At first, you might imagine that dinghies are for a relaxing journey to the sea or a fishing trip by the river. But every veteran sailor knows how to up the ante. Racing has been a big thing with inflatables. It’s a tough game of skills and techniques not to mention the physical beating you get from the constant bumping to the boat during a high-speed lap. And the key here is getting the best inflatable boat for racing that will land you a spot on the podium.
Let me debunk one myth first. Inflatable racing isn’t just for the old timers, most of the time, the age ranges from a very young 16 and a competitive 45. A teenager could actually co-pilot a vessel as good as a 25-year old given enough experience and training.
Basically, inflatable racing comes in five types: Flatwater, surf circuit, sea racing, dam racing, and ultra long hauls. Each of these types offers a fix of adrenaline and challenge for every sailor. And if you think you’re ready to compete in the next event, start scouting your choice of a ride from these options:
Aqura Cat410 Inflatable Thunder Racing Catamaran
Aqura Cat410 Inflatable Thunder Racing Catamaran is the equivalent of a high-octane journey in the waters. It’s equipped with a 50+ horsepower that will definitely send this vessel airborne once you’re in for surpassing your opponent. If the weather cooperates and you have the skills to navigate well, you can reach up to 37.2 mph that’s definitely an edge if you’re a newbie in the game.
When it comes to material, the Aqura racer uses a 1.2 mm PVC as well as a stainless steel transom mount. This is exactly all you need for the best inflatable boat for racing as the transom mount is sturdy enough to support an outboard engine. Also, this has a marine-grade plywood floor for added strength on the cockpit.
The front part of the boat’s frame is made of FRP or fiber-reinforced plastic. Such thing will add hardness on the front frame of your boat in case you happen to crash into another vessel. Meanwhile, at the back, the mount is compatible with an engine bearing 15 inches of shaft. Other than that, it might be too big or problematic to mount.
Since you want to have a boat for racing, this Aqura vessel uses Thundercat Zapcat technology of reinforced hulls. This is the most sought-after during water games, as the material is an excellent shock absorber (in case you go ‘flying’) and a master of buoyancy. It can withstand strong waves and other extreme sea conditions.
Overall, this has a build of a catamaran and it can surprisingly pit on hard-shelled vessels in terms of speed. You got all the features that you need, but you also have to pay the price, literally. The Aqura Cat410 costs two grand.
-It has a powerful engine for a total pacer, the best inflatable boat for racing.
-The material is durable and the build is good for a pilot and a co-pilot.
-The speed is sky high for an inflatable.
-The price is whopping. But if you want to win the race, you better invest your bucks.
Saturn SD365 Sport Motor Boat
We have seen the best of Saturn and this brand never fails to amaze us with its versatile roster of inflatable boats. If you’re planning to try racing for the first time, you will love to use the Saturn SD365 Sport Motor Boat. It’s a dinghy-styled vessel that can accommodate a 30 hp motor that is a good start for newbies. The reason why this is a good option is that you can convert it into a recreational boat for five passengers during the off-season of racing.
Construction-wise, the Saturn SD365 has the 1100D Korean PVC material sealed with polyester for the added resistance to heat, tearing, and tension. This material doubles at the bottom of the tubes for a stronger hold during scraping or landing in the water. Also, this best inflatable boat for racing has a comfortable air deck floor and a durable 24 mm marine plywood transom mount.
This Saturn boat can take the beating of extreme seas with its deep V-shaped keel that adds up to the tracking aside from motor power. It has a rubber strake for added security in case of bumps as well as a safety valve to prevent the air from hissing out in case of popping the plugs. Rainwater won’t accumulate inside the valves so you’re safe even if the competition is welcomed with a downpour.
If you don’t have someone to co-pilot with you, this vessel is easy to carry on and off the water with a wheel dolly. This is lightweight for such a speeder boat.
In the package, you’ll get the aluminum seat planks, repair kit, aluminum oars, and a storage bag. There are also splash guards at the transom mount to maintain the dryness of the cockpit. Compared to the Aqura boat, the Saturn boat is cheaper but at the expense of motor horsepower.
-It has a massive passenger capacity.
-It comes with many accessories including a hand pump.
-Lightweight for its build. The best inflatable boat for racing for solo riders.
-It’s cheaper than the Aqura boat
-The horsepower is a bit low at 30 hp but faster than the usual recreational dinghies.
SEAMAX Ocean 470T Commercial Grade Raft
If you’re willing to throw your money out of the window just to get a fast boat, you may want to consider the SEAMAX Ocean 470T Commercial Grade Raft. This is compatible with 40 hp engines and has a massive weight capacity of 2599 pounds or about 12 people. But if you’re planning to race, you should utilize its power by reducing the loaded weight possible.
SEAMAX isn’t your typical boat as it has four layers of Hypalon material and a V-shaped bottom for the best tracking. It’s a powerhouse of boat technologies like the Transom Stabilizer and Reinforcement Design, Keel Center Inner Reinforcement, and Hull Stabilizer Bar Structure. There’s also a triangular support at the hull for utmost stability and rigidity.
Aside from all these nautical advantages, the boat also boasts its five pontoon chambers plus another one for the keel. This best inflatable boat for racing has a rigid transom that can disperse the vibration of the motor as well as the weight that might cause the vessel to be lopsided. Just make sure that you have a 20-inch motor shaft to fit into the mount.
It will make a difference on your purchasing decision to know that this is US Coast Guard-approved and you’ll get the reflective plate if you wish so. Anyway, remember that this boat is heavy at 290 pounds when assembled. You will need someone else’s help to launch it into the water, a co-pilot, perhaps.
Price-wise, this boat costs a fortune. As bold as that could be, I think it’s worth it given that you’ll have a Hypalon boat and tons of accessories. The package comes with pontoon towing rings, bench planks, two bags, a pair of oars, repair kit, foot pump, and some spare parts.
-This boat is made of Hypalon, the sturdiest material for inflatable vessels.
-It has a speeder 40 horsepower.
-The passenger capacity is sky-high. You can even convert this into a recreational ride for your friends and family.
-You just can’t doubt its quality.
-The price is high but if you consider the material of the boat, I think it’s worth it.
Inflatable racing is a competitive game of the sailor wannabes. There’s so much pride to acing a competition with your inflatable and being the talk of the racing town. But before you achieve the sweet podium finish, you have to get the right boat.
What I listed here are three of the best commercial options. Still, there’s more to what meets the eye here. If you’re going to ask me what’s my best bet, I’ll go for the Aqura Cat410. We’re talking about racing here and of course, you would want to get one with the most powerful motor.
But that doesn’t mean that the other two are goners. SEAMAX and Saturn are also great in tracking, especially for beginners who are just learning how to handle a tiller. Each varies in price and feature. Like what I always say, it pays to invest in top-dollar options. It has quality and proven performance on the water as the best inflatable boat for racing.