Inflatable Boat Advantages
Inflatable boats are filled with air, which allows them to float on the surface of the water. Today's modern inflatable boats have multiple air chambers to prevent them from sinking and are made from very durable materials. While you may think that inflatable boats aren't as strong as conventional boats, think again! The Coast Guard uses inflatable boats in bad weather when boats with standard hulls just won't cut it.
While inflatable boats are light, they are able to carry many times the load of conventional boats of similar size because of their incredible buoyancy. Inflatable boats are fun for recreational boaters who like to try different waters, because most of them can easily fit in the trunk of a car when they are deflated.
Inflatable boats are also used by yacht owners. They make great dinghies to get to and from moorings, and are also easy to stow on board for boaters who are making longer trips. Because of their soft sides, inflatable boats won't scratch the yacht's exterior when they bump against it.
Rigid Hull Boat Advantages
A rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) or rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) is a light-weight but high-performance and high-capacity boat constructed with a solid, shaped hull and flexible tubes at the gunwale. The design is stable and seaworthy. The inflatable collar allows the vessel to maintain buoyancy even if a large quantity of water is shipped aboard due to bad sea conditions. The RIB is a development of the inflatable boat.
These kinds of inflatable boats give you the best of both worlds — a fiberglass vee bottom to smooth out the ride, excellent flotation and weight-bearing ability, and the capability to bump into other boats without scratching them. Some inflatable boats also have twin outboard motors, which allows them to get up to a good speed.