Pros: great price, sturdy, easy to maneuver and blow up
I won't go into too much detail about how to buy an inflatable boat because you can find that information online. I will; however, tell you how I got to the Intex Excursion 5 Boat because that may be helpful to you.
I wanted to buy us a kayak. That is what we had been eyeing. Since we pull a travel trailer, though, buying something inflatable made sense. When I went into EMS and mentioned it to the salesman, he tried to discourage me by saying that they don't last long - maybe five years. Well five years is just fine for me. I paid less than $120 for this boat online so for that money I would take two years! In addition the kayaks that were rated highly were very expensive. The Intex Excursion 5 was rating highly. I bought it from Mr. Pearls11 but it seems he is not selling these any more. I actually bought it as a final sale! Amazon is selling it at a great price and you'll find it on eBay as well.
When the boat arrived (as a surprise) my husband was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a kayak but once we got in the water he decided he loves it and is glad I didn't buy a kayak. Why? Because it is so easy to use. We can face each other and just float in ponds and lakes.
What it comes with:
~One set of oars that were easy to put together. There is another oar holder if you want to buy another oar.
~The boat as it is sold is intended for one person to row. This person would sit in the middle row but this isn't how we use it. More about that...
~We got two inflatable seats with backs which are super comfortable and one seat without a back that goes in the middle. Since it is only the two of us (and our dog), after the first time out we didn't put in the "5th" seat.
~It comes with a patch kit and a small plastic ruler. The ruler is very helpful but Intex really should figure out a better ruler. It is clear and if we hadn't been careful so far we would have lost it. ~It comes with a foot pedal type blow up gadget (quick air pump it is called).
~The gear pouch is a joke. It won't keep anything dry and is tiny. I went out and bought some small and one large dry pack.
~It comes with a grab line that goes around the boat. I also have bought heavier rope and a small anchor.
About the boat:
The boat was easy to figure out. We inflated it first in our backyard before we took it to the lake.
This boat is very large. In fact it is much larger than I expected. It is 12 feet long and about 5 feet wide. The "back" of the boat is wider and the seat for the back is wider than the front seat.
It will hold between 880 to 1,000 pounds depending on whether I read the box or the instructions. It weighs about 58 pounds. The two of us can fairly easily move it from where we blow it up to the water. It is a tad clumsy because of the size and it has scraped the bottom on concrete but it is made of really tough vinyl so no problems and I don't expect any.
The boat has 4 areas to put your fishing pole in although we have no intention of fishing but it is a great little fishing boat.
The 5 in the name means 5 people. That would be two on each seat and one in the middle. Depending on the size of the people that will work but most likely two adults and a couple of kids will work the best in this boat or just two adults. Four adults will work also as long as they aren't too large.
There is no warranty on the boat.
We first tried the quick-air pump. You might read that it takes an hour. It doesn't. It took us 20-minutes to blow up the Excursion. Still I went out and bought a battery operated pump which takes about 5 minutes. If you have a lake in your backyard and are close to an electrical outlet, obviously an electric pump will work.
It is especially easy to blow up because of that little plastic ruler. There are lines on each of the chambers. I put the ruler on them and we know how much air to put in each chamber. There are three air chambers including an auxiliary air chamber in the hull for extra buoyancy. The boat of the boat is firm and comfortable.
The valves on the two main hull chambers are called Boston valves. This means that the air won't come out when we are done inflating the boat. The seats do not have this feature so they are a bit more challenging but a cinch once we got used to it. The seats fit into hooks inside the boat so they stay secure.
I was concerned that if I went for a swim I wouldn't be able to get back in but I could. The boat is sturdy enough to allow me to push myself up.
The Intex Excursion 5 is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
We live on the ocean but it is rocky so we have decided to use it in lakes, ponds and rivers. It is easy to control in those waters but the ocean is just too unpredictable. A motor mount can be bought for $22.00 if you then want to put a small motor on the boat.
We love this inflatable boat. There is so much room. My husband and I can stretch out, bring a large cooler, take our dog, Hanna, and feel secure. I highly recommend it.