Sport Boat Applications

Share this article:




Inflatable boats are the most versatile boats available on the market. Due to their compact nature, lightweight, while still being able to carry many times their weight, it’s no doubt that these boats have the capability to be used in almost any scenario. Below we will discuss some of the most common uses of an inflatable boat and how alternative boats stack up against an inflatable dinghy.



Inflatable zodiac boats are great for yacht or sailboat owners that need a ship to shore boat, but have limited space for storage. Sport boats solved this problem with their small storage volume and portability, while still offering good performance and fun. All of these great qualities combine to create an ideal inflatable that boat enthusiasts seldom forget.

With hard floor tenders, you only have to worry about the floor pieces taking up a small amount of space while in storage and the added weight to the inflatable. A hard floor offers increased rigidity for more stable planing speeds, exceptional floor durability for heavy cargo and rough waters. This allows you to carry a variety of items to and from your yacht or sailboat without fear of damaging your floor. Check out our 8’10” Dana if you are looking for a hard floor inflatable boat, or give us a call for more personalized recommendations based on your specific needs.

"Air floors offer the same portability of roll-ups with some of the added benefits that hard floors provide."

Air floors offer the same portability of roll-ups with some of the added benefits that hard floors provide. Air floors provide the ability to get on plane, directional stability, and reduced weight compared to hard floors, making them a great option for sailboats. This allows them to be easily brought aboard for easy assembly and disassembly. Additionally, users that find aluminum and wood floors too firm or unforgiving, can find comfort with the softer and more cushioned air floors. While air floors are great, they don’t offer the same durability or performance offered by hard floors. They allow more flex and bend, reducing their stability when cutting through heavy wakes and waves. Even though air floors are made from the same durable material as the inflatable itself, it is recommended to keep sharp or abrasive objects off or away from the floor. If you are interested in air floor yacht tenders, check out Newport Vessel’s Carmel, Seascape, and Santa Cruz models.


Sport boats also make very affordable runabouts, as they provide great performance on the water while reducing set up and disassembly time. A runabout boat is a personal watercraft used for short but speedy trips, making sport boats the perfect fit for this application.

"Inflatable boats are ideal for boaters who travel, have limited storage space at home, or those who store their boat at the dock, but don’t want the high cost of maintaining a solid hull boat. "

Inflatable boats are ideal for boaters who travel, have limited storage space at home, or those who store their boat at the dock, but don’t want the high cost of maintaining a solid hull boat. For RV travellers, apartment dwellers, and many who prefer to rent a locker at their local marina, the sports tender is their preferred choice. They can be inflated and assembled by one person in under 15 minutes, or even faster with two people. The inflatable keel allows you to get on a plane and gives directional stability to provide you speed and performance to get you to your destination. What makes inflatables great runabouts is not any specific feature, it is the across the board performance, because of this nearly any of our boats can make the perfect runabout. Our Baja, Catalina, Del Mar, Dana, Newport, Seascape, or Santa Cruz models make great inflatables for your next runabout.



The versatility of sport boats allows them to be capable personal fishing boats, their durability and buoyancy makes them great options for both fresh or saltwater. Their large tubes and keel make them capable personal fishing craft. Unmatched stability of inflatable boats allows you to stand and cast anywhere on the boat without rocking or upsetting the balance of other passengers. Due to the use of hooks, fillet knives and other equipment, hard floors are suggested but not necessary for fishing. Newport Vessels boats are made with an 1100 Denier Korean PVC material, this is the same material used on many whitewater or fishing rafts, and is extremely durable. When properly inflated, there should be little concern of hooks puncturing the material without significant force being applied. Because sports tenders possess an inflatable keel and not a deep-V, they are still relatively flat and able to maneuver you into shallow water. Newport Vessels manufactures most of our boats with 18” diameter tubes, these increased tube sizes provide superior buoyancy and stability compared to other brands on the market. We recommend looking at our Newport, Baja, or Catalina for fishing with multiple people, these larger boats have more space for your equipment, coolers, and fishing buddies.



