Cheap Inflatable Boats: Beware of Lower Quality Discount Inflatable Boats

All the brands of lower price cheap inflatable boats are trying to get you to buy their brand based on the claim: "We sell the best boat for the lowest price!".

But is it true?

These lower priced boats are generally manufactured using the original design manufacturing model (not always), where the company ordering the boat has little input into the boat design, materials or quality control of the finished product. These are called white label or private label products.

Read more about manufacturing here.

Some of these boats are marketed by small internet-only based companies, some are sold by large companies with many years of sales and a large dealer network.

There are some important points to think about if you are considering purchasing one of the lower priced cheap inflatable boats.

  1. Will the company be there to help you if you have trouble with the product? (read customer reviews and forum comments)

  2. How is the material put together - glued or welded (welded PVC tube seams are considered better, and usually last longer - read more about it here )

  3. What is their warranty? (5 years is the best warranty I have found on glued seams - 10 years on welded seams - but this is not from a private label company! The fabric often has a longer warranty than the seams on cheap inflatable boats, I am not sure what good a pile a fabric that has come unglued would be!)
With some of these companies disappearing without even fulfilling their orders (Shark inflatables) and other companies engaged in court cases over quality issues (Wild Thing), my concerns are well founded. Reading inflatable boat reviews can be helpful, but be wary of the reviews that are just a sales pitch, or reviews by people who just received their boat and love what they see but have not even put it in the water yet. (I see this a lot on forums)

Google phrases like "quality issues" or "trouble with..." for the brands of cheap inflatable boats you are thinking about, and see what you find.

These companies are very easy to set up..... and sadly for the purchaser, these companies can disappear very easily too!

These are the brands where you want to be sure the distributor has a good reputation and will be there to take care of any concerns you may have in the future.

The boat brands which appear to be white label or private label brands based on their website information include:

  • Aakron - USA, Australia, New Zealand
  • Adventure - Russian - most likely manufactured in China
  • Aqua Dutch - The Netherlands
  • Aqualine - California, USA
  • Aquamarine - British Columbia, Canada - internet - made in China
  • Aquamax - New York, USA - internet
  • Aquaquick
  • Aquastar - California, USA, - dealer network and internet
  • Badger - Russian - made in Korean
  • Baltik
  • Delphinus - internet based out of California, USA
  • Endurance - British Columbia, Canada - dealer network
  • Excedo - Atlantic, Canada - internet
  • Excel - Britian - internet and dealers
  • Ezen Boats - California based - made in South Korea
  • Force 4 - New Zealand
  • Gladiator - NSW, Australia
  • Imnasa Marine Products - Spanish marine distributor probably a made in China product
  • Island - Australian - internet and dealer network
  • JP Marine - California, USA
  • Liberty - Canada - internet and dealer network
  • Matrix - Australian
  • Maxxom - Washington, USA - internet and dealer network
  • Millstream - Australian
  • Nautiline - Italian brand of Nautimarket
  • Newport - Australian
  • Ocean-pro - Australian
  • Pelagic - Australian re-labelled JingSui
  • Red Star Marine - Utah, USA
  • Royal
  • Rubber Duck - British Columbia, Canada - internet and dealers
  • Saturn - Korean brand made in China
  • Salter - Canadian brand - made in China
  • Seago - Great Britian
  • Seamax - British Columbia, Canada - internet and dealers
  • Seamor Marine - British Columbia, Canada
  • Seapro - United Kingdom
  • Sea Search - Brand of E.P. Barrus - United Kingdom - distributed through dealers
  • Sea Wizard - Australia
  • Sun Sport - Brand of E.P. Barrus - United Kingdom - distributed through dealers
  • Tadpole
  • Waveco - United Kingdom
  • Waveline - United Kingdom
  • Wetline - United Kingdom
  • Yam - Malta
  • Zoik - Colorado, USA
  • Z-Ray - Canada - distributed through Canadian Tire
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