Is Newport Vessel Catalina 12 ft Inflatable Boat Worth the Price? Detailed Review

Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?
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The Catalina Dinghy is Newport’s largest inflatable pontoon. The boat is flexible enough to be used for professional and recreational purposes. Are you looking for a boat for marina exploration and water patrolling? Well then, the Newport Vessel Catalina is the perfect boat to satisfy all your boating needs! Be it fishing, diving, or cruising, this boat will give you the most enjoyable experience on the waters.

Are you aware of how this inflatable boat was tested before being released to the public? Three fully grown men, each in their own inflatable boats, took a trip from Newport Beach harbor to the Island of Catalina (The island is located some kilometers away from California).

You will get the answer after reading this Newport Vessels Catalina inflatable boat review for sure.

This test was done to check how the inflatable boat performed throughout the journey. As expected, the results were exceptionally well! The boats didn’t get punctured plus remained free from damage, and resultantly the boats were approved for sale.

Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?

Newport Vessels 12ft 6in Catalina Inflatable Dinghy Boat

 in stock
as of 22.06.2024 03:45

An Overview of The Boat

Having a 12 ft 6″ length, the Newport Catalina is one of the largest dinghy boats you’ll ever get your hands on. It is easily available online, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of going to buy it in person. The 8″ wide tubes help in giving you the most comfortable and stable ride, even when the water is rough and winds are high. Customer reviews are proof of how smooth their experiences have been.

The boat can haul up to a total of 1603 pounds, which is more than enough for your family. Furthermore, it is equipped with a powerful outboard motor to boost up power efficiency and faster performance. It is made with triple-layered and high-quality PVC, a commercial-grade fabric that makes the vessel extremely strong and sturdy. Triple layering ensures to protect the boat from destruction in unprecedented weather conditions.

If you’re still not sure about the sturdiness of the boat, you can drag it across concrete or make it run into docks to see how it remains unaffected and looks fine as new! The PVC used ensures the dinghy remains protected from UV rays, scratches, and punctures.

The large carrying capacity of the boat allows the installation of a large, 20 HP gas motor. You can troll your boat at more than 26 MPH at this power. Moreover, two aluminum oars are included to make your experience better!

That’s not it. There is an inflatable keel which will make steering easier and acceleration smoother. It will also help to navigate your way smoothly in rough waters. The Catalina sure might be big and a bit pricey too, but it provides solid value for the money. Extremely versatile and incredibly smooth, the Newport Vessel Catalina will give you an unforgettable experience! Be it calm lakes, rough rivers, or strong winds; you will have the most stable, smooth, and carefree ride of your life.

According to reviews on Amazon this inflatable fishing boat inflates very fast even with foot pump. Also has more comfortable height of seats than its competitor in this price range such as Sea eagle SE9.

Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?

The Features

  • It is made up of a triple-layered 1100 denier coat that’s coated with polyvinyl chloride.
  • 20 HP motors can be easily installed in it.
  • It can easily carry 5-6 people.
  • The inflatable keel makes acceleration and maneuvering extremely smooth.

The Specifications

  • Dimensions are Length: 12.6 ft, width: 4.5 ft, and tube diameter: 1.6 ft
  • Dry weight is about 160 pounds
  • 18 inch Tubes


  • Sturdiness – 10/10
  • Tracking – 9/10
  • Comfortability – 9/10
  • Portability – 4/10
  • Storage – 10/10
  • Versatility – 8/10

Why Does It Stand Out?

Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?

1. Huge carrying capacity

As mentioned above, this inflatable boat is capable of hauling all of your family! This means, unlike all typical inflatable boats, this boat provides you the chance to go on a trip to the sea with the whole family! Be it dogs, kids, or even friends; the Cataline can easily accommodate them all! The large space even gives ample room for a large motor.

A motor of around 20 HP will make the inflatable boat speed up to 26 MPH. You can add a motor with less power if you require that.

2. Gives a stress-free ride!

The Newport Vessel Catalina can handle rough waters very well. Unlike typical inflatable boats, the dinghy will give you a stable ride in Class II rivers.

