1. What is inflatable boat racing?

Inflatable boat racing is a sport in which there are teams of people on several boats that “drag” around a circuit in the ocean. The circuit is about 400 meters by 200 meters. It is a thrilling race in which the boats’ pilots and co-pilots crash through and over waves and around an “M” shape circuit as fast as possible. The race starts and ends on the beach, which makes the race that much more exciting. If you are looking for a sport to quench your thirst for adrenaline, look no further, this is the sport for you!

Thundercat Racing, UK — UIM P750 European Championship
Eastern Beach, Gibraltar

2. Where did this sport originate?

Inflatable boat racing started in South Africa. Sparks Esterhuyzen traveled in a small canoe from Nature’s Valley to Cape Town, South Africa which was about 700 kilometers. He then shared the idea of a boat challenge with a friend and thus the wildly huge tradition was born. In December of 1988 the first Trans Agulhas Challenge was held in South Africa. This tradition has been a yearly event since and has grown to evolve into many different races throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

3. Are the boats really inflated?

The design originated from lifesaving monohull surf rescue crafts that were used in a variety of sea conditions. The inflatable boats used for these races are designed to have their hull “sit” on a cushion of air bubbles reducing the wet surface of the boat and lubricating the contact between the boat and the water. Their hulls are inflated similar to air in a tire, but even entirely “deflated” the boats have a very high buoyancy.

4. What distinguishes the inflatable racing boat from any other racing boat?

A stock 50 HP engine drives 4 inflatable hulls weighing only 200 lbs. These inflatable boats have a better power to weight ratio than a Ferrari! Since they are raced on an “M” shaped circuit, their maneuverability is a huge priority and these boats are specifically designed to reach extreme speeds while retaining control to maneuver through the course.

5. What can you do with these boats?

Aside from adrenaline seeking boat racers, anyone can use these boats for a variety of ocean and river enjoyment. Since they are so light and small, they can be taken anywhere for your favorite hydro-activity. You can use inflatable boats for waterskiing, fishing, tubing, lounging or quick trips across your favorite lake!

6. How big are these boats?

Length overall: 14ft
Length of inside “deck”: 8ft
Tube diameter: 1.6 ft
Buoyancy: 1775 lbs
Weight: 200 lbs

7. Do I need a special size vehicle to pull the boats?

No, they are very small and lightweight. Regardless of the size of your vehicle, if you have a hitch you can pull a trailer for your inflatable boat.

8. Can IBR supply a trailer for me?

Yes we can! IBR can supply anything you need for your inflatable boat! We supply trailers, helmets, life jackets, and any other gear your boat or pilots need for their racing enjoyment and safety!

7 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. What do you do for motors in the US, in SA these are mostly 2 stroke motors? I don’t see any new 2 strokes in the US or Canada these days.

    1. Hi Willie,
      It is good to hear from you and thank you for your question. We race Tohatsu M50D2 engines as well as the Yamaha 50H engines. Both these motors are the approved UIM race engines, 2-stroke, 3 cylinder, pull start, tiller.

      1. I want to get one of these set up in northern California. Im a life long ocean rescue professional and have only ever been able to get zodiac type boats want to try these out as we have a lot of high surf and chop.

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