How to choose the optimal boat length

Published: 31.01.2023

There is a huge number of different PVC inflatable boats on the market of small boats, which differ from each other, including in length.

How to choose the optimal length of the boat so that one or two people can comfortably fit inside? This question is asked by every novice fisherman and outdoor enthusiast.

In order to determine the optimal length of the boat, you must decide for what purpose and in what composition you will use the inflatable boat. And only after that you study the technical characteristics of an inflatable boat from different manufacturers, compare and purchase your favorite model.

There are several factors that go into choosing the length of a boat.

  • Carrying capacity
  • Capacity
  • Price

To begin with, let’s figure out what the carrying capacity and passenger capacity are.

Carrying capacity

The carrying capacity of a boat is the weight of the load being transported, which the boat can take, while maintaining its seaworthiness. The length of the boat should always be considered in conjunction with the carrying capacity and capacity of the chosen model.

Passenger capacity

Passenger capacity is the number of passengers a boat can take. After determining the carrying capacity of the boat, it is possible to determine its passenger capacity, that is, the maximum number of passengers that can be accommodated in the boat. There is such a thing as the habitability of the boat. This means that there is enough usable cockpit space (the inside of the boat) for each person.

Let’s look at specific examples of inflatable boats from KOLIBRI BMC.

If you are a fan of quiet fishing alone with yourself, in your arsenal there is only one fishing rod and a few lures, then you should stop at small-sized models of rowing boats of the “Super Light” series. The length of these models varies from 190 to 230 cm. But do not forget that these are the external dimensions of the watercraft, and for a comfortable stay in the boat, the dimensions of the cockpit (internal space of the boat) are needed, and these dimensions are smaller by the diameter of the tube. Also, always consider your dimensions.

Also rowing boats of the “Standard” or “Profi” series, from 220 to 250 cm long, are suitable for solo fishing. In these series, the boats have a larger tube diameter and carrying capacity compared to the “Super Light” series. And if you like to ride with the breeze, then choose motor boats of the “Standard” or “Profi” series with a length of 200, 245 cm. If comfort is important to you or you want to take more load on board the boat, then choose models from 260 to 280 cm, regardless of classification, rowing or motor.

A boat with a length of 260-280 cm is also suitable for two passengers. But keep in mind that the interior space of the boat (cockpit) will be small for fishing together. For a comfortable stay on board a boat for two fishermen, the length can vary from 300 to 330 cm. Once again, we want to remind you that when choosing the length of the boat, do not forget to take into account the quantity of load on board, and also do not forget about its carrying capacity.

Three to four passengers can be accommodated on board a boat with a length of 300-330 cm. But for a comfortable stay on board three or four passengers, it is better to choose a boat with a length of 360 to 400 cm.

Motorized inflatable boat with a size of 450 cm is designed for up to 6 people. But if you want fishing with four people, then this is the perfect option. The internal space of this model allows you to comfortably accommodate four passengers with a small load on board.

The length of the boat directly depends on its carrying capacity. When calculating the mass of passengers and luggage, also do not forget about the mass of the motor, if any. Plus, add another 20-30% margin and only after that decide whether this model is suitable for you in terms of carrying capacity, and based on this, you will understand how long to choose a PVC boat.

We strongly do not recommend exceeding the carrying capacity of the boat, as this is your safety, and therefore the length of the PVC boat must be appropriate.

Another factor affecting the interior space of the boat is the presence of a transom.

When choosing the length of the boat, it should be taken into account that the models of the same length, but of different types (rowing or motor), have different cockpit sizes. A stationary transom is installed on the motor inflatable boat, which takes away its internal space. For example, a rowboat 260 cm long has a 190 x 60 cm cockpit, while a motorboat of the same length has a 165 x 64 cm cockpit.


The last factor is the price.

Of course, the size of the boat for fishing affects its price. Based on your capabilities, choose the model that suits you.

Small models of KOLIBRI boats also differ in price, for example, flat-bottomed rowing boats of the “Super Light” series 190-230 cm long are cheaper than the motor model KM-200 of the “Standard” series 200 cm long.

Small boat models not only have a low price per set, but also require less transportation and storage costs.

 Large models, in addition to a higher price, are also more expensive to maintain – as a rule, they are pumped up once a season and then they must either be permanently stored somewhere or transported on a special trailer.

The choice is yours – now you understand the dependence of the length of the boat on its various characteristics and parameters. We wish you a good choice and a great rest on the water.

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