Best Dinghies in 2023

Dinghy boat

Ready to explore that newly discovered beach or have a libation on Cabbage Key? From getting to your fishing hole or your fishing boat, dinghies are a great way for you and your family to play on the water and be safe on the sea. Sturdier than canoes or kayaks, dinghies can multitask and be used as tenders or rafts.

Invented by the British Navy in the mid-1840s for journeys into the Arctic, dinghies range in sizes, typically six to 10 feet. Because they are robust and portable, inflatable dinghies are a great watersports investment. Before deciding on a dinghy, think about how it will be used, powered, and stored. Great fun in the marina, these well-designed dinghies are our favorites.

Intex dinghy

For eons of time, humankind has wanted to get out on the water. The use of small water vessels dates back nearly 9,000 years. Providing the ultimate in portability, this inflatable dinghy can comfortably hold five people and up to 1,300 pounds. Well suited for lakes and rivers, this watercraft is US Coast Guard and NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certified. The I-beam floor creates a strong base, so it not only stays steady in the water but also provides a base for the small motor. The inflatable seats have back supports to keep you and your fishing or boating buddies comfy all day. Fully inflated this vessel is 144 inches long, 66 inches wide, and 17 inches high, but quickly deflates for storage in the included carry bag – perfect for keeping in the back of your rig. It’s fitted with four fishing rod holders, two aluminum oars, and oarlocks. Weighing just 57 pounds, this dinghy comes with a quick inflation/deflation pump and two Boston valves.

Buy Now: Intex Excursion Inflatable Boat Series

Newport Vessels

Designed to take speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, this dinghy provides you the perfect way to head to your favorite fishing spot. This Coast Guard-approved dinghy can accommodate a 90-pound, 10 HP engine. We love the strong marine-grade plywood floor with an aluminum frame that’s coated for durability. It gives the boat a low center of gravity, which is great when tossing a line and making those picture-perfect casts. With a pair of aluminum benches, and room for three passengers or up to 1,067 pounds, this dinghy makes a great tender, too. The 0.9-millimeter, 1100 Denier, white PVC is coated for UV protection. Just attach a bridle to tow your toy. While the first dinghy race dates back to August 15, 1887, this vessel is ready to rumble around the coves and islands with its great turning radius.

Buy Now: Newport Vessels 20M1000017 8-Feet 10-Inch Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy Boat


Weighing 150 pounds, this 12.5-foot inflatable dinghy has three chambers that can support 1,675 pounds of people and gear. Heat welded 0.9mm PVC gives this vessel extra durability when in saltwater and high humidity. This sturdy model has a plywood transom that supports a 25 HP engine to get you to those hard-to-reach waters quickly. Imagine hooking a 500-pound Black Marlin from your dinghy – it has happened. We love the corrosion-resistant floor that makes a great base for diving, snorkeling, and even duck hunting. Easy to inflate with the included foot pump, this vessel also includes two aluminum bench seats and oars, a carrying bag, and a repair kit.

Buy Now: BRIS 12.5 ft Inflatable Boat Inflatable Fish Hunter & Person Inflatable Raft Boat

Intex Mariner

With Americans owning about 18 million boats, don’t have FOMO (fear of missing out). Get this great entry-level dinghy instead. It unfolds and inflates in minutes, and has two built-in rod holders, oar locks, and oars for a stealthy arrival at your fishing spot. Three layers of laminated, durable PVC keep this dinghy protected from rocks, sand, and mysteries of the shallows. The keep has a rock guard, too, and the main hull is fast to inflate and deflate with the included high-output pump and two Boston valves. The flooring is made from extruded plastic, so it’s lightweight and strong, perfect for this 10.75-foot, 91-pound dinghy. This vessel can support an added motor mount when you’re ready to ditch the oars. Comes with a carry bag, gear bag, and a battery pouch.

Buy Now: Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat Set Series

Bris 10.8

Why sit on shore when this inflatable dinghy is ready to take you and your family on a water ride? Designed for five passengers – four adults and a child – with a weight limit of 1,213 pounds, this bright white and gray dinghy is strong enough to be used as a life raft. Its sturdy aluminum floors and benches are ready to take you out on the gulf. The marine plywood transom supports a motor, but aluminum oars are included, too. With a deep V-keel, this 10.8 feet long and five feet wide dinghy is suitable for salt and fresh water voyages. Crafted from rugged 1,000 Denier PVC with polyester supports to keep it from pokes and punctures, all the seams overlap multiple times and are heat welded. Stow it in your truck or the back of your primary vessel. While this boat holds a lot, don’t bring bananas on board. Bananas, especially on fishing vessels, are thought to be bad luck.

Buy Now: BRIS 10.8 ft Inflatable Boat Inflatable Rafting Fishing Dinghy Tender Pontoon Boat

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