Air filled boats made of a variety of boat skin material and construction are marketed worldwide under the definition as inflatable boats. There are fundamental differences though, with regard to:

  • iproperties, such as tear-strength, abrasion-resistance, UV- and temperature resistance
  • product life
  • price
  • sustainability (raw-material, production methods, expected operational life, repair- and recycle friendly aspects)

Some suppliers and traders obviously provide wrong or inexact product information with intent. Frequently it is a matter of distributing misleading information for lack of better knowledge. Not much better are learned journal publications, seemingly containing statements lacking insufficient research.

For objective information without prejudged statement on specific materials refer to Wikipedia. (or the various other country/language internet identifier letters), for simplified information on inflatable boats:


Inner surface lining of GRABNER boats

  • Elastic- after expansion returns to original size
  • extreme robust
  • resists extreme cold
  • water repellent
  • recyclable by disposal or incineration

  • not UV-resistant
  • more costly (world market price)

By vulcanisation, the milky substance (latex) of the rubber tree is processed to rubber. 


Ultimate air-tight properties for inflatable boats.

(Ethylene-Propylene-Diem-Monomer Rubber)

exterior coating of GRABNER boats

  • UV-resistant
  • durable, tensile strength
  • Ozone resistance, temperature resilient,
  • resists chemical (steam, hot water) attack
  • great elasticity, also when cold
  • ideal for heat processing (vulcanisation)
  • disposal at waste depot as natural rubber
  • recycling – insulation
  • incineration no problem
  • end product - humus (top soil)

  • Expensive

  • is a synthetic rubber product
  • used in the motor industry for production of tyres
  • supplied as roofing material with a 40 year guaranty
  • replaces hitherto commonly used Hypalon, as more environmentally sustainable


NBR (Nitrile Butane Rubber)

  • Cheap
  • oil and acid resistant

  • Poor strength durability

Cheap synthetic rubber used commonly for disposable gloves and low price boats

(CSM: Chlorine-
Sulphate Polyethylene /
Poly-chloropene CR)

  • weather proof
  • ozone resistant
  • chemical resistant
  • good bonding properties

  • base material contains chloricand hydrochloric acid = detrimental to the environment
  • Disposal: Upon incineration of chloric- and hydrochloric acid produces Dioxin PCDD = harmful gas attributed to causing cancer

Hypalon is a trade name of the DuPont company. Production was ceased on 20th April 2010.
If inflatable boats of this material are still on offer, there are 4 reasons:

  • old stock
  • old stock rawmaterial
  • ignorance
  • intentional deception


(CSM: Chlorine-Sulphate Polyethylene / Poly-chloroquine CR)
like Hypalonlike Hypalonis a trade name of boat
skin produced by Pennel
& Flipo of France


  • not long term UV-resistant
  • short live span
  • from production to disposal, detrimental to health and environment
  • production of high toxic chlorine-gas, vinyl chlorine = cancer-producing, highly toxic dioxin waste content
  • containing health damaging toxic metals i.e. lead , barium
  • problematic end disposal (plasticised PVC not at all recyclable. Upon incineration of chlorineand hydrochloric acid produces Dioxin PCDD = harmful gas attributed to causing cancer
  • plasticisers at waste disposal contaminate the environment.


  • Heat + cold proof
  • acid-, petrol-, oilproof
  • slides well, low static friction

  • Problematic disposal, upon incineration producing toxic cancerous fumes

If used as additive to boat skin, the material can not be incinerated