The best inflatable boats in the UK 2023

If you too love sea escapades like 62% of English people, then why not invest in an inflatable boat to make your vacations unforgettable? Alone, as a couple, with family or friends, fishing or water sports enthusiasts, you will find a plethora of models on the market adapted to your needs. Models without engine, with engine, with oars, with paddles, for children, for 2 persons, for 5 persons, etc. It's hard to find your way around! Trust our 4 best inflatable boats of the moment for a successful investment.

Intex Excursion 5 1

Best value for money

Intex Excursion 5

The best inflatable boat in 2021

For your trips to the lake with family or friends, count on the safety, comfort and sturdiness of our current favorite: the Intex Excursion 5 inflatable boat.

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Carrying 5 people, this Intex inflatable boat offers a large capacity and can support up to 455 kg of loads. Very easy to inflate, it comes with a pump, two rotating paddles, seats with backrests and a waterproof tool bag that allows you to store your belongings away from moisture. Fishing enthusiasts can use the 4 rod holders to enjoy their passion in the best conditions. As for safety, the 3 air chambers of the Intex guarantee exemplary buoyancy, even when it deflates. If you plan to take a long trip, equip your boat with an anchor to ensure better buoyancy and a 1.1 kW motor. All in all, the Excursion 5 is a model that has everything to please thanks to its functionality and the comfort it provides.

Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set 2

Best value for money

Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set

The best entry-level inflatable boat

With room for 3 passengers, this inflatable boat with a minimalist design is sure to please you (especially your children) because of its ease of use and affordable price.

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Ideal for fishing and small expeditions for 2 adults or 2 children and 1 adult, this small boat signed Intex can support up to 120 kg of load and can accommodate three people. In addition to offering the advantage of increased buoyancy, its three air chambers will save you from inconveniences in case of punctures and the rope and the solid handle simplify considerably the mooring of the boat. The rubber it's made of is extremely robust and the boat stays intact even when it hits rocky ground. Basically, for very little money, the company has made an effort to offer consumers a sturdy and comfortable product.

Sevylor Caravelle K65 3

A great choice

Sevylor Caravelle K65

The best value for money

For short trips to lakes, ponds or the seaside, the Sevylor Caravelle K65 is ideal. Comfortable, sturdy and durable, it is a successful long-term investment.

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Made entirely of PVC, the K65 is a sturdy and waterproof device that can support up to 165 kg of load, which is two people of average build. Indeed, this model has been well thought out to last in time. Easy to use, the Sevylor is equipped with rod holders on the sides to facilitate your maneuvers. Basically, by investing in this product, you have at your disposal a complete kit including handles, 2 oars, 1 air pump, a repair kit and also an instruction manual as well as a carrying bag. This is a product whose potential will not leave you indifferent.

Intex Seahawk 4 4

Very good

Intex Seahawk 4

Spacious and strong

Thanks to the Seahawk 4 from Intex, enjoy a spacious and solid inflatable boat that can even be used for long trips at sea once an electric motor is installed.

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The Seahawk 4 is a fairly large inflatable boat that can accommodate up to 4 people. Ideal for outings with family or friends, it offers you a safe boat via its 3 independent air chambers, one of which is internal. So even when your boat deflates, it still stays afloat and protects you from drowning. Thanks to its Super Tough coating, this boat is quite resistant to salt and gasoline. As for its equipment, the Seahawk has 4 protective oar racks and 2 oars. Besides that, this model offers you the possibility of attaching 2 fishing rods thanks to its additional brackets and a bag to place repair accessories. Finally, if you plan to go on long sea trips, you can install a motor on this boat and don't forget to buy an anchor.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best inflatable boat

Any specific needs?

