December 28

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Review

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Review

Today we will be reviewing the Saturn SD488 inflatable boat.  this is about that I personally owned and have used many times. Always remember when you look at reviews to see if the reviewer actually owns the item. there are many things I want to say about this if we will both and I will talk about that below. If you are looking for an inflatable boat I have to say that this is definitely a great option for the money. I didn't have space where the money for a hard bottom boat. this was the best option for me at this particular time. 

As far as inflatable boats go, this inflatable boat gives you everything you need. I purchased this boat because I needed something that went along with my fishing at work profile. I live close to the city. My parking is all used up. I don't have a huge yard. I don't have much money. I don't have an infinite amount of time. Therefore, the inflatable boat is the best option for me and my fishing situation. Can I speak to an audience just like me to help them find more time to go fishing. You can find more information at fishingatwork.com/blog

Delivery

This review wouldn't be complete I didn't talk about the delivery process of this inflatable boat. This particular boat is only sold online and certified dealers which are hard to find. If you purchase online you will get a couple of huge boxes coming to your house. the box with the boat will weigh about a hundred and fifty or so pounds. The box was the floor if it's aluminum will weigh 95 lb.  as you can see this is pretty heavy and we haven't even talked about accessories. The 40 lb thrust motor if you purchase it from them will weigh about 30 or 40 lb.

Saturn 11ft Extra Wide

Inflatable Boat

The Saturn line of inflatable boats goes far and wide. This is there only line of extra wide boats if you are taking a lot of people on a joy ride or a quick trip to your vessel.

 All of the items are wrapped in plastic very well and you won't see too many issues. It does take a couple of weeks for it to arrive but that's normal when it comes to freight shipping.  I opened mine and everything was in Ship Shape except for one thing. The aluminum floorboards were obviously dropped on one corner and a little bent. I was a little worried about the curvature of the insert which was bent but it turned out not to be a problem because this part of the floorboards does not touch the bottom for the sides.  I spoke to the company in a stated if there was any problem with them that I didn’t like I could ship them back, but that would be under my own dollar. obviously, since it wasn't a big deal I didn't do that and I haven't had a problem. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Fishing Boat Unboxing

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Fishing Boat Unboxing

The really cool part was that the phone itself and the floorboards had their own personal carrying bag. These bags work decently well when you have somewhere to store them on the same floor as the land. When I say this I'm saying that you shouldn't store it in a basement.  my basement is very hard to get out of because they're sharp corners everywhere and it's a very big item to be moving down a very skinny circus. I think my muscles got stronger and I lost weight by moving it from the basement to the first floor to the car several times drenched in sweat.

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Floorboards Unboxing

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Floorboards

I highly suggest that you have this stored in a garage that's easily accessible to your vehicle of choice for your boat. It's even better if you have it on a jet ski trailer so you can take it to the water and out of the water easily and store it without any sweating like me.  this will be the next step for me when it comes to moving my boat around. I plan on purchasing a house that has a real driveway and hopefully a garage. Then I'll be able to get a cheap pickup truck and a used trailer to move this thing around.

Registration

You should never forget about registering your boat because you'll let me know when the law enforcement will find you when you're very vulnerable. I did my due diligence and had my boat registered but I learned that I didn't follow all the rules and then have all the things I needed for a 16-foot boat that wasn't required of a 12-foot boat.

Saturn 12ft Inflatable Boat

There 12ft model only comes with an inflatable floor. It makes transport and storage really easy. However, for fishing you will have to be careful with those extra sharp hooks. If you fail, a patch is not a problem. 

in the state of Massachusetts, you need a large number of things that are totally necessary for that size if they will both and what you'll be using it for. One of those things is a fire extinguisher when you only have an electric motor. people in law enforcement officers said it was ridiculous but she also said that that's the law!

Saturn provides you with the VIN number on the transom of the boat. This is easily visible as soon as you unwrap the boat and you need this information when you go to register your boat. also, there is another document that I can't remember right now that's necessary for registering a boat and you can get this by going to their website and simply filling out the data that you already have for your boat. Consists of the name of it like Saturn SD488 the size of it and some of the information.  I personally wish there was a discount for people that live in the state next to another one. That way we could fish both States and I have to pay full price.

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Setup

The setup of this fishing boat is not as simple as they make it up. The instructions are simple and you know what you need to do but when it comes to actually doing it, it can turn into a workout. I personally learn this when I first took it out on the Charles River with my son on a Saturday afternoon. I expected it to take about 30 minutes to get unwrapped and blown up but I was very very wrong. I even had an audience to check out what the heck I was doing while I was frantically going as fast as possible while my son was trying to the fish off the dock.

I highly suggest that you do a trial run of inflating and deflating the boat in their yard so you'll know exactly what you need to do and the way you need to do it before you go out there and embarrass yourself. If you don't care about embarrassing yourself be my guest I did a couple of times and I might do it again but now I know I need to do. For me, it takes about 40 minutes to set up and 30 minutes to break down. Both of these times count the fact that I have to wrap it up and put it inside the car. That whole process is about 10 minutes.

Step #1 - Roll It Out

Funny enough the first step is to unroll your boat. You'll be unrolling it from the transom up to the bow. You want to make sure that there is nothing sharp or protruding near the tubes or the keel. this is why it's a good reason to use your storage bag as a nice bottom to cover the road or tarmac that you're trying to blow this upon. I personally prefer doing this in the grass but that's not always an option.  You also want to make sure that there's no debris on the inside of the boat as well. You should dry out any water that you see collected the inside because that may become mold later on. you should unscrew all of the tube valves that you see so that you're ready to pump up.

Step #2 - Inflate Tubes 30%

Using the automatic Electric inflatable boat inflator is a great option. This will pump up your tubes to the right kPa / PSI and stop once it reaches that specific pressure. This is very important because if you over inflate some versions of inflatable boats they don't have a release valve which would mean that you could possibly break the seams, warp the shape of the tube or make it pop. 

