Commonly known as “Dinghy Dogs,” our Inflatable Sponsons turn a traditional dinghy into a super buoyant and stable vessel.
Our boats are already quite stable, but some people who have less-developed sea legs may appreciate an added layer of stability and protection, especially if you’ll be transporting guests, pets, or children. These Inflatable Sponsons attach to the sides of our traditional dinghies and provide the air-floatation of an inflatable boat, without compromising the performance of the boat’s traditional design.
The stability of an inflatable without the drawbacks
The typical inflatable dinghy is inherently ungainly, because all of that surface area that makes them stable also creates a lot of drag that impacts performance. They are difficult to row, unmanageable in a crosswind, and a punctured tube can be disastrous. Hard-bottom inflatables are very heavy, extremely expensive and require more storage space than our boats of the same length.
Our Inflatable Sponsons slide onto a track along the gunwale, low enough that they don’t interfere with rowing, but high enough that they don’t drag in the water or slow you down. They can be installed and removed in minutes whenever you need a bit of extra stability. They are constructed of a heavy wall urethane air bladder covered with a robust vinyl sheath. The air inflation/deflation valves are large and securely shielded, and an optional high volume air pump is available.
How to Install Our Inflatable Sponsons
1) Inflate the sponsons so they’re about 90% full. Leaving a little bit of flexibility in the sponsons makes them easier to install on the track.
In the video at the right you’ll see a quick video demonstration of how the valves work. The valves don’t use any plugs, instead the inflation line just folds back on itself and creates an airtight seal when tucked into its vinyl sleeve. Easy peasy!
2) With the valve side up, slide the round edge of the sponson into the grooved track along the gunwale.
3) Pull it along the track until it is all the way down to the end. Pro tip: it can help to have a helper on the back end to keep it in the channel by gently pulling back on the back end so the sponson follows the curve of the hull.
3) Inflate the sponsons the rest of the way. (You can do this manually with just a few breaths until they are tight.)