The best inflatable boat in 2021

The best entry-level inflatable boat

The best value for money

Spacious and strong

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best inflatable boats

Intex Excursion 5 5
Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set 6
Sevylor Caravelle K65 7
Intex Seahawk 4 8
Intex Excursion 5
Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set
Sevylor Caravelle K65
Intex Seahawk 4
For your trips to the lake with family or friends, count on the safety, comfort and sturdiness of our current favorite: the Intex Excursion 5 inflatable boat.
With room for 3 passengers, this inflatable boat with a minimalist design is sure to please you (especially your children) because of its ease of use and affordable price.
For short trips to lakes, ponds or the seaside, the Sevylor Caravelle K65 is ideal. Comfortable, sturdy and durable, it is a successful long-term investment.
Thanks to the Seahawk 4 from Intex, enjoy a spacious and solid inflatable boat that can even be used for long trips at sea once an electric motor is installed.
Can carry up to 5 people
Material : plastic
Material : PVC
Material : Polypropylene
Maximum load : 455 kg
Delivered with oar and air pump
4 safety valves
Dimensions : 350,5 x 144,8 x 48,3 cm
Pumpers and storage bag included
Suitable for children from 2 to 7 years old
Maximum load : 165 kg
3 Independent air chambers
Dimensions : 366 x 168 x 43 cm (L x W x H)
With quick deflation valve
Solid handles, 1 air pump and 2 paddles
2 Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation
Weight : 24 kg
Dimensions : 196 x 102 x 33 cm (L x W x H)
Transport bag included
Cord around the rim

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Buying guide - inflatable boat

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How to choose your inflatable boat

To help you find a quality inflatable boat that suits your needs, here are a few things to consider when buying.

#1 - The template

The size of your inflatable boat should be adapted to your activities and the number of people you plan to have on board. A medium sized inflatable boat will allow you to have room to carry your fishing materials and a few passengers, a large boat is more for a large family and fishing professionals and finally, a small boat is perfect for couples and novice fishermen.

#2 - The material

Go for an inflatable boat made with PVC as it is more resistant to shocks and weather. But, if you prefer to opt for temperature and sunlight endurance, you can go for a model made with hypalon.

#3 - The floor

If you are looking for a quality inflatable boat, go for a model with a rigid bottom, aluminum or slat.

#4 - Accessories


criterion is very important as boat accessories are really expensive. Therefore, the more accessories that come with your boat, the less you'll spend on them later. If you're a fisherman, for example, a model with rod holders will be useful. There are also other useful accessories such as repair kit, oars, cushions/seats, pump, carrying bags, saddlebags to put your belongings in, or even the keel.

#5 - The brand

Opting for a product from a recognized brand is undeniably considered a guarantee of reliability. In addition to benefiting from a good after-sales service, you will have no trouble finding original parts and accessories for your inflatable boat.

The river permit

Driving a motorized inflatable boat requires a special permit known as a "river permit". However, this license does not apply to all motorized inflatable boats but only to those equipped with a motor of 6 horsepower or more.

Where to get the license

To register for the river permit tests, the candidate must go to an approved training center. As the river permit is not allowed for free candidates, it is necessary to follow a training course.

The files to provide

To take the river permit, the candidate must provide the training center with :

  • an application form to be completed ;
  • a photo ID;
  • a photocopy of the identity card;
  • a recent medical certificate;
  • two tax stamps worth 38 € and 70 € (only 38 € if you already have the coastal option boating license) which must be purchased online.

The course of the tests

The tests for the river permit are held in two stages:

  • A theoretical part composed of 25 multiple choice questions of which only 4 errors are possible to pass.

Once the candidate has passed the theoretical test, he has eighteen months to validate his practical test.

  • A practical part: a trainer embarks with a small group of candidates and validates the skills acquired during the training by testing the driving of each candidate.

The cost of the license

The inland waterways boating license costs about 300 €, including training and registration fees.

The different types of inflatable boats

Inflatable boats come in three distinct types: economy inflatable boats, motorized inflatable boats and non-motorized inflatable boats.

Motorized inflatable boats

As its name clearly indicates, a motorized inflatable boat is a device that embarks a motor. This type of boat can navigate at a distance from the shore and can also accommodate several passengers.


  • Allows to navigate on rough waters
  • Suitable for long sea journeys
  • Suitable for night navigation
  • Fast
  • Comfortable (no need to row)

Disadvantages :

  • Engine to be maintained regularly

Who is it for?

Motorized inflatable boats are suitable for anyone who wants to go on a small nautical getaway with their family in a maritime environment.

Non-motorized inflatable boats


known as "sea craft," these types of inflatable boats range from 2.5 meters to 3.5 meters in length and cannot travel more than 300 meters from the shoreline or any landmark provided by coastal inspections



  • Possibility of adding a motor
  • Robust
  • Secure
  • Comfortable

Disadvantages :

  • Not suitable for long trips at sea
  • Not suitable for fishing far from the coast
  • Not suitable for night sailing

Who is it for?