 Work your way around the five inflation compartments and inflate them 30% of the way using the eyeball test. Lasted eyeball test I mean just make it look like it's 30% inflated and still loose. You can even go up to 50% if you want to but that makes it just a little bit harder so I suggest you don't do that.

Step #3 - Install Floorboards

After the tubes are inflated 30% of the way, this is the time to prep your floor boards. You will have floorboards numbered from 1 to 5 and then a triangle shape one that goes in the front. You will start by installing the triangle one first in the bow of the boat.  then you install number one and number two. after this you will stall number 5 which is at the stern of the boat. This can be a little tricky because it goes underneath the transom. and when the boat is still fresh it's really sticky and doesn't want to bend. This is when you'll want a friend or you'll have to get inventive where you place your foot and Pull and stretch the boat.

For installing the number five for floorboard I suggest that you put a little bit of water in between the guides that are underneath the tubes. This will allow the floorboard to slide more easily.  when the floorboard touches the transom pull up on the transom and push with your arm on the floorboard to insert it underneath. This may be a little hard to first time but once you get under there will be easier each time. If you have another person to help you can get them to pull and stretch on the transom and on the guides while you push on the floorboard. Some people use their feet to push but that only works well when it's been used many times.

Saturn SD488 - Floorboard Installlation

Saturn SD488 - Floorboard Installlation

The last step can be the hardest for a person who's putting this together alone. This is when you connect the number three and the number for board. These will look like they won't fit because it's a tight fit and the floorboards need to go completely underneath the transom and underneath the bow of the boat. What you want to do is insert one side and to the number 5 in one side into the number two. Then you will have a V shape connecting the number three and a number for floorboard. You will notice that this will be pushing up against the tubes and it might scare you that you'll pop them but that just won't happen. 

Under the best of your best ability, take the handles of the tubes on either side and pull them apart when you're standing in the middle of the boat.  then use your foot to push down on the triangle until it's fully inserted and the floorboards are flat. Another way to do this is to have it in the triangle shape and pull just one side of the tube away from the floorboards while you push down and triangle if your hand. Then you would rotate to the other side and do the same thing until you're not afraid that the triangles going to pinch the side tubes your hand or anything else. you can continue to push down until the floorboards are flat.

Saturn SD488 Floorboard Installation

Saturn SD488 Floorboard Installation

This last step is the scariest step of the whole set up process. you will truly believe that the triangle would somehow grab and pinch the side tube of the boat and cause it to rip and tear. I personally have not done this but I have seen it grab the side of the tube and all I have to do is pull it out.  I never saw any scratches or marks on the tubes when this happened and never received any real damage. When you're doing this the first time just take your time and get it right the first time. It'll be tight, it will be sweaty, but it will be better every other time but you do it.

Now that I have said all this, I would suggest that you put this on a trailer. Inflating and deflating the boat sucks. The boat rocks, but the setup and breakdown process is not cool.

Step #4 - Install Floorboard Seam

The edge of the floorboard has an extra seam above the one that connects to the boat. This seam takes a metal sleeve that provides separation between the floorboards and the tubes. You should add this immediately after installing the floor boards. You should start halfway from the transom and have 3 on each side. The middle of the metal sleeves should cross the connection joints of the floorboards. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Floorboard Seam Installation

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Floorboard Seam Installation

This provides rigidity in the floorboard and allows it to take waves and strong horsepower from a gas outboard. When you are attaching these sleeves it is highly recommended that you put an oar below the side you are working under the boat. This will lift up the floorboards and allow you to more easily insert them. You will notice this is more when you work on the second side of the boat when it is a tighter squeeze. You can follow the same process when you remove them from the boat as well. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Floorboard Seam Installation

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Floorboard Seam Installation

A little note is the plastic metal sleeve ends will pop out all the time. I would suggest just gluing them on since there is no reason for them to ever be off. This is another project that I have yet to do. 

Step #5 - Install Seats

Installing the seats is extremely simple. You will see some handles on top of the tubes that look like they're for carrying. The seats will have curved hooks in them that actually slide into these handles. tubes aren’t inflated which allows you to do this easily.

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Seat Installation

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat - Seat Installation

Saturn Adjustable Seating Frame

If you miss the feel of a bass boat in your inflatable boat this is the seat frame for you. It doesn't have to nailed down and the tubes actually hold you in place. Also it's easy to store.

In the next step when you're inflating make sure that the seats stay inserted in the handles before you let it go all the way to 100%. Sometimes these hooks can dislodge themselves when the tubes are moving and inflating. I've done this many times and noticed that my seats had to come undone and we're just flapping in the wind. Don't make this mistake 

Step #6 - Inflate Tubes 100%

Using the automatic inflater take the tubes all the way to 100%. Remember to make sure that the seats are still inserted.  the other Max inflator will stop as you reach the proper inflation amount. The proper inflation amount for the SD 488 inflatable boat is 20 kPa.  20 kPa equals 2.9 PSI. the automatic inflator sold by boatstogo.com only uses kPa as a measurement.

Saturn SD488 - Tubes

Saturn SD488 - Tubes

Step #7 - Inflate Keel 100%

The last inflation step involves inflating the keel. Remember to close the inflation ports once you have inflated them. The Keel inflation point is within a circle in the bow most floorboard. when you inflate it,  you will notice that the boat will rise.

Saturn SD488 - Keel Inflation

Saturn SD488 - Keel Inflation

You should inflate your keel 25 kPa. 25 kPa equals 3.6 PSI. the keel needs to be extra stiff when it's going to the waves. Using an inflatable boat in the ocean without a keel is absolutely dangerous.  if any form of waves appear in your Keel isn't there to cut through the waves and provide you with a smooth ride, you may be getting very wet.

Step #8 - Insert Boat Launching Dolly

I don't have a trailer for my boat I use a boat launching Dolly. There are many types that you can purchase on eBay. Some will have you drill into your transom. I don't like drilling holes into my boat but you can't do that. Some will have a full length trolling system where you pull it by your hand but that device is very large and not easily portable. 