Do you want to feel like moving further and further away from the shore? Catalina has got your back! It will remain steady in rough winds as if it is nothing. Some people have even mentioned if they knew how to do backflips, they would do it on this inflatable boat, and the boat would remain uninfluenced!

3. Its quality has improved

The customer reviews for Catalina models from 2011 and 2012 suggest that the dinghies had a bit of fault in them; according to customer reviews on Amazon, the Catalina used to fall apart after a year of purchase. Customers developed a dislike for the inflatable boat because it was literally useless for them after one year. The glue started to wear off, making the seam and multiple other parts come out of their place. However, this problem was resolved soon after customers gave their honest reviews about the boat. Newport hasn’t received any official statement concerning the faults, but it is obvious they improved the quality since the negative reviews have reduced dramatically since 2012.


The Catalina has a few drawbacks, so let’s dig into those.

1. Less portable

For an inflatable, the Catalina certainly isn’t portable. With its dry weight of 160 pounds, it is easy to store it in the back of your staircase or any small area of your apartment, but it’s certainly not suitable to be carried in your car’s bumper. However, if you’re a strong person with some abs, it won’t be a really big deal for you to carry this. If you need a portable boat that you can carry around, the Catalina might not suit your needs well.

2. Does not perform well on Class II rivers

Despite the inflatable keel that functions to improve the maneuvering and steering of the boat, it should be noted that you wouldn’t want to take this boat on Class II rivers. Earlier, we mentioned that Catalina stays well on rough rivers, but that doesn’t mean you take it on class II rivers. This inflatable is specifically made for rivers, and its performance will go down in Class II rivers.


Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?
  • It has a huge weight carrying capacity of about 1600 pounds.
  • It is even more stable than some aluminum boats.
  • It can cover a large distance easily if more than 25 miles.
  • It can easily navigate its way through rough waters.


It is not portable because of its heavy weight.

No repair kit included


Q) How should I store my Newport Vessel PVC inflatable boat?

Ans. The quickest way to ruin your boat would be to keep it out in the open and expose it to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Another way would be to store it in a damp place without air. Therefore, avoid storing the boat under direct sunlight or in a nonventilated room if you want your boat to last for years. If you’re not using the boat frequently, the good idea is to disassemble it and store it in the bag. Keeping it away from humidity, UV rays, and extreme temperature will increase the boat’s useful life.

Q) How should I clean my Newport Vessel PVC inflatable boat?

Ans. Since the inflatable mode is made with PVC, you should clean it with approved products to be used on PVC fabrics. Please avoid using the typical household cleansers as they will cause discoloration and drying.

Q) How should I tow my boat?

Ans. Make sure your boat is empty when you are going to tow it. Use the D-rings to secure the towing line, and remember not to use the bow ring when towering the boat. If your boat is only equipped with a bow ring, just take the boat on board.

Q) Does Newport offer international shipping?

Ans. Yes, Newport offers to ship to numerous countries. You can see the details mentioned on their website. Some of the countries on the list are Alaska, Canada, and Hawaii. You can pay all the duty and brokerage fees upfront when you get the product.

Q) How should I fix drain plug leaks in my boat?

Ans. Buy a good-quality silicone caulk and apply it to the inside and outside perimeters of the drain hole. Reinstall the plug, and then apply the caulk on the edges of the boat. Leave it for 24 hours, and your drainage problem will be solved.

Is Newport Vessel Catalina Worth the Price?

Newport Vessels 12ft 6in Catalina Inflatable Dinghy Boat

 in stock
as of 22.06.2024 03:45

Final Thoughts

Do you want a stable boat for joyous trips on the river with your family and friends that offers a comfortable ride even when the winds are strong and waves are rough? Newport Vessel Catalina is your safest bet! You will be surprised by how it smoothly accelerates and makes its way through the roughness of waves. This sturdy boat is perfect for marine exploration on a day off! Handle it carefully, and it will easily last for a couple of years!

Last updated: 21/01/2023

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