The Floor Is One Of The Inflatable Boat Parts You Need To Pay Attention To
Before Purchasing

Like many inflatable boat parts, floors come in a variety of styles and can allow you to roll up or collapse your boat - a great option....
...if you don't have anywhere to store a rigid hull boat
...if you don't want to trailer a boat
...if you want to carry your boat in your car, truck, RV or lazarette.

Collapsible inflatable boats offer a number of advantages over ribs and traditional boats

  1. fold or roll into one or two bags
  2. can be stored in a locker, shed or basement
  3. no need for a trailer
  4. very portable
  5. stable and safe
  6. sizes available from 2m/6ft to 7m/23ft
  7. great performance with relatively small motors

This is our favorite type of inflatable boat, as we can take it with us when camping with our truck and camping trailer.

The key to a collapsible or roll up inflatable boat is a floor that either comes out, or rolls up with the tubes. Models where you don't remove the floor for storage are very easy to set up and pack up. Models with floors that you need to remove to fold up take a bit more time to set up.

Like so many inflatable boat parts - each type of flooring has advantages, and .......

........yes you guessed it......


Let's take a look at each type

  1. Wood
    • inexpensive
    • rigid flat surface great for fishing, diving, adventuring, hauling cargo
    • varnish or paint does deteriorate in harsh environments
    • larger engine rating than slat or inflatable floors
    • heavy to carry, but can be carried in pieces

  2. Aluminum
    • more expensive
    • rigid flat surface great for fishing, diving, adventuring, hauling cargo
    • very long lasting in salt water environment
    • no paint or varnish to re coat
    • found on high end recreational boats and heavy duty boats
    • larger engine rating than slat or inflatable floors

  3. Plastic
    • inexpensive
    • rigid flat surface for leisure activities
    • zero maintenance
    • light weight to carry
    • requires aluminum reinforcing bars for heavy use or use of heavy motors (this tells you it is not as strong as wood or aluminum!)

  4. Slats
    • inexpensive
    • great for roll up boats that you want to store and set-up frequently
    • slats encased in fabric make them low maintenance
    • not a rigid floor - not easy to stand on
    • smaller engine rating than a rigid wood or aluminum floor
    • larger boats very heavy when packed with floor inside
    • the lack of a keel effects boat handling

  5. High Pressure Inflatable
    • great for boats that you want to set up and pack up often
    • more expensive than slat floors or wood
    • rigid flat surface - easier to stand on than slat floor more flex than a wood or aluminum floor, especially in larger boats
    • some models have integral v shaped hull bottom
    • low maintenance
    • light weight
    • not as durable as wood or aluminum
    • more comfortable to sit on than wood or aluminum
    • some materials not as resistant to fuel spills
    • risk of puncture
    • smaller engine rating than wood or aluminum floors

The boat's floor is one of the inflatable boat parts that directly affects a boats handling on the water, so choose carefully.

Some people find removable floor panels challenging to assemble. There are some tricks to the process, so I put together a page with photos all about assembling a foldable inflatable boat. Check it out here.

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