Boat Launching Dolly

This is a traditional boat dolly set that you have seen on most inflatable boats. It will easily screw on to any inflatable boat transom and the will handle weights within the boats guidelines. However, don't go overboard with weight or maneuverability. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

I came up with a very easy system for myself. This involves using little square dolly carts that don't have handles.  These basically look like platforms with four Dolly wheels on them. I'm taking these over rocks and roots and dirt and mud and they work just fine.

Seamax Boat Hand Dolly

I am sure you have seen the screw on the back of your boat style and pondered that. I don't really like putting holes in my boat. For a fiberglass boat with a real outboard sure, but an inflatable. This is a great alternative.

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

Just remember to be knowledgeable of the weight requirement. I tried to go over the weight wants by inserting my motor and batteries into the boat while using my dolly. I was about 50 lb over the limit and after a couple of runs the wheels broke off. Don't make this mistake.

Harper Trucks Lightweight 400lb Dolly / Hand Truck

After using a cheap dolly cart to put my inflatable boat in the water single handed, I have learned that better quality goes a long way. That cart lost both of it's wheels within 10 trips and is now in the trash. This unit is almost 3x as strong and suits all the purposes you would ever want. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Boat Dolly

Step #9 - Install Motor

At this point, you can install your electric or gas motor onto the transom. Please make sure that whatever device you're using to launch your boat can handle the weight of the Boat and Motor.

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels is known for quality when it comes to creating inflatable dinghys, but many people don't realize that they are great at trolling motors and battery boxes. You should give them a look. 

Haswing Osapian 40lb Thrust Trolling Motor Installation

Haswing Osapian 40lb Thrust Trolling Motor Installation

Step #10 - Launch Boat

Launching the boat using my dolly system you will pick up the bow of the boat using the tow hook. the dolly will move 360 degrees so you can simply use the front of the boat to Sterrett and have all the weight shifted back onto the transom. Then you can simply pull it right down the boat launch ramp forward or backward and insert the boat. 

I personally like the back my boat into the water with the motor first. Once the transom is in water the boat will be floating. I will pick up my slightly wet boat launching dolly. Then I will swing around the boat so that it is fully in the water and drag it somewhere where it's out of the way are the boat ramp.

Step #11 - Add Accessories

Now that the boat is in the water, it is time to insert all the fishing gear that you have collected in your life. Please bring everything you have because this is going to be a fantastic fishing day on your inflatable Saturn SD 488 boat.

Fishing Gear On An Inflatable Boat

Fishing Gear On An Inflatable Boat

Saturn Folding Chair

A good folding chair is a good thing to have on hand for any reason. Saturn specifically makes this to use in their inflatable boats and on the beach. It has not holders too and is small. 

Step #12 - Go Fishing!

Now that you've got your workout in and all your fishing gear is in the boat it's time to go fishing. Please have as much fun as possible but know that there is one more work out waiting for you. This workout is the breakdown of your inflatable boat. It won't be as hard as putting it in but it won't be easy.

Eagle Claw Pack It - Largemouth Bass-2

Once again, if you have your inflatable boat on a trailer then you will be just like everybody else and launch and take out your boat just as easy.

Saturn 15ft Whitewater Raft

Most people don't think about Saturn boats when it comes to whitewater rafting. Inflatables can be great for rafting and allows you to roll it up and put it away super fast. 

Breakdown

The breakdown of the Saturn SD488 inflatable fishing boat is a bit easier and faster than setting it up. There are a few points where you will have to pay particular attention too. I say this because if you don’t pay attention you may damage the boat in some way. Other than that, you can expect it to take 30% less time to get out of the water than in.

Step #1 - Remove Boat From Water

I suggest that if you don’t have a trailer like myself you just run yourself aground. This is when you go grab your boat dolly. Pull the boat as far out of the water bow first. This will leave the transom barely floating in the water. This will also reduce the amount of rubbing on the rubstrake and the bottom as a whole.

Beached Inflatable Boat

Beached Inflatable Boat

Then you should remove everything from the boat and put it next to your vehicle. If you can’t do this because the boat ramp is full then just take out the batteries and the motor. Once you do you this put the boat dolly under the transom and pull it behind your vehicle.

Step #2 - Position For Deflation

Now that you have the boat behind your vehicle the next thing to do is put down the carrying bag. This is the bag that the Saturn SD488 inflatable raft comes with. Place it right in the middle of the bag because that is the best place to place it to roll it up.

Inflatable Boat Positioned On Top of Carrying Bag

Inflatable Boat Positioned On Top of Carrying Bag

Step #3 - Deflate

Go around the boat and unscrew the valve covers and press on the button. This will release the air all at once from the compartment. You can do this in any order. Remember to do this for the keel as well. This process takes about 3-5 minutes for it to lose 90% of its air. 

This is a great time to go in the boat with a towel and remove all water from the inside. You want to remove this water because there is no other way for it to be removed. Once you roll it up the water will not be able to dissipate. If it can’t escape there will be mold growth that destroys the PVC. 

Step #4 - Roll-Up and Containment

You should start your roll-up at the transom side. Every time that you roll it over you should lay your body over that section until the air is gone. This is a good time to remove any rocks and pebbles you see on the outside. It is also a good time to make sure the water is still not hidden on the inside of the boat. 

Once you have reached the halfway, you will be able to stop and fold the bow backwards toward you. This will leave you will the transom and bow rolled up and touch each other. This last effort take a bit of work. 

Pull the bow section onto the transom section and press your whole body and bouncing on it until it is as flat as possible. Try to pull in the side so it is only as wide as the transom. This will allow you to keep the profile of the carrying bag as small as possible. This is the only way I am able to get it inside of my SUV with all the other stuff I need. 

Step #5 - Transportation

There a couple ways to transport this inflatable boat. I personally put it in the inside of my SUV currently. I do this in the transport bag since it on the side of the vehicle. I have the floorboards stacked up first. Then I put in all the soft stuff on top of that. Then I slide in the boat sideways pressed against the backseats. The last things I put in are the motor and the batteries. This makes it 90% full with all the Massachusetts government wildlife and fisheries related items.

