I have always dreamt about a boat for shallow water. A boat that would not take up too much space in a car, and would be light enough for me to carry it to the water, and would be easy to assemble.
The AirFish inflatable boat weights just 29 kg
A common inflatable boat with air deck (rigid inflatable bottom) is not bad. However, though it is quite big on the outside, there is not much space inside. And suddenly I found a motor boat fully made of the AirDeck material (common boats have bottom made of this material).
And in this boat everything is made of this material except for the transom and the seat. In other words imagine the plastic Pella made of inflatable modules 5-6 cm thick.
This item weighs a bit less than 30 kg, comprises 5 or 6 modules, and according to the producers? promises can be used with a 5 h.p. outboard.
It inflates quickly and without any hassle. Moreover, you do not have to insert anything — no plywood floor, not even an air deck. While being inflated the boat simply got smothered out and becomes rigid. I put in the seat in and hung the outboard.
I tested the boat in the late Autumn at a small lake. The water was cold, no wind. Everything was quite easy.
I quickly went into hydroplaning and managed to gather speed of 31 km/h. It was impressive!
When I took turns everything was all right. However, on the waves, that I had caused myself, the boat started to misbehave — its flat prow jabbed into the waves and the water got into the boat. Well, I should not be too picky — it was not a fully developed boat, but just a prototype model that needed modification.
When I finished my experiments with the outboard, I tried to row. The boat moves quite easily, though not quite as conveniently as a usual rowing Pella. The flat prow gets in the way again.
I tried the boat stability. It rolled over twice. In general its stability is worse than those of a serial inflatable motor boat, in other words it reminds me of a common flat-boat. Partly it was due to the high positioned seat and the fact that the boat was rather light. .
On the other hand it is more than stable enough for fishing. After capsizing, I easily got back into the boat both from the side and from the transom.
The boat interior seemed to be very spacious comparing to the common inflatable boats (probably because the volume was not taken up by the balloons). It was comfortable — enough space to arrange all the tackle and there were even enough space for two fishermen.
All the criticism and requests have been written down and sent to the manufacturer. Now we have to wait for the new updated model.
You can try out this boat at our booth (Ж-16) at the Ohota and Rybolovstvo na Rusi Exhibition (Fishing and Hunting in Russia) in Moscow in February.