Originally Posted by 4arch
I'm facing exactly the question of which inflatable to buy now also. As if there weren't enough choices just among floor types and features, it's made all the more confusing by the fact that it's hard to compare specs. Max payload, passenger capacity, and max horsepower all seem to mean different things depending on manufacturer. For example, one boat I'm looking at is 9' and claims a 4 person/683 lb capacity while another is 7'-10" and claims 3 person/1,058 lb.
I almost bought a Mercury 240 Air Deck at Defender but I was not happy with their no returns policy on inflatables. Unfortunately no other dealer I've looked at comes anywhere near their sale price on the same boat. The Sea Eagle 8.10 is also a contender. While I'm not crazy about its colors/styling, I'm really impressed that they offer a 180 day trial period plus a three year warranty that is apparently all-inclusive.
I have a Merc Air deck. I think the quality is better than the sea eagle.
FYI... It takes a bit of work to inflate even a smaller inflatable and they never really roll up to the same small size as they come from the factory. Kind of like folding up a roadmap (remember those?
) I have a Merc 310 and it came all snuggled up in a nice carry bag, don't believe I ever got it back in again.