If you need to put it on the outside, I have got you covered. I bought a ratchet set with 2 inch wide straps and 4 ratchets. I bought a 12ft x 16ft tarp as well. I plan to use this on long trips to store this as well as when I get an outboard and need more room in the back. Honestly, I don’t want to put an outboard in my vehicle without a plastic tray for it to possibly drip in.

Super Heavy Duty Tarp

When it comes to carrying things on the outside of your vehicle a great tarp is necessary. You need to take care of your assett and this will do it. 16 mil is really thick and it is also waterproof. If you lock it down you could have your boat stay on the car permanently. 

You should wrap the boat in the tarp and leave the seam on the bottom so it is held down by the roof. Then you can use the ratchet set to hold it down. It is a simple camping solution for most people. I will remind you that the boat weighs 150lbs… When you put it up and take it down it won’t be easy.

Portability

The portability of the Saturn SD488 inflatable boat does come with a question at many points.  I personally knew I was going to have a problem before I purchased this boat. However, the ability to purchase a boat of any kind that would get me on freshwater and saltwater wasn't available under normal situations.  Inflatable boats are a great way to provide portability for people who live in the city or in small apartments to have a boat that doesn't take up space.

this inflatable boat is able to fold up into a very small bag with the dimensions of 5 ft by 4 ft by 3 ft in depth. I'm able to fit this with the hundred pound aluminum floorboards into the back of my SUV. I also have everything else I need by the governing authorities at the Massachusetts wildlife and game. the one overarching issue is weight.

The sheer size of the boat and the floorboards is a problem.  The boat weighs 150 lb just by itself. that's a hundred 50 lbs of almost pure PVC.  the floorboards are 95 lb. when you try to put this in your house like your basement and pull up and out and into a vehicle and then back again you get tired. I did this for maybe five or six aliens early in the morning and then I'd come home from fishing and be really tired and not really wanting to do that.

Inflatable Boat Bench Seat and Storage Bag

If you can't take the feel of an inflatable boat seat then a great bench seat will help alleviate the pain. You will also be able to store all your fishing stuff inside and out of sight.

High resolution was twofold. I had a choice of buying a truck which I want. Buying a boat trailer.  what these two I could take my boat out on the water and pull it back in without really any set up. This is the traditional way of owning a boat.  however not everybody has space in their yard. Some people don't even have yards. If you have these problems space and portability is key. 

I personally don't have enough space in my driveway to house a truck a trailer and have room to have another vehicle to use. So my solution was to get a storage unit in the area. If you go this route remember that you don't want to go up and down stairs or even elevators. Make sure you are on the first floor and look for the best deal even if you have to wait months to get it. I waited a couple months looking for deals and I saved over $60 a month by doing so. 

If you do have a truck and a trailer you can also rent one of their parking spaces that has a gate around it which is made for RVs and boats to be stored on their site. Just took a nice safe place that has a storage unit in that area and then you can go in and get out just as quick as it was going to your own house and storing it there. 

this will increase your expenses a hundred to $200 per month depending on which option you go to. if you can't swing this then maybe get really inventive about where you place your trailer. In theory I could turn my trailer sideways if I have real strength and put it into the bushes that are right behind my driveway. however, this might not go over well with everybody else.

Accessories Required

There are many accessories that you could have when you're going out in your inflatable boat. Please read the instruction booklet from your state that you get when you register your boat. This will list all the things you need for the size boat you get to be in regulation with the state. this is important if you ever get stopped and you have to show them that you are legal. don't be afraid of their just doing their job and if you do your job you won't have a problem.

Item #1 - Anchor

an anchor is a regulation required object. It’s use goes well beyond that. When you are on a spot and you need to stay there learn how to properly use your anger can be beneficial. Make sure you aren't dropping your anchor right on top of the fish holes when you do this. There are a couple places on the Charles River that I would like to fish that would require this kind of precision. Make sure you use a rope that is as long as the body of water is deep where you are located.

Attwood Sold Cast Iron 10lb Mushroom Anchor

This cheap anchor has served me well for river and lake fishing. When you couple this with a 50ft line you should have everything you need in a light package. It is specifically good for inflatable boats because it doesn't have any sharp edges.

Attwood 50ft Anchor Line

This cheap anchor is the perfect match with the Attwood mushroom anchor. It gives you exactly what you need and nothing else. Keep it's use to freshwater though.

Inflatable Boat Anchor

Inflatable Boat Anchor

Item #2 - Fish Smell Remover

For the most part you can use the same ones you use to clean your car rims with. please get dirty and they're easily washed or thrown away if they get too overused. You can't get some special stuff like what Bill Dance Outdoors suggest. I believe these are called the Fish D Funk Company. They don't make rags in particular but they do make Chemical concoctions that magically remove stinky fish smell from your body. And if you have a vehicle that other people have the right in or your clothes have to be washed by somebody else. I am sure they would appreciate you don't come home thinking of fish. I know this may be a super cool thing for you but it's not super cool for everybody else.

Item #3 - Fishing Life Preserver

A life preserver is for saving your life. A fishing life preserver is for saving your life and providing you great places to put your fishing gear when you are on the Move in your boat. These Pockets can be beneficial when you need to get something quick and get back to fishing.

Mustang Auto-Activation PFD

When you comes to fishing comfort you have to have an auto-activated Personal Flotation Device (PFD). When you need the best you go with Mustang. This isn't the cheapest product out in the market, but you don't want cheap. You want PFD that is guaranteed to work.

Another great thing about these types of life preservers is the fact that they can be compact. If you've been watching fishing shows lately you might have noticed that the life preservers are almost flat. These are life preservers are activated by being submerged. Once this occurs a CO2 canister that is attached to life preserver will activate and inflate life preserver instantly.

Fishing Life Preserver

Fishing Life Preserver

I believe these are great for convenience and help you to not feel puffy and unable to move while you're fishing. However if you're out in the ocean and your life depends on floating you don't want to have something that inflates. The fact that it inflates means that you can deflate.

