Frequently Asked Questions

Why are True Kit inflatables such great value?

We design and test all our boats in-house without the need for outside assistance.  Many of the components are actually manufactured inside our own workshop.  We only sell our boats directly to our customers, worldwide. If we used distributors, prices would likely increase 35%.  With our direct to customer model True Kit can offer exceptional boats at a similar price to much lesser boats offered by other brands. True Kit aim to offer a premium product at a less than premium price.

How can I buy a True Kit?

You can order a boat directly from our website or get in touch with us through our contact page.  Payments can be made via our online secure credit card payment gateway using a credit card or by direct bank transfer.  We send our boats everywhere in the world using an express door to door service.  We can typically dispatch an order within 3 working days and delivery takes just a few days for national deliveries.. Please note the destination and time of the year can affect how long the shipping takes but we can give you an estimate. You can check out this video to see the buying process here.

How long does it take to ship my True Kit purchase to my country?

For standard orders, we can process and turn these around within the same week as your order confirmation. Shipping time depends on your location. We can usually get orders to the other side of the world in around 2 weeks once dispatched from our workshop…which is pretty impressive! 

Please note: these timeframes are subject to change through busy periods of the year

Does True Kit have distributors in different countries?

Every single customer has a unique set of needs for their boat. To align with that we prepare every order on an individual basis, carefully package it up and ship it directly to the customer wherever they are in the world. Before you buy, feel free to ask questions and lean on our experience. You get to talk directly to the designers/manufacturers. We feel this creates a unique experience that you can’t get from anyone else. Also, to keep offering our amazing craft at such great value, we cut out the middlemen and sell only directly to you, our valued customers.

How much is shipping?

Shipping cost is determined by the destination and size of the package. We use Fedex and DHL as our reliable express services and only charge what our shipping carriers charge us. Each order is prepared exactly to our customers requirements and carefully packaged up before booking the shipment. After adding items to the cart on our True Kit Website, proceed to the checkout where you will be able to input your shipping address to see the exact shipping cost. If you need some more information regarding this feel free to contact us through the contact page on the website.

Will I have to pay taxes or duties?

We do not collect taxes for your home country. You should always expect to pay the local import duties and taxes for the country you are importing into. This varies from country to country. Our shipment provider (Fedex/DHL) will assist you with the customs clearance and collection of duties. It is important that you are available for communications during this shipping time.

Why should I choose a True Kit inflatable over another inflatable brand?

When you choose a True Kit inflatable, you know you are buying a quality product, designed by boaties, for boaties.  With all the noise out there on the internet, we know the decision can be difficult, so let’s look at what sets True Kit apart. 

Each True Kit inflatable is a unique design of ours.  At True Kit we design and test every model in our home waters in New Zealand.  We manufacture our boats out of the best available materials using the best technology and systems available and we sell the boats directly to you.  In short, we bring you the best inflatable boat at the best value.  The people behind True Kit have been around boats all their lives, they use boats on a daily basis, and they bring this experience to every boat sold. If you are comparing a True Kit boat to another brand of inflatable boat, make sure you read this detailed article Why True Kit are the best

Why use the more expensive German made Valmex®?

We conducted extensive research before choosing Valmex® for our boats.  Valmex® is manufactured by Mehler Texnologies in Germany. Mehler has been manufacturing high quality textiles for over 60 years.  They only make top grade products.  There are many cheaper fabrics, particularly those produced in Asia which simply do not meet the True Kit standard and those expected by our customers. Valmex® costs around three times the price of the common pvcs you typically see on many inflatable boats but it is worth it, your safety and our reputation are important. This fabric is widely recognised as the best weldable fabric for boats in the world and it has been extensively tested in the harshest conditions around the globe.  

Before you buy your inflatable boat, ask “is it Valmex®?”

Why thermo-weld the seams of an inflatable boat?

Research indicates that glued seams are usually the first point of failure on an inflatable boat.  This is typically due to a combination of reasons relating to the fabric itself and the glues used.  In contrast a thermo-bonded or thermo-welded seam results in a seam 4 times stronger than a glued seam.  The seam in fact becomes stronger than the fabric itself.  It is a mechanical bond as compared to a chemical bond.  Remember the tube seams on an inflatable boat are under constant pressure and exposure to UV makes glue bonds weaker.  Make sure your next inflatable boat has welded seams. Check out our video onwelded vs glued seams

What are the packed down dimensions of the boats?

