Friday, October 9, 2015

Inflatable survival boat

I see in some survival magazines they are promoting inflatable boats as bug out vehicles. The thinking is that even urban dwellers can store them in a closet somewhere and they don't take up much room. How good are they really?

Like anything else, it depends. If you really skimp and get a vinyl boat, you won't get much use out of it. If your main concern is crossing a river one time and never using it again -maybe. I say maybe because it might not even last the one time you need it. If you plan on escaping flood waters be aware that there is a lot of boat puncturing debris in the water.

I bought a Sea Eagle 420 kayak a few years ago and paid about $1100. For that money I got the boat, seats, paddles, patch kit, bag, and foot pump inflator. You also really need a special gauge to make sure it's at the right pressure, but that's a bit extra. Later I bought a nice 12 volt inflator pump which came with a built in gauge. That works really well, but it doesn't take all that long to inflate even using the foot pump.

The kayak is a bit over 14 feet long and very stable. It's capacity is over 800 pounds. That's a lot. It's not the fastest paddling boat I've ever owned, but paddles well enough to do the job. We used it as a dingy for our sailboat. Once we kept it inflated for over a month and the tubes never got soft. The material is rugged enough to stand up to oyster beds, sharp rocks, and barnacles.

I'd consider my kayak a decent bug out vehicle. It has a skeg it's easy to paddle a straight path. My lovely wife, the dog, our laundry and groceries plus my great big self all fit in the boat. One person can paddle the boat and that would leave an awful lot of capacity for equipment.

I brought it with me to Florida in our tiny little economy car so I've got it if I need it.



  1. As is usually the case. you get what you pay for.

    1. If you are serious about needing an inflatable boat, be serious about it.

  2. Replies
    1. I do what I can. It nice to have a "survival boat" that's also a great recreational boat.