Item #4 - Flares

Where is are also a regulation device. You can get the handheld tubes that will work just as well as everything else. These are the cheapest versions you can get. If you have a 14 foot boat or larger in Massachusetts you have to get the flare gun. Some people prefer these and they work just fine and you can get them on Amazon. I purchase mine and have it within its case in the boat whenever it is necessary. I truly hope I don't ever have to use it.

WindRider USCG Safety Kit

When you need full protection in a complete package this kit will give you want you need. The only real difference is the fact that it uses an electronic flare. It will last longer and be strong enough to alert people that you need help when you need it most.

Orion Boat Safety Flares

If you don't need all the bells and whistles.....well maybe a whistle of a full safety kit this meets USCG requirements. It also comes in a waterproof container in case you go overboard.

Item #5 - Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is something you need as well if you have a 14 foot or bigger boat with in Massachusetts.  this is required even if you don't have a gas outboard. you should get the smallest version you can for your state regulations.  This will help you save room in your inflatable boat and you won't have too much sharp metal bouncing around. if you don't worry about your own I suggest that you strap it down to the floor or the seats.

First Alert Marine Fire Extinguisher

If your boat is 14ft or more in most states you will notice that requirements change. Some things like a fire extinguisher are mandatory even if you don't have an outboard!

Item #6 - Registration

Everybody knows what a boat registration is and that is required by their state.  each state has its own regulations about how it needs to be applied to the boat and you should follow that. Also remember to put your registration card and any other data inside a waterproof ziplock bag so you can easily present it to a wildlife and game officer.

Massachusetts Boat Registration Booklet

Massachusetts Boat Registration Booklet

Item #7 - Decal Stickers

Decal stickers for little boats is a bit tricky. Most PVC boats will not allow these decals to stick to them. Many people try and then I end up losing these stickers and having to pay somewhere in the range of 5 to $20 to replace these. You won't have to do that if you follow the right steps and make your own decal board. I have tried this with some cheap poster board and I suggest that you don't do that. If you look at the video above you'll see that that board actually flips over many times when a small gust of wind blows on it.

Hardline Boat Decals

If you are looking to upgrade your boat decals then Hardline has a great selection of font styles and colors to match your needs.

I would suggest that you use a waterproof wood board and have it attached by hooks to the  boat only correct sides. This provides wait for the board to stay down so people can see it and also looks much better than what I have. This reminds me that I need to do this myself.

Item #8 - Fish Finder

If you have a fish finder it is a great thing. It does need power though and a place to attach it to on the PVC tubes. You can get one of the Tommy attachment things and glue it to the top of the PVC to if you like but remember to take it off before you roll it up. For the electricity you can do two different things depending on what type of connection you are using. If you're using a battery box like my Newport Vessels smart battery box then it'll be easy as plugging into the 12 volt adapter. If you don't then you'll just have to use the old positive and negative connector.

Lowrance HOOK2

If you are constantly looking for the latest and greatest fish finder technology then Lowrance is always trying to meet your needs. These days it almost feel like your cheating.

Item #9 - Camera

You can simply use the camera on your phone to take great pictures of your catch and take videos like I do. I use my iPhone or anything video related. I even do my wireless talking through a very cheap wireless headset to get the high quality sound that I need.  you don't need to bring your fancy camera and a fall in the water to get the experience that you want.

Go Pro 8

The new and improved Go Pro 8 will help keep you on the cutting edge of outdoor filmography. This is the top of the line and if you really want to improve your video this is the product you need.

GoPro Camera Accessory Adventure Kit

While you are going for the top of the line, why not get the official GoPro camera accessory adventure kit. It has all the things you need from head to hand gear to make hiqh quality outdoor video.

Inflatable Boat Camera Stand

Inflatable Boat Camera Stand

Item #10 - Weight Scale and Measuring Tape

A weight scale in measuring tape is a very important thing to take when you're going fishing. You never know when you're going to catch that new lunker. you'll have this gigantic fishing your hands and only a photograph to show your friends. They'll know it's huge but they won't know how huge.

If you would want a suggestion I would go with the Rapala weight scale that's widely available on Amazon and directly through their website. It strong does a job at the name brand that's done well over time and people have used it over and over again. You can even get this at Walmart.

Berkley Digital Fishing Weight Scale and Measuring Tape

When you get that fish of a lifetime you need to get verifiable data for the weight and length. Nobody will believe what you caught unless you put it in a bag. When you don't want to do that use your phone camera and this great set to set them straight!

if you want to use a measuring tape you can use anything that is comfortable for you. Some people will just use carpenter measuring tape that pulls out and retracts and others will get a fancy fish measuring board. I personally haven't bought a fish measuring board but I am thinking more and more about it. I think the best thing for me to do is to get a tape on one and apply it to the PVC tube so that I can pull up the fish onto the tube and that in the boat and safely put it back in the water if I'm not going to eat it. This will help keep the fish alive and healthy and not make my whole boat slimy a messy and possibly hurt the fish.

Item #11 - Two Batteries

When it comes to electric trolling motors I am a big advocate of using two marine batteries. The reason for this is the fact that I don't like the paddle. If the battery runs out before I get home which has happened I want a backup. I would love to have a gas motor so I wouldn't have this problem but those can malfunction as well.

Banshee Marine Battery - Group 27

When you need a deep cycle battery and can't make it to the local store, why not get it online. Most people don't realize you can do this. You should take a look around and see what is available if you get in a bind.

Newport Vessels Smart Battery Box

Newport Vessels Smart Battery Box

there is a case to say that you would want to batteries with a gas outboard as well. if you don't have a brand-spanking-new cranking amp marine battery for your gas outboard you may run into problems when you don't want them. And if you don't have a pull rope to start the outboard you are out of luck. You'll have to call TowBoatUS to get a tow or use your flare or your phone to get somebody out there to help you.

Battery Box With Interstate Battery

Battery Box With Interstate Battery

Newport Vessels Smart Battery Box

A great battery box is perfect for protecting your battery and anything that is around your battery when it fails. Newport has turned their box into a multipurpose unit along with several safety features. Check out the review here Newport Vessels Smart Battery Box Review.