Check out the specification table of the model you are interested in. Or check out this specification sheet to view the packed down sizes of each model as well as other specifications such as weight -Spec sheet

Is it ok to fold and unfold the boat multiple times?

Yes. We specifically designed our entire True Kit range with folding the boats up in mind.  This is one of the reasons we use the highest quality fabrics and construction available. Cheaper fabrics lose their flexibility and durability over time compared to Valmex® which maintains its suppleness over years of use.

Are True Kit inflatables easy to set up and to pack down?

Yes.  Our boats are the easiest boats in the world to both set up and pack down.  There are no nuts and bolts, velcro or tools needed.  Simply insert the floor and inflate the tubes and floor.  Everything automatically gets locked into place.

Why add rubbing protection to the bottom of True Kit inflatables?

As boaties ourselves we know how boats get used.  You arrive at the beach and the first thing you do is pull it up on the sand.  All inflatables require bottom and side rubbing protection.  Without rubbing protection the life expectancy of your inflatable boat is significantly decreased.  We also recommend you add transom wheels to your True Kit to provide ease of moving the boat around on land.

What guarantee do you offer?

We offer a 5 year limited warranty on new boats.  Warranty terms can be found in the Warranty page on our website True Kit Warranty. Actually, boats built with Valmex® 20 years ago can still be seen zipping around demonstrating exceptionally long life expectancy.

Do you have accessories I can buy?

True Kit design and produce an exceptional range of accessories to go with our boats. These include the unique fully removable QuickLok Dinghy Wheels, the True Kit Bimini for sun protection and the Premium Seat Bag to keep all your valuables safe. We also partner with Railblaza to bring you useful clip in accessories like Rod Holders, Cup Holders and Phone Holders. As boaties ourselves, who use the True Kit boats on a regular basis so we know the importance of having stuff that works. Check out our full range of accessorieshere.

What is included as standard when I buy a True Kit boat?

You will get everything you need to go boating. Included with the boat is a Floor, Aluminium bench seats (1 or 2 depending on the model), oars, True Kit hand pump by Bravo, boat bag and floor bag and a repair kit.

Is Valmex® or hypalon better?

Both are top quality fabrics and very resistant to a range of environmental factors.  However, we prefer to build our boats from German engineered Valmex® as it can be thermo-welded whereas you can only glue hypalon seams, and a glued seam is the weak point on an inflatable boat.  Valmex® produced boats are also lighter which means less heavy lifting for you.

Are inflatable boats suited to fishing?

Absolutely! They are lightweight, stable and quiet on the water which makes them fantastic fishing platforms. We recommend that you leave the gaff at home and take the net, leave the knife in the car and take a decent pair of scissors.  Some common sense around protecting the boat from fish spikes is recommended.  Ideally this involves using a protective mat and dropping the caught fish directly into a fish bin to protect against fish spines. We have some recommendations to help you set your True Kit up for fishinghere

Is an open or closed transom the best?

At True Kit we have done extensive testing in the transom area. It is such an key component of any boat. Through testing we have determined that an aluminium transom with a close-able scupper is best on the small boats, and an aluminium transom with an open grate system is best on the bigger boats.  Our aluminium transoms provide an incredibly stiff, yet lightweight structure to directly transfer the power of the outboard to the boat. By tailoring the scupper system to each boat you get the best system in each case.

What if I get a puncture?

True Kit inflatables have several air chambers for safety.  In the unlucky event that you get a puncture, all True Kit Inflatables come with a temporary puncture repair kit to keep you on the water.  Normally, even the worst accidents can be repaired back at the workshop. Feel free to contact us and we can recommend the right solution for you.More information on repairing inflatables can be found hereRepairing inflatables

How do I care for and store my True Kit inflatable?

Give your boat a fresh water rinse when you are finished with it.  Let it dry before storing it for long periods of time.  Keep it out of the sun when you aren’t using it.  A protective cover highly is recommended if you plan to leave your True Kit outside. We recommend product brands Aurora and 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant. When storing your boat for longer periods of time, make sure you keep it safe from vermin which have been known to take a liking to inflatables.

How do I fold my True Kit inflatable to make it compact for storage?

Your True Kit inflatable will come beautifully packed, so pay careful attention when you open the carton as to how we have packed it for you - this is the best way for you to do it in the future.  You can check out our video on how to pack your True Kit inflatable here How to pack your True Kit up.