Non-motorized inflatable boats are best suited for lake, river and freshwater boating.

Economical inflatable boats

These types of boats are small and minimalist, with basic equipment to ensure the safety of their passengers



  • Easy to use
  • Easy to put in the water
  • Secure

Disadvantages :

  • Not suitable for long trips at sea
  • Not suitable for night sailing

Who is it for?

Economical inflatable boats are especially suitable for children.


Any person between the ages of 14 and 16 years old and registered with an approved sports federation is authorized to drive a boat less than 20 meters long. However, driving can only take place within the framework of this sport activity and under the supervision of a qualified member.

Why buy an inflatable boat?


The combination of rigid hull and inflatable collar gives RIBs their superior stability compared to traditional boats. The buoyancy of the tubes makes them virtually unsinkable and also very stable. When racing at high speeds with an inflatable boat, you don't have to worry about the stability problems that occur with other types of lightweight watercraft.

Easy to manoeuvre

The rigid V-shaped hull of Rigid Inflatable Boats allows them to track as well as a traditional vessel. Whether your marine operation needs a deep V-hull for longer range trips or a shallower hull that planes more quickly, there is an inflatable boat that will fit your unique situation.

More Powerful

Inflatable boats are designed to handle more powerful engines. These boats were designed for rescue missions in intense ocean conditions and have the performance to save valuable time.


Due to their lightweight construction and compatibility with more powerful engines, inflatable boats are extremely fast. For rescue and military operations, every second is precious. If your job requires a boat that can get you where you need to be as fast and safe as possible, look no further than inflatable boats.

Used in all types of water

Marine professionals and boaters use inflatable boats in all types of water. No matter where you are or what type of boating you do, there is a rigid inflatable boat to meet your needs. Just like traditional boats, they are available in everything from small tenders to powerful workboats that can accommodate many people and lots of gear.


How to remove black stains that clog up your socks

Over time, black marks can appear on the tubes of your inflatable boat. To get rid of them, buy a special inflatable cleaner sold in specialized stores. Then clean the black marks with a sponge and wipe well before the product dries. To remove particularly stubborn stains, scrub your bladders with a stiff bristle brush in small circular motions.

What to do after each use


your inflatable boat out of the water and wait until it is completely dry. Then, rinse it to remove any salt or sand residue that may have stuck to it to prevent premature wear. After that, deflate your boat and store it in its carrying bag. If a special cover was not included with your purchase, simply buy one. Some models actually come with small wheels for easy transport.

Maintain your inflatable boat with care


do this, apply a protective cleaner to your boat with a clean, dry cloth. Let the product work for a few minutes. Once the product is dry, all you have to do is rub it in to make your inflatable shine again. If the tire is already very damaged, proceed in the same way but with a small brush. You can also apply a special wax that you can find in specialty stores to prevent wear and tear.

What to do in case of sticky puddles


you use your inflatable boat, its bladders may become sticky. To remedy this problem, very lightly soak a clean cloth with a little butanone and use circular motions to rub your bladders. Other similar products are also sold in specialty stores to make the socks non-sticky. If these two solutions don't work, it's best to repaint the inflatable boat.



winterization, give your inflatable boat a thorough cleaning. Then, inflate it moderately (simply shape it) and finally, store it in a dry place away from light and weather.


Which inflatable boat to choose?

In our opinion, the best inflatable boat for most people is the Intex Excursion 5. To find out more, read our buying guide.

Is it possible to convert an inflatable boat without a motor into a motorized boat?

Yes, all you have to do is invest in a motorization system and install it, and you will have a motorized machine.

My inflatable boat is losing its colour. Can I repaint it?

Yes, you can repaint your inflatable boat. However, repainting should be done with products specifically designed for this purpose and sold in specialized stores.

At what age can I get a freshwater boating licence?

This type of licence can be taken out by any individual aged 16 and over.

Can I install a self-made floor in my inflatable boat?

That's right! Just choose the material you want to use: aluminium, plywood, slats, pvc, etc... and then take the dimensions of your boat. Be careful not to choose a material that is too heavy as this could add kilos to the maximum load and affect the buoyancy and stability of your inflatable boat.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Intex Excursion 5 9
Intex Excursion 5
Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set 10
Intex Explorer Pro 200 Boat Set
Sevylor Caravelle K65 11
Sevylor Caravelle K65
Intex Seahawk 4 12
Intex Seahawk 4


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