I saw this cool little inflatable craft down at the Newport Boat Show last month, and I’m hoping to give it a test drive after the Annapolis show sometime next week. It’s called the Tiwal, and if you haven’t guessed already, it’s French. And as you can see it’s a pretty ingenious design.
As with all inflatable things, portability is the goal. And as the happy owner of a ULI inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard, I can report that the ability to throw an 11-foot “board” into a 3 x 3-foot bag in the back of our car is a pretty cool thing. The fact that the ULI is a serious board and can be pumped up to be nearly rock hard is the key to it actually being fun to use.
So, I stopped in my tracks when I saw the Tiwal, amazed at the clever way these guys seem to have been able to make an inflatable boat that can be stiff enough to actually be fun to use.
The way the mast step, daggerboard trunk, and the rudder frame work with the inflatable hull is pretty cool. As you can see in the photos above, it all fits into two decent-sized bags when it comes time to take your sailing show on the road.