What pressures are best for my True Kit inflatable?

Inflate the tubes to 3 psi and the high pressure floor to 10 psi.  Correct pressures ensure your boat performs better and lasts longer.

What is the best bimini sun shade for a True Kit inflatable?

We have spent considerable time designing and testing bimini tops specifically to suit our range of boats so we can offer you our True Kit Biminis that are built to the highest standards with the best materials available. They are completely waterproof and UV proof and have a unique fold-away system which means they will pack down for storage within seconds.

What is the difference between the Navigator and Discovery models?

Both boats share exactly the same materials and construction methods. The designs also share a similar catamaran platform which offers superior stability and performance when compared to conventionally designed inflatables. The main difference is in the bow section. The Navigator is primarily designed for yacht tender purposes and has a high volume tube running all the way around the bow. This means you can load the dinghy up with more people and gear and have them close to the bow. The Discovery has parallel tubes which are tapered towards the bow. This creates less volume in the bow area which increases performance and also allows the bow to be pushed close to the water when weight is placed there. This unique design feature is great for swimmers and divers boarding the boat from the water, it is much easier than climbing up over the side tubes.

Does water come over the bow of the True Kit Discovery model?

The True Kit Discovery models have been refined over many years. They have carefully tapered bow sections to reduce drag and allow the front to be pushed down close to the water. However, they also have a subtle rise in the shear line that keeps the bow well above the water level when you are moving along. Most people are very surprised at how dry these boats are. In fact, to prove the point we demonstrated the Discovery in some sizable surf conditions. We did everything we could to get water over the front and only by putting the bow directly under a breaking wave could we get water over the bow. You can see the videohere

What engine do you recommend?

Each boat and your specific use case will point you towards the best engine for your boat. On top of this, different countries have different models of outboards available. We are always happy to make a recommendation for an engine based on what options you have available to you and can assist with recommending matching props. Permatrim Performance Foils are also a great option in certain situations. To find out more give us a call - we are always happy to help

What is the best way to transport a True Kit inflatable and engine?

All our boats pack down into a very compact package and will fit into the back seat of a car. There are certain techniques that we recommend to help you pack your boat down into the smallest package possible and there are instructions on how to do this provided when you purchase a True Kit boat. Our boats can be transported fully inflated either on a trailer or roof top. Small outboards can be transported lying down. 2-stroke engines don’t have any issues with oil running out of them, but with 4-stroke engines it is important to follow the manufacturers recommendation for which side to lay them down on. It is always a good idea to keep the power head of the engine slightly elevated above the shaft when transporting. Remember to close the fuel vent and fuel valve before you put the engine in your vehicle.

Do True Kit boats row well?

Our customers are always surprised at how well our boats row. While they haven’t all been specifically designed for rowing (except the Stowaway), the low drag platform and lightweight construction make them a breeze to row. The catamaran design also helps the boats to track well compared to many other flat bottomed boats.

Where are True Kit inflatables made?

True Kit uses a range of materials that we source from all over the globe!  This includes Valmex® from German, Bravo from Italy and Railblaza from New Zealand. The boats are then manufactured at a state of the art facility in China.  This facility is one of a few top-class production facilities that has a range of thermo-welding and high-frequency welding equipment and technicians trained in these difficult processes.  All finishing, inspections and accessories additions are done at our workshop in New Zealand.

How long does it take to set up a True Kit inflatable boat?

A typical set up time is between 10-20 minutes. This depends on the model and whether you are pumping the boat up by hand or with a powerful electric pump.

What if I get a hole in my boat when I'm on the water?

True Kit inflatables have several air chambers for safety. If one of these chambers loses air, the other chambers maintain air and allow your boat to be completely buoyant still. You will still have enough air in your boat to safely return home.

Are True Kit inflatable boats stable?

Our boats are incredibly stable. This stability comes from a combination of large tube size and catamaran design shape. You can read about it here

What's the best way to keep my gear dry on my True Kit?

To help you to keep your gear dry we have designed and sell premium seat bags. These are made with high quality materials so we happily warranty them for 5 years. If you don’t have one of our bags you are probably best off to stow your gear in either a waterproof bag or container. You can view our seat bag here

How many people can a True Kit inflatable carry?

The bigger the boat, the more passengers or load it can carry. You can find the carrying capacity of our boats here

What is your lightest boat?

