Sailing Inflatable Boats
Sailing an inflatable boat is one of the most unusual and fun ways to enjoy the inflatable boat experience.
The selection of inflatable boats with sails is limited to a precious few brands. There are, however, a number of companies selling sailrigs for specific inflatable boats to allow them to sail. The best sailing inflatable boats, of course, are those that are designed solely for sailing, but a sailrig can expand the pleasure experience in your inflatable boat and provide a lot of fun.
There are some very fine inflatable sailboats available and they have distinct advantages over their rigid fiberglass counterparts.
Specifically, they are lighter weight, totally portable and far less expensive than most fiberglass sailboats.
In addition, they are generally easier to learn to sail and far safer to sail on the water.
Reasonable safety precautions, as is the case with any kind of boating, should always be observed. Life jackets are a must. If you are sailing longer distances, a cell phone or VHF radio can also be helpful. Remember to bring an adequate supply of water.
And don’t forget the usual niceties: suntan lotion, sunglasses, some sandwiches, if you are going to want food.
Inflatable sailboats greatly broaden the sailing experiences one can have. Here are several examples:
Sailing at a local lake or bay
Most fiberglass sailboat weigh hundreds of pounds and require a trailer. This often makes them impractical to bring to a local lake or bay.
With an inflatable sailboat, the weight is generally under 200 lbs and sometimes under 100 lbs
inflatable, they pack to a fraction of their inflated size. Even when they are inflated, they are generally light enough to put on top of a car rack
- On a lake - You really only need a place to park your car and a path to the water. Depending on the size of the lake, you can use almost any kind of inflatable sailboat.
There may be restrictions on particular lakes forbidding the use of certain kinds of boats, so be sure to check.
- On a bay – The same conditions apply. The only access you need is a place to park your car and a path to the water.
Please note, on a bay, because it is a larger body of water, you should pay attention to the weather conditions.
Also, tide and current can be a factor. You do not want to find yourself being sucked out on an outgoing tide into the ocean. It could be a long sail, so know your waterway.
- By the seaside – The same basics conditions still apply: if there is access, you can go sailing. But because you are now sailing a much larger body of water, you should pay even more attention to the wind, tide and moment to moment weather conditions. The advent of a sudden squall can be truly frightening and you should always sail within sight of land and have some back-up plan for getting to shore relatively fast.
Sailing Larger Bodies of Water
The comments made above regarding access & safety still apply, but the concerns should be greater because weather and tide conditions can change rapidly and you should be aware of any and all potential dangers.
Knowing all you know about the body of water you are sailing on is important. Don’t depend on “on the job” learning. Check it out before you go
Long Distant Sailing Vacations
1)The ease of portability and their extreme light weight make inflatable sailboats ideal craft to bring along on an open road adventure across the country or even overseas. This gives you and your family the opportunity to explore and sail lakes and bays you never have been on before. One last word of caution: safety should always be your number one priority and your best defense and most fun way to enjoy yourself, is to do research different lakes, bays and a seas you might be sailing on.
Know before you go should be your motto.