Just an extra battery that weighs about 50 to 75 lb doesn't same to conversant in your boat out in the big water of the ocean or Lake Michigan and don't bring it you should paddles use your ability to flag down friends nearby to get help if you wanted to a situation. for me I will take all precautions necessary.

Item #12 - Rags

The one thing that I forgotten time and time again when I go out fishing is a handy-dandy rag. When you catch as many as fish is I do when I go fishing at work then you will run into a situation where you are too slimy to even function. the fish dude that's gets into everything that you have and really causes all kinds of problems.

Microfiber Towels

When you are fishing you just want to wipe your hands on something to get the fish slime off. Your clothes aren't an option so a nice towel is the next best thing. The great this is you can clean it and use it again and again. Buy some for yourself that are basic and not the ones in your closet! You will thank me later...

Time Constraints

The time restraints that you are under when assembling and disassembling the Saturn SD 488 inflatable boat is underestimated.  I personally didn't think this was a problem when I first bought the boat. I was very upbeat about owning a boat finally in my life and I thought I had it all figured out. It turns out experiencing things first hand are totally different than actually watching or visualizing what might happen.

The first time issue happened when I tried to unpack it from its box. There were tons of plastic and it was very tightly wrapped up in it bag. It starts off really sticky and it doesn't want to enroll at all. I suggest that you take it into your basement or garage and unroll it as best you can and then put some weight on either end the bow and the stern and wait until it starts to have more give. This could take a couple hours or less.

when you're actually using the boat the time constraints or in multiples. your first time constraint is when you're taking the boat from its holding place to your transportation vehicle. If you had it in a basement like I did when I first started this is going to be very very tough. I highly suggest that you don't store it in your basement unless it's your only Resort. Pulling up 150 lb boat along with 95 lb of floorboard is a problem. Then you have all the other things that you need to get into the car. You have a 50 to 75 lb battery,  a trolling motor, fishing gear, fishing accessories, and regulation equipment by your state. This all equates to lots of TIME! 

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you also have to deal with the previous spoken four sections in the assemble and disassemble sections of this blog post. Getting the boat ready to go and getting the boat ready to go back into the vehicle is tough. Can you about ready once you've done it five or so times takes about 40 to 45 minutes. If it's your first time it will take about an hour to hour and a half. This will go faster if you have more than one person. Putting the boat away is a bit faster. It will take about 25 to 30 minutes to put away after some training. If it is your first time putting it away it will take about 45 minutes.

You can easily see from these numbers that this is a lot of time that you probably don't have. What I first thought about getting an inflatable boat I talked about the accessibility options that you have. Part of my  But I first thought about getting an inflatable boat I talked about the accessibility options that you have. Part Fishing At Work thing is that we are saving and using time effectively. If you simply can't deal with the standard time to get this boat ready you will have to put it on a trailer. The reason that you would get a trailer for inflatable boat is that you may want to store it in a compact way later on.  Otherwise, you can just get a hard bottom boat with a V hull and that will serve its purpose just like everybody else.

Price

The price ($1699) in my opinion is really great for those who want something that can go on freshwater and saltwater safely. The 16ft Saturn SD488 inflatable boat is a rescue boat. The reason that it comes in Orange is it better to use as a fire rescue boat. If you go to the boatstogo.com website you can see this for yourself. I personally bought the orange boat because I knew it would be highly visible. I am fishing anywhere near the shipping lanes. I will need to be seen by these gigantic boats.  However, you should never be fishing next to the shipping lanes because there's way too much traffic and they simply can't go outside of them because they would be grounded.

Saturn SD488 Price

Saturn SD488 Price

There are several places that sell the Saturn brand and I've only used one of them. This one had the highest ratings and when I had a conversation what's the owner they were very pleasant and they continue to provide High quality service. The company is called boatstogo.com.  they don't do their own advertising but they will give you rebates and even free products if you do certain things for them. If you want to do that and get a couple couple bucks here and there or free storage device for your seat please be my guest. You can find this information at the bottom of the website or you can just talk to the owner through email.

Specifications

If you go to the Boats To Go website Saturn SD488 Inflatable Fishing Boat you will see a full list of the specifications for the boat. It would be a waste of time to rewrite the great information they have there on the boat. I will say there is a little thing that some people don't know about manufacturer and the numbering system.

If you know the difference between a hand glued seam and a heat glued seam you may be interested in this. the seams in their inflatable boats are supposedly all hand glued seams.  However this is not true if you have a certain new VIN number which may be standard as of today. if you have this newer version of the same number you will have a keep glued same. This is the same way that the Hypalon boats are glued. 

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Tube Seams

Saturn SD488 Inflatable Tube Seams

the reason you want the glued seam instead of a hand glued seam is the fact that the sun takes a lot longer to melt a glue on a heat glued seam. fisherman in Florida do not buy PVC boats specifically because almost all of them use hand glued seams. This means that the seems would come apart in about 2 to 3 years Max. and this happens just from being out in the water. If you leave it out in the sun in Florida it may only last a year.  A Hypalon boat uses heat glue seams which melt the two pieces of PVC together. this makes it much harder for the sun to be unglued.

luckily for you the tubes on a certain variety of the  Saturn St 488 inflatable boat have these heat glued seams.  I would check with the owner to figure out if all of the newer ones will have this feature. When I got it, it wasn't supposed to be out yet, but the owner verified with me that I had the new one. this means that my tubes will probably last 20 to 30 years what's standard use. however the floor is attached by hand glue which could last 10 years under normal use. All you have to do after that is to reattach it with the glue that they provide or the ones you can get at your local West Marine.

I went into this thinking that my boat was last maybe 10 years Max and now I know that it will last much longer.  This makes me a very happy customer because I got more value than I expected. this is the level of service that this company provides.

Handling

The handling of an inflatable boat is really nothing to write home about. Just like any other inflatable boat it is subject to the wind and the waves when you're riding. You will get more control if you have a faster speed. I have an electric trolling motor which doesn't give me much control. If you have a gas motor you will have more control with and if I will do. 