The Stowaway 220 weights 14 kg and can carry two passengers - you can view it here

What is your heaviest boat?

The Discovery 400 weights 45 kg and can carry 6 passengers - you can view it here

What True Kit boat should I get?

The boat that works best for you will depend on many factors - ultimately you need to decide which are the most important to you. The key factors are - any length restrictions, expected conditions you will go out in, stability, capacity or load carrying capacity needed, speed and range, weight and your ability to handle different size and weight boats, plus what you want to do in it. To help you out here is a video on choosing your True Kit inflatable. If you have any questions or need a hand to make the right decision then please give us a call and we will be happy to help. 

What is the best way to put long lasting registration letters on my True Kit?

The best method to put lasting registration numbers on your True Kit is to paint them on. Use a stencil to mark up the numbers, mask them up and paint with a compatible paint. There are also speciality products for inflatable boat painting like Polymarine Letterflex.

How do you use QuickLok Wheels?

Our Quicklok wheels are a quality product made with 316 marine grade stainless steel. They are easily and quickly removable by using a unique locking system onto the transom to allow you to pack your True Kit up into the smallest, lightest package. You can find more information including a video here and you can purchase them on our website here

Do True Kit boats make good tenders?

They sure do!  Being catamarans, all True Kit inflatables sit flat on the deck of your yacht.  This means no cradle is necessary, saving valuable deck space. It also means they are incredibly stable. The catamaran design means they are more efficient than your average inflatable which in turn lets you use smaller outboards - this saves weight and fuel and allows the engine to be more portable.  The stability and lightness of our True Kit tenders has completely changed the boating experience of many of our experienced boating customers.

Can I tow behind my True Kit?

Depending on the model you have and what you want to tow, you can tow foilboards, surfboards and biscuits or similar but not water skiers or wakeboards.  If you are going to tow we suggest you put the biggest motor on the boat that it is rated to take and install towing eyes. If you make a towing bridle we suggest it is made out of Polypropylene or similar material that floats on top of the water or install a small float at the bridle/Tow rope connection to help avoid the tow rope getting eaten up by your prop which can ruin your day

What materials are used to make a True Kit?

True Kit expects to be measured against the very best in the marine industry.  Through stringent material selection, True Kit has chosen Valmex® Boat PVC by Mehler Texnologies in Germany.  Mehler have been manufacturing the highest quality textiles in Germany for over 60 years and are widely recognised as the leader in this field. Mehler has been around for over 70 years! They also manufacture huge stadium roof coverings which are exposed to the weather all year round.  They design fabrics that will last.

The fabric used in the manufacture of an inflatable boat must be able to withstand extreme physical stresses and also be able to resist abrasion, hot and cold weather and UV light.  That is asking a lot of fabric that you wish to be lightweight, flexible, air and water tight!  Valmex® is manufactured in Germany under the internationally recognised standard of quality:  DIN EN ISO 9001:2008

PVC fabrics contain a plasticiser in order to make them flexible.  Cheap fabrics contain poor quality plasticisers that migrate to the surface resulting in the material becoming sticky, then brittle and finally failing altogether. In contrast, Valmex® contains only the highest quality plasticisers.  There are many cheaper alternative materials for manufacturing lower quality inflatable boats rejected by True Kit.

There was one other primary feature that we wanted for our chosen material - we wanted a fabric that was designed to be thermo-welded. This is a very important quality to us because that leads to durability not only of the fabric but also of the seams. If you ask most inflatable boat suppliers where their fabric comes from they won't even be able to tell you.  If you press them often the best they will come up with is somewhere in China or Korea!  It is important to know what your boat is made of.

Inflatable boat bonding - glued or welded seams?

There are fundamentally two methods of bonding the seams of an inflatable boat: Glued or Welded. True Kit wanted to use the best method available in the industry to manufacture boats that would last.  

Research indicates that the first point of failure of an inflatable boat is glued seams.  For many years now we have seen issues with boats becoming weak at the seams as a result of the combination of poor fabric and poor glues.  Plasticisers in the cheap PVCs would migrate into the glue, attacking the strength of the bond and resulting in boats that would literally fall apart at the seams.  Glued seams are particularly susceptible to conditions involving UV, heat and humidity.  There are two solutions to this problem: (1) Use the best German made fabric available (2) Thermo-weld the seams.  