Sports Tenders are famous for their use in the military special forces, more commonly known is the Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) produced by the company Zodiac, who popularized the shape. This is just one example of how useful sports tenders can be in this application, and a testament to their versatile and durable qualities. Their lightweight portability is a tactical advantage for getting them in and out of the water, and out of transport vehicle, allowing users to fit it into a small aircraft or humvee without taking up an excessive amount of space. With a max load capacity is about 10x their own weight, servicemen and women worry less about their equipment and focus on the mission or objective at hand. Quick inflation and deflation time allows users to quickly assemble or disassemble the boat, great for getting out of the water swiftly and leaving without a trace.

" With a max load capacity is about 10x their own weight, servicemen and women worry less about their equipment and focus on the mission or objective at hand."



Sports Tenders make great options for many researchers and expeditions, they are typically used as tenders for the larger boat, but can also be launched from shore to reach remote locations. The affordability of PVC inflatables fits the budget constraints of many research projects, especially compared to other types of inflatables or personal watercraft. This allows research money to be spent on the actual research instead of expensive equipment. Their portable nature means there is more room for equipment and can be easily operated by a small team. Because of their ability to withstand abuse and harsh conditions, they are perfect for researchers that are doing studies in various environments. Whether it be in the ocean, in a lake, pond, river, or marsh a Newport Vessels inflatable will always perform. Depending on the type of research and how many people and equipment will be used, will determine the correct vessel and size. Please give us a call for personalized assistance to choose the right boat for your needs.



Inflatables also make great dive boats for snorkeling, scuba diving, freediving, and spearfishing. Newport Vessels inflatables feature a grab rope on all tubes, making them easy to enter and exit for diving. The large tubes are great for preparing your equipment and then smoothly deploying into the water by simply rolling backward. Large stable tubes ensure your boat doesn’t rock when displacing the weight on one side of the boat, also making reentry into the boat a breeze. Again, due to the use of heavy and potentially sharp equipment, we recommend a hard floor for this type of application. Because of the variety of equipment that divers could have, a hard floor would be better suited for the possible abuse. We recommend our larger boat models the Baja and Catalina as dive boats. The larger space will be able to provide ample space for equipment, preparation, and supplies.

"Large stable tubes ensure your boat doesn’t rock when displacing the weight on one side of the boat, also making reentry into the boat a breeze"



If you can’t tell already, sports tenders are extremely versatile for almost any application you may have in mind. Their extreme portability allows them to be available for weekend warriors, their durability and performance are perfect for numerous applications, and their stability keeps users safe in a variety of conditions. They can be broken down further into air floors and hard floors, which helps expand their usefulness to an even greater range of users. For almost any situation you may have, a sport tender can be used for it.




Rowboats are a traditional tender option which some still opt for today. They are typically made of wood, plastic or fiberglass and can last a very long time if cared for correctly. However, because they are a solid hull, they are hard to store and move out of the water, making a davit or permanent tow setup necessary. These solid hull boats have another downside, allowing them to drift against your yacht will quickly markup and damage your expensive paint. The major downside to a rowboat is that it requires manual labor to power. There is not transom to mount a motor to get you from Point A to Point B.



Drift boats are designed to be used on rivers and streams for fishing purposes. They have wide flat bottoms, flared sides and a narrow pointed side. This makes a great fishing boat for small shallow streams where regular boats might possibly bottom out. These boats are also highly versatile and customizable. Most companies make the seats removable and have accessories that can be adjusted to your needs and wants. These boats have oars that are most ordinarily used and have the option for an outboard motor as well. However, these do not make great yacht tenders. The flat bottom design causes them to ride on top of the waves and chop, rather than cutting through it; this would cause a very uncomfortable ride out in the ocean. These boats are made of aluminum or fiberglass, limiting their portability and increasing their overall weight. This requires them to either be towed or placed on a davits system.



Jon boats are famous for fishing applications. Like Drift Boats, they possess a flat bottom allowing users to get into the shallow water without bottoming out. They are generally less expensive and made of aluminum, wood or fiberglass and fairly easy to maintain. They also have a transom that can support an outboard to power your boat. A Jon Boat is still reasonably light, meaning they can reach high speeds as they plane on top of the water. However, because they are flat, they only ride on top of the water and are not designed to handle rough waters. While they are fairly inexpensive, easy to maintain and reasonably light, they won’t be able to perform well in the open ocean; making the Jon Boat a less versatile choice as a Yacht Tender.

Leave a comment