Haswing Osapian 40lb Thrust Freshwater and Saltwater Trolling Motor

Haswing Osapian 40lb Thrust Freshwater and Saltwater Trolling Motor

The keel is pretty deep for and if I open out and allows me to cut through the ways pretty well.  I don't have any problems with waves or bouncing when riding on this is like a boat. I'm a fairly large guy of 6 foot 7 and 240lbs and the boat does not feel small. you have three seats and if you want to take one out to have more rum you can do that and it won't misshapen the boat. The shape of the boat depends on the floorboards more than anything. And West the aluminum floor boards that we have it is stiff as a board it can take the ocean waves. If you go for a smaller version that has the inflatable floor you'll have to use a smaller motor of 20 horsepower and the waves will beat you up.

Recommendations

The recommendations below are a list of things that I have discovered as I have used this Saturn SD488 inflatable boat.  Not everybody will have the same situations that I have run into. I believe if you don't have a boat trailer you may run into issues such as this. some of these recommendations are tips on what you should do. please read through each tip and see if it is applicable to your situation.

If you have any suggestions after purchasing an inflatable boat such as this please email us on our website fish network.com and we will be more than happy to make an update. If you believe you found a better inflatable fishing boat that can go on freshwater and saltwater please tell us that information as well. We would love to possibly purchase and do a review of that as well. 

Tip #1 - Fish With Friends

The reason you want to fish with friends is the fact that you need help setting up and breaking down the boat. If you had an extra set of hands you would be able to move it in and out of the car and to also blow it up and deflated.

fishing with friends

fishing with friends

Got a good reason is that it's always better to fish with friends. You catch that good fish and there's nobody to really rap for you because you don't have a weight scale or measuring tape your friend will be your guide. People will say that big of a bass. Your friend will be there to say that it was the biggest fish he's ever seen.

Tip #2 - Use A Trailer

I really want to hark on the use of a boat trailer. There is nothing easier than hooking your boat to your truck and then putting it down the boat ramp and then picking it up when you need to go. The only thing you have to do is hook it and crank it or let it out and then unhook it. 

I totally underestimated the amount of time and energy that you need to avoid using a boat trailer. Of course the cost of having a pickup truck and the space you lies by a boat trailer in your driveway is detrimental. If you live in a place where you have both of these things or at least one of them you should definitely go in this direction. 

boat trailer

boat trailer

In the near future I will be purchasing a used Dodge Ram and trying to find a used jet ski trailer to put my inflatable boat on. I believe this is the cheapest way for me to acquire both and not set my  financials back too far. I suggest that you go to people that you know and your family first and then your friends to find such things at a lower cost.

Tip #3 - Use A Boat Dolly

Another great way to move your boat from your transportation vehicle to the water is with the use of a boat dolly. You will find three different types on the market. I personally only like one of the types for a particular reason. Let's go over the options below:

  • Full Size Boat Dolly - If you have a space in the back of your pickup truck to haul around a full size boat dollar for a 14 foot boat more power to you. It definitely is a good thing but you do have to pick it up out of the truck and then put it back again. This is besides the point and it's not part of the boat so that makes it  yep another thing that you have to haul around. You can purchase from eBay at ​Boat Launching Trailer Hand Dolly​​​
  • Screw In Transom Boat Dolly Wheels -  The screw-in type is the most popular type you will find online. You can find us at Amazon or Ebay or your local boat dealer if you like this sort of thing (​Screw In Boat Dolly Wheels​​​). I know that a lot of boats with very huge and just have them screwed in the transom to give them support because of the amount of horsepower that is used. something about me really doesn't like putting holes and an inflatable boat. I'm already in a device that could be punctured and then sink. The last thing I need is another point of failure at the strongest part of the boat.
  • Clamp On Transom Boat Dolly Wheels - My personal favorite is the clamp-on style transom boat Dolly Wheels. I've only found these available in one place currently. They are sold on eBay from another country (Tehnoparus KT-7 and ​Tehnoparus KT-270 Strubcina Peno​​​). They are a little expensive around 200 plus dollars but they are the only option available. You could build this yourself with some tubing if you are a good plumber or Machinist. I personally will be exploring creating my own version that's available for sale here in America. Now make sure that all parts of the manufacturing come from America so people I'm more happy to buy it.

Tip #4 - Heavy Wood Board For Registration Plates

My current problem with my registration plate on the front of the boat is the fact that it's lightweight. I bought a poster board that is made out of plastic is waterproof. It will last forever in freshwater or saltwater and it's connected by hooks to the side ropes. The one that remit to this is the fact that when any Augusta Breeze comes up it flips over backwards and becomes invisible to anybody who needs to see who I am.

The Massachusetts wildlife and game authority officer stated that I should go for a high-quality waterproof wood bored. She said that she has seen this on many if I go boats in her travels. But I think about it it makes complete sense. One, it looks super cool and sleek. Two, its heavy so it won't flip over in the wind or the waves. I can still connected by a hooking system so I can unhook it at any time and bring it inside my house. three I won't have to deal with the fact that I'll have to replace my registration board anytime soon.

Tip #5 - Only Buy Aluminum Floorboards

I say this to only buy aluminum floorboards I mean it in the nicest way. When do you use inflatable floorboards you're giving up a sense of safety and reliability. Brass fisherman inflatable for boards is absolutely useless. I for one don't like something soft under my feet when I have hooks and weights another metal things as being slung around my boat. This does make my boat more light and allows me to transport it easier. This also makes it more portable. However this does not make the boat stronger.

if you use inflatable floorboards will that be able to use a horsepower over 25. This is because the rigidity of the boat will be compromised by not having a solid structure on the floor. The kill will be able to handle the waves that hit it and you might find that to capsize or the boat actually bends in half. He can handle a 40 horsepower motor 2 stroke of 140 lb in weight if you use aluminum floorboards. Two-stroke Motors are for sale anymore so you can handle about a 30 horsepower 4-stroke engine. this is what I'm planning to get.