Thermo-welded seams have been a game-changer in the inflatable boat industry.  A thermo-welded seam is a bond between two layers of fabric that fuses the two layers into one under heat.  A thermo-welded seam is four times stronger, and lasts significantly longer than a glued seam.  Another benefit of a thermo-welded seam is superior air-holding ability.  A thermo-welded seam is a permanent bond.  Thermo-welded seams also have high pressure tolerance. This is helpful as it means you don’t need to keep compensating for hot and cold weather conditions. 

Unlike a glued seam, a thermo-welded seam is not affected by heat (from the sun) or UV.  Glues soften in the sun and with the air pressure from the inside of the tube, the softened glued seam will fail.  Don't be fooled by marketing-speak about "cold welded" seams either.  That is actually a glued seam and is a term designed to mislead the consumer. 

One point on Hypalon material.  Hypalon exhibits high resistance to chemicals, abrasion and UV.  However, Hypalon seams can only be bonded by glues.  Seams on Hypalon boats are typically the first point of failure.

Check out our inhouse testing on the effect heat has on glued and welded seams here

True Kit seams are precision cut by plotter and thermo-welded

Inflation Valves

The third component that creates the air-tightness qualities that True Kit inflatables are famous for (after the fabric and the seams) is the valves.  There are several generic made valves that will do the job (for a while) and two market leaders in the field - the one we choose is called Bravo.  Bravo (an Italian company) specialise in making components for inflatable products - namely valves and pumps.  While a Bravo valve may look the same, the durability is all in the detail.  The way the valve seats into it's position, the strength of the spring, the quality of the plastic and rubber components - these are all critical to how the valve does its job of holding air in an inflatable boat.  We use their push-push valves as they are so simple to use.  Push once and the valve is open, push again and the valve is closed.  No twisting components to fail.

How are the floors made in a True Kit inflatable?

Our floors use a specialist manufactured fabric for the Air Deck called drop-stitch fabric.  Another name for it is double-walled fabric.  It is 2 layers of fabric with thousands of high tensile fibres connecting the 2 layers.  The drop-stitch floor can be manufactured in different thickness for example 5cm, 7cm, 10cm, 20cm.  It can also be manufactured to different stiffnesses with varying denier counts.  Our True Kit floors use the finest drop-stitch fabric available.  On top of the drop-stitch floor we bond a Valmex® non-slip diamond-pattern fabric (called Valmex® Skid-proof) onto the floor to give it a non slip surface and also provide extra protection from damage. Many of the cheaper non-slip fabrics are actually quite slick and offer very little non-slip performance. The seams of our floors are thermo-welded which is very rare for the industry.

What are Railblaza Ribports?

All our boats have 2 Railblaza Ribports mounted on the top of the tubes as a standard feature.  These ingenious inventions are for clipping your oar rowlocks into.  When you are not rowing you can also clip a rod holder, cup holder, phone holder or nearly anything else into it.  When you are not using the oars, they can be safely stowed out of the way in the cockpit.  This leaves a low profile RibPort on the tube.  Compare this to most inflatables where the oars are permanently locked into the tubes right where you want to sit! We can also sell you Railblaza sideports that you can fit to your transom to provide extra mounting points for things like rod or cup holders.

Stainless Steel 316 D-rings

At True Kit we don't believe there is any place on a boat for stainless steel 304.  In stainless steel lingo stainless 304 is non-marine grade and 316 is marine grade.  For all our fittings we only use marine grade stainless 316 (unlike many other boats!).Only stainless 316 belongs on a boat

Why do you have rounded pontoon ends?

Many people wonder why waste all that space behind the transom having the pontoons (or tubes) sticking out the back?  The pontoon behind the transom is actually very important for the performance of an inflatable boat.  This part of the tube provides buoyancy which helps keep the bow from rising too high and also helps with the tracking characteristics of an inflatable.  At True Kit all our inflatables use weld-seam round pontoon ends rather than pointy cones.  The reason for this is pointy cone ends do not provide the necessary buoyancy for boat performance.  Also, the cones are a susceptible point of failure and are also difficult to fold up when stowing your boat away.Rounded pontoon ends really help the performance of an inflatable boat.

What are True Kit seats made of?

All our boats have either one or two aluminium lock-in seats.  Solid and comfortable to sit on, they also provide the opportunity to fit a padded seat bag which turns the space underneath the seat into storage.