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What is an Inflatable Canoe?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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An inflatable canoe is a watercraft that simulates the design of a traditional canoe, but in an inflatable package. The benefits of such a canoe are portability and cost. In some cases, they are also significantly more stable than traditional canoes. However, inflatable canoes can also have some disadvantages.

Since the first inflatable boats came onto the market, the technology behind inflatables has increased immensely. While any inflatable product can be punctured, just like the hull of any boat can be punctured by the right material, the newer inflatables have come a long way to protect the user. Some are even classified for Class IV rapids, among the most difficult most individuals will ever want to face alone.

Like any inflatable, the most important part of the inflatable canoe is the air bladder. This is what holds the air in place and gives the inflatable boat its buoyancy. In some cases, the air bladder may consist of several chambers, which will help equalize the pressure throughout the inflatable canoe and make the inflation more complete and uniform throughout.

The inflatable canoe can be made of a number of different materials, depending on the quality and durability wanted. Many are made from PVC vinyl. Other materials include polyester and heavy duty tarpaulin. Those who decide they want to buy an inflatable canoe would do well to research the various materials and reviews of various models.

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One of the more common uses for an inflatable canoe is in fishing. Due to the cost factor and maneuverability, they are ideal boats for lake fishing. However, their light weight may mean they tend to get blown around in even the slightest of winds. In those cases, one should consider the use of an anchor. Many anchors on the market come with soft edges, which makes them especially useful in an inflatable canoe.

While some inflatable canoe models are made to resemble kayaks, inflatable kayaks are usually not true kayaks. This is because the user is generally not strapped into the inflatable kayak. However, this type of inflatable may offer even better maneuverability.

Those looking for an inflatable canoe for use in open water should consider looking at a sporting goods store or online. Many stores may offer inflatable boats, but some of these may not be any more than inflatable toys appropriate for use in a swimming pool or some other sheltered area. Inflatable toys, no matter what they may resemble, should not be used on the open water.

Inflatable canoes come in a variety of sizes and price points. Some can be found for as little as $200 US Dollars (USD). Others may be closer to $800 USD. The difference in price between models is often attributed to the materials used and the type of water, such as fast rapids, that they may be suitable for.

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