• Low weight ( 7 kg - 15 lbs air deck for a boat of 3.5m(12') long against 24 kg - 53 lbs of a floorboards set). • You can forget the mechanical assembling of the boat at all - just inflate to make it ready!
A foldable inflatable boat with a hard deck (wooden or aluminum floorboards) is a tradition of inflatables. Usually it includes some floorboards (made of marine grade plywood or aluminum) joined by means of some cross and ateral aluminum profiles, which also work as a reinforcement.
Slatted deck is the most simple version of boat flooring : wooden strips on flat bottom. It's very light, do not need much care, but has quite low performance as the bottom is flat.
An air deck (or an inflatable floor) is an innovation, which became very popular. The heart of an air deck is so called a "double-wall " or "drop-stitch" fabric" - a brilliant technical idea, which allowed to realize this project on a high technical level.
Two airtight layers of reinforced PVC (or HYPALON) coated fabric are fixed 40-50mm away by an innumerable quantity of threads (2-5 threads on every sq.cm). After the perimeter is closed airtight it becomes a very hard and strong plate, when inflated. To inflate it, you need a special high-pressure pump, because the nominal pressure for air decks is 4-5 times more than for the inflatable tube.
Two best features of air decks are:
But unfortunately these are the only pluses. The reverse side of this medal is not so good: • Air deck is a very delicate, being sensitive to intensive use and abrasion, which sufficiently decrease the lifetime. With an air deck the boat is not so solid as with floorboards. • And finally the air-deck boat is a bit more expensive than the boat with floorboards.
Table 4.Florrboards , Air-Deck and Slatted Deck comparison