you could have. Its charge requirements are like Wet Cell as well as other types of Maintenance free batteries. It has no special battery charger requirements.

Pros

  • It uses AGM technology that delivers excellent consistent deep cycling functioning.
  • It does not require maintenance because of its sealed design and use of AMG technology
  • It is good for trolling motors because of its 100AH rating.
  • It is durable and can easily withstand the normal weather conditions
  • Its self-discharge rate is less than three percent per month.

Cons

  • It is very bulky

Mighty Max 12V 55Ah Power Boat Pontoon Electric Trolling Motor Battery

 

If you plan to spend a lot of time on water and not at low speeds then this is the battery for you. It provides enough power for you to stay at full speeds for up to four hours. At medium speeds you can get about 6 hours of it. You will still be left with just a little over 50% of power. It is a 12volt battery with a 55Ah rating. Compared to the 35Ah battery, this model is more powerful. This may have you thinking that it means a bigger size, but this is not the case. It is just slightly bigger than the 35Ah battery. In addition to that, it can be mounted in any position. It can even be mounted on its side and would still function perfectly. It is spill proof, so any angle is okay for it to function. It is made using AGM technology. This simply means it has better performance, faster recharging and longer usage period.  Its spill-proof quality comes from the fact that it is a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery. It uses an ultramodern, heavy duty, grid made from calcium- alloy. This provides great performance and exceptional service. This is in two pairs of applications, float and cyclic. In addition to all this, it can function perfectly at both high and low temperatures.

Pros

  • It is resistant to shock and vibration
  • It offers more time on the water and you can go faster without draining it.
  • It can last for long even in extreme temperatures.
  • It can be set up at any angle therefore it is not cumbersome in terms of space
  • It does not add too much to boat load capacity as it is not too heavy.

Cons

  • If ever fully drained, it can take up to 30 hours to recharge it fully
  • If you have a small boat, the battery weight may be a problem for you.

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop

 

The optima battery D34M BLUETOP is rated at 750 cold cranking amps. This gives the battery more than enough power for use as a starter battery for boats and even RV’s. It delivers optimal power even in very cool weather. It can even start a motor at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. You do not have to worry about warming your battery up in those cold temperatures. It is a very dependable on backup battery. It is easy to mount in any position on your boat. This is all thanks to its compact design and relative light weight. It is also designed to tolerate vibrations without damaging the battery itself. This is because of its exterior casing that is fifteen times more resistant to vibration than competing brands.

It delivers consistent performance which works excellently well with trolling motors and has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes. This battery can be charged up to three times as many times as similar batteries. This is because of its Spiral Cell Technology (spiral-bound lead cells coated in lead oxide).

Pros

  • It can be mounted in any angle as it is spill proof.
  • It can last for as many as a thousand recharging cycles.
  • It is suitable for powerboats with many electrical gadgets
  • It can start a motor at 0 degrees Fahrenheit easily
  • It will not overcharge if the right charger is used
  • It is resistant to vibration
  • It has a strong case that is strongly weather proofed.
  • It is a dual-purpose battery; for deep cycles and starting

Cons

  • It may overcharge without the right charger

Choosing a Trolling Motor Battery

Trolling batteries are not just any kind of battery, and there are some things that you will want to consider certain factors, including your budget, the hour rating and the battery type.

Type of battery

12-volt deep cycle batteries come in two types – AGM batteries and Lead Acid Wet cells. Deep cycle batteries are very good for trolling because they discharge lower amounts of current, spread out over longer periods and recharging more frequently.

Lead acid wet cell batteries are more common compared to AGM batteries, since they can handle more frequent drains and recharging that comes with using trolling motors, and in addition they are the most affordable option for most. Their life lasts for about three years and are standard in their structure. The only drawback about them is that they need more occasional maintenance, which involves topping off the water. They are also vulnerable to spillage and vibration issues.

The second option is the AGM batteries, which means Absorbed Glass Mat. These are sealed completely, and are more long lasting compared to wet cells. They last for averages of up to four years, but the drawback is that they cost significantly higher than wet cell batteries. In fact they can even cost twice as much, so they are not an option if you are on a tight budget. In spite of them being expensive, they have no maintenance costs, and are very good for performance and long life.

Power hour ratings

The amperage power ratings of your battery are similar to those of car gas tanks. If you consider all factors to be equal, batteries that have 115 amp hour ratings last for longer periods than 100 amp hour ratings. When you look at the technical aspects, 100 amp power batteries provide 100 amp hours of current in trolling motors. So technically, if your motor runs on a speed of 5 amps, for example, the battery should theoretically last for 20 hours. The higher the speed of your motor, the less time the battery lasts.

When searching for trolling motor batteries, look for those that have at least 100 amp hour rating, 175 minutes of Reserve Capacity (RC), and a Group 27 rating.

Final Remarks and Recommendations

You need a good trolling motor. It is not an issue to be assumed or dismissed as less important. A dependable trolling motor battery ensures smooth and maximum performance of your boat. Anytime you go out fishing or a ride on the lake, the battery plays a bigger part than assumed. Similar to majority of electric devices and motors, trolling motors too require specific batteries. Batteries that will boost the trolling motor’s performance. Batteries that will discharge electricity steadily over the prolonged period of that fishing trip. The optimal battery 8016-103 D34MBlueTop would be a great choice. With all its lasted features, the battery is bound to perform to your expectations. It can recharge up to 1000 times and it is still proof. It is also resistant to vibration. This battery would be a great choice for your trolling motor. And for the love of god… would you please wear your life vest while fishing.