How To Transport Inflatable Boat?

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People who plan to buy a boat often wonder how to transport Inflatable boats from their homes to the shoreline. The fun part is when the boat is on the water, and you sail away; that is the easy part. The hard part is how to transport it from your house to your desired sailing location.

Are you an angler or a boater? We are sure that you would like to have enough transport options. For starters, boats are not easy to transport. Rigid boats are more difficult to transport, but inflatable boats are not easier either, especially if you transport them while inflated.

In this article, we want to furnish you with different transportation methods. The methods we reveal work for inflated and deflated boats, so rest assured that you will find an option you prefer. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

In your car trunk

One method that you may have thought of is to transport it with your car trunk. If you decide to use this method, just have it in mind that you will have to deflate the boat first if you haven’t already done so. Wrap it up neatly and load it in your trunk. Once you get to your floating-point, you will have to inflate it again before you go sailing. This method works only if you have a big car with a spacious trunk.

Use a hitch

For those with smaller cars and tiny trunks, they may use a hitch. Hitches increase your trunk space, but they take time to set up. If you are so desperate to get your boat to sea, spending extra time setting up a hitch should not be a problem.


Trailers are very popular options for many boat owners who want to use their SUVs or trucks to transport their boats. You don’t have to deflate your boat if you have a trailer. All you just need to do is place the inflated boat in the trailer and connect it to your truck, then drive away. There are special trailers designed for inflatable boats with wide pads and strong wheels.

The disadvantage of using a trailer is that you will need enough space to park it once you arrive at your launch site, but this problem is worth the challenge since you will not need to inflate the boat before you use it.

Launch wheels

If trailers will be a problem for you because of their bulkiness, you may opt for launch wheels. Simply attach the inflated boat to the front of your vehicle, then place the wheels under the boat. So elevated level of the boat ensures that the connected part hangs off your vehicle while the other end rests on the wheel for a means of smooth transport.

Use a Roof bag

Did you know that your car’s roof has the space for your inflatable boat? If you don’t have enough space on your truck, you can place the boat on your roof. But you will need to deflate it first. Deflate it first, then wrap it into a roof bag. Zip the bag, then fasten it to the roof of your car, and you are good to go. When you get to your launch site, you can unwrap it and inflate it.

Place the inflated boat on your roof

Another option is to place the inflated boat on your roof. But this option will only work if your car’s roof is big enough. This method is one of the easiest because you only have to do two things; place the boat on the roof and fasten it with a rope so it doesn’t fall off when the car is in motion. But note that you will not drive too fast.

Use a pickup bed

A pickup bed is a pad or platform used for carrying bulky items. This method only works if you have a pickup truck. The choice is yours whether you transport it inflated or deflated but remember to use strong ropes to tie the boat.

Use a Carry Bag

This is the old-fashioned way of carrying items, but it is very stressful. We are not talking about just any item here but a boat. However, if you are up to the task and you have no other option, use a strong and spacious carry bag. First, deflate the boat, then carefully fold it, so it fits into the bag. The good news is that most manufacturers sell their boats alongside a carry bag. As long as the boat weighs less than 100 pounds in deflated form, you have nothing to worry about.

Use a backpack

Why not go for a backpack if you don’t have a carry bag? This method will leave your hands free to carry other items, but the bag pack has to be a very sturdy one to accommodate the boat’s weight. Simply load the deflated boat into the bag, secure it and carry it.

Consider your launch site

Before deciding on a transport method, you have to consider your launch site. If the site is inaccessible by road and is surrounded by rocky terrain, you may want to think twice about using a car. To be fair, you may drive close to the rough terrain and then carry the boat from there. This is where your backpack or carry bag will come in handy.

Also, if you have enough roof space on your vehicle, you don’t have to use a trailer or launch wheel since your roof will suffice. If you must use a trailer, be sure you have a parking space at the site before you leave home. The idea is to use a method that provides you with the best possible outcome and one that will not put you or your boat at risk.

Lastly, if you must deflate the boat for ease of transport, make sure you bring along inflation tools.

Storing your inflatable boat on-site

If you don’t want to go through the stress of transporting your boat through and fro every time you want to use it, you can store it on site. Ask around if there are safe storage facilities close to your launch site. If you find one, you can keep yours there, but you will be charged a fee. But before you do that, make sure you inspect the storage facility to ensure that it is safe and well ventilated.

Ask other boaters who use the facility for their boats. If they are comfortable leaving their boat behind for safekeeping, you can do the same.

How to transport inflatable boat FAQ

How do I transport my Inflatable raft?

There are different ways to transport an inflatable raft, but the easiest method by far is to deflate it first. You can carry it in a carry bag or backpack. If you don’t want to deflate it, you can transport it while it is fully inflated, but you will need a pad to carry it if the terrain leading to the launch site is not accessible by car.

What is the maximum speed I can transport my Inflatable boat?

If the boat is deflated, you can go at any speed you wish, but in the inflated form, you need to be very careful. We recommend a speed of 25-30 mph maximum because you want to be careful so the wind doesn’t push the boat off your car roof or stage the transport trailer off course. Always consider the boat’s safety and other motorists when transporting your boat.

What is the ideal motor for an inflatable boat?

It will depend on the size of your boat, but the ideal motor power is 90hp. If you can afford a stronger engine, then go for it.

What’s the ideal distance between your car and the boat?

The ideal distance should not be more than 8 knots on water. On land with a car, the ideal distance should not be more than 10ft.

Is it important to strap the boat if I am using a trailer?

Yes, it is. Using a strong strap will prevent the boat from falling off while in motion. The strap will also hold you t in place when you enter into gallops and bumps. Straps also prevent potential accidents for other drivers coming behind you.

What is the easiest way to transport an inflatable boat?

The easiest way to transport an inflatable boat is to use your car or truck. If you attach it to a trailer, you won’t have to deflate it, thereby saving you the stress of pumping it when you get to your launch site. Attaching a launch wheel to the boat is another stress-free method.

What is the best way to transport an inflatable boat?

There is no best method of transport. The ideal method is what works for you.

Can I hire a transport company to move my inflatable boat?

Yes, you can, but you will have to pay for the service. Service fees vary depending on your location and the distance between your house and the launch site.

Will my boat be damaged if I inflate and deflate it often?

No, it will not be damaged. Inflatable boats are made of tough materials like Hypalon and PVC. They are durable and cannot be damaged by air passage

Final Thoughts

Transporting an inflatable boat can be a tricky endeavor, especially in inflated form, but there are workarounds you can utilize. Any of the practical methods listed in this article will work but go for the option that best serves your needs.

Last updated: 17/04/2022

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