We don't think it's worth saving short-term dollars by cutting corners on long-term quality.
SpearFish tubes are made from very high quality multi-layer engineered German fabric, with class-leading UV (sunlight) and abrasion resistance.
Similarly the high pressure dropstitch floor material is emphatically not “the cheap option”.
The floor is integral to the boat. This is harder (more expensive) to make than removable types, but the result is a much stiffer hull, and also (bonus feature) one that's easier to clean.
The boats are put together in one of the highest quality inflatable boat factories in the world, which makes tubes for some of the best quality (and most expensive) boats on the market (we can't publish which, but ask us over the phone or in person).
Inflation is via proper “bayonet fitting” inflation valves – not cheap “push-fits” - and all six valves (yes six!) are of the same type.
the price you pay includes as standard the bow canopy (why don't all boats have one?!), the oars and rowlocks (almost unbelievably, some don't), the seats, storage bags for the hull and removable components, repair kit and a manual pump.
We believe we have some of the best-designed inflatable boats on the market, and we want them to be the best quality too. Good quality means better long term value. If that means we can't compete with cheaper boats, we'll live with it!
As already mentioned we use some of the best fabric on the market. But nobody can say it's impossible to puncture an inflatable boat. For that reason the main hull tube on SpearFish boats is in four sections, so that even if you do have an encounter with something very sharp three quarters of the tube will stay inflated. Of course you're going to be heading home if this happens, but you will still be afloat and you will still have a viable boat. Many comparable boats only have two or three chambers, so a puncture will have a much greater effect on seaworthiness. Besides the hull of course SpearFish also has the inflatable floor, and the bow canopy... Six independent chambers in total.
The bow canopy is mainly there for protection from wind, rain and spray. It's a great place for cold kids (or dogs!) to hide out when Mum & Dad have got the weather wrong; and to keep spare or extra clothing dry. But it does have a genuine and important safety benefit too. Because it's inflatable, and well above tube height, it makes SpearFish less stable if it's turned over. That's not a very likely event – we've only ever managed it by doing so deliberately – but “unstable upside down” means “easier to turn right way up” too.
This is no joke. We are shocked at the inadequate rowing facilities provided by some manufacturers. You may not intend to row your SpearFish for pleasure – even if it does row surprisingly well for an inflatable (that easily-driven hull wins again) – but you should never put to sea without some form of back up propulsion system. Modern outboards are much more reliable than they used to be, but not infallible. Damp salty air is no friend of mechanical things, and there is always the possibility you might run out of fuel (or have some contaminated fuel). SpearFish oars are a decent length, robust, and fitted to some of the best rowlock fittings on the market. They stow well outside of the area you'd want to sit, so there's no excuse not to take them either!
Read up on 'long hull theory'