Saturn SD488 Floorboard Installation

Saturn SD488 Floorboard Installation

If you use aluminum floorboards you'll be able to throw on your hooks your weights. Fish can be thrown into the boat and you don't have to worry about their fans or something poking them.  if you have children you won't have to worry about them hooking about on the floor or being kids. I learned that the keep sealed tubes are really strong and the PVC is actually very hard to puncture. I've had a hook found so many different ways and it just doesn't seem to snag on it.

Tip #6 - Don’t Overpower/Outweigh The Transom

In the previous step I told you not to overpower or outweigh the transom. This partially depends on if you use the aluminum floorboards or not.  If you don't use the aluminum foil boards and get the cheaper inflatable foot boards you will have less power and less weight available for use on the transom. You will be subject to about 25 horsepower on the transom. Transom max weight is 140 lb. If you use the aluminum floorboards you will be able to handle 40 horsepower on the transom. This is a simple fact.

Tip #7 - Check the Seams For Damage

Every couple of months you should check all the seam on your boat to make sure that they are still intact. If you are not sure if you have received a heat sealed seem to boat you should do this on the regular.  I've been told that a hand glued seam boat only last a couple years if left out in the sun. If you do take due diligence and cover it up or put it in somewhere dark it will last around 10 years.

If you use a heat glued seam, you can expect your boat the last 20 to 30 years if not left out in the sun. If you check your seams on regular intervals you will hopefully knows any separating glue or missing glue where you can make an easy fix to help your inflatable boat last throughout its term.You can find this glue from the manufacturer boatstogo.com or from your local West Marine.

Tip #8 - Remove Water Before Rolling Up

We are following the steps to roll up the boat please keep an eye out for water inside of the boat. I was first going through the processes of figuring out how to do everything correctly I had a lot of water in the boat that I didn't write off. We can easily do this by opening the drain plug and lifting the boat straight up and down and letting all the water drain out the back. You will get out 99% water this way and it's not a big deal.

 If you let the water stay in the boat when you roll it up you will run into several problems. One of them will be the water will run out in your car if that's where you store and make everything wet. If you store your boat somewhere else the water will stay in the boat and not dissipate. When the word does anticipate it will allow mold growth. Mold growth will destroy the PVC and the glue that connects the seams. If this continues, you can guess that your boat will not last very long.

Tip #9 - Remove Debris From Keel Before Rolling Up

Just like the last statement with the water you should make sure that all debris is removed from the inside and the outside of the boat. Throwing up process compacts everything on the inside and outside of the boat. If you have Pebbles and rocks and sticks they will be embedded into the material. This will allow these objects to puncture a hole in your valuable PVC and completely ruin your boat.

 Take the time to remove these obstructions when you're rolling up the boat. If you look at the rolling up instructions for removing the boat from the water you will see that I have highlighted these facts. Every time you roll the boat over check for these things and then brush them off with a towel or your hand.

Tip #10 - Practice The Process At Home

When you first get your boat it won't be very nice to you. Just like anything else that's made out of plastic and has been rolled up for a long time it just won't bend.  I suggest that you do the full process in your yard in the grass before you take it anywhere near the water. Do the complete process that I've outlined above from start to finish. You'll learn how the boat functions and Y are functions that way. You also discover the best way to do things for you and your situation.

What's you've got this all down you'll be much more confident when you reach the boat ramp. It always happens that when you go out there and you think you're alone you have everything ready and you're about to put the boat in the water the bad news happens. 10 large bass boats all decked out with gear are right behind you and wondering what you are doing. Dinner wondering why you're taking so long. And if they're nice they might ask if you need any help. However if you have your steps down and you know what you're doing you won't be a hindrance to them or their short amount of time.

if they get out right and said this is their only time to go fishing you know what you should say to them. Let me give you a hint. Hey I got this boat by suggestion of Dwight Norris of fishingatwork.com. He personally help people find more time to go fishing so they don't have to be rushing down the boat ramp on the weekend just like everybody else. Personally, I'll be going fishing tomorrow, the day after that, the day after that, and the day after that. How about you?

Tip #11 - Don’t Leave Boat Out In The Sun

I've seen it before in the setup process that there is a difference between PVC inflatable boats and hypalon inflatable boats. The difference has nothing to do with the material. The difference is how the gluing process is done.

Cheaper PVC boats have a hand glued seam in general. Hand glued seams are cheaper to do and take less time and Manufacturing. Most of this is done overseas in places like China or Korea or Taiwan. If you're looking for a cheaper if they will both is probably done with this kind of gluing process. It does work fine but you have to take care of not leaving it out in the sun for long periods of time. The glue is exposed out in the sun when it's used and this way. this is the single reason that nobody in Florida ever buys cheap inflatables.

Inflatable Boat In The Sun

Inflatable Boat In The Sun

More expensive hypalon boats use heat glued seams.  the edges of the hypalon are heated up to a level where they actually melt together. This obviously is a better process and helps it not to be affected so much by the sun. If you leave anything out in the sun it will lose its luster or its ability to function properly. The best isn't an excuse to leave your stuff outside because you spent more money on hypalon. You will be able to fish more and they open Sunday than anybody else have cheaper PVC would. You would be able to use it for longer because of that fact.

if you have the money for a hypalon boat I believe you should spend the money on that. You should definitely do that if you live in a hotter region of the country. If you don't live in a higher region of the country you can go along and get the cheaper PVC inflatable just like myself. I highly suggest to buy from boatstogo.com because they have an upgraded version that has the tubes with the heat glued seams.

Tip #12 - Enjoy The Fact That You Have A Boat

Now that you have a boat you should really go out there and enjoy fishing. Doesn't matter whether you have a lot of money or a little bit of money you should still go out there and get yourself a good boat for your needs.

Enjoy Your Inflatable Fishing Boat

Enjoy Your Inflatable Fishing Boat

Conclusion

Now that we have gone through all the things there are to say about the Saturn SD488 Inflatable boat, let’s discuss what to do now. You have the need for a boat that is compact and can be quite large in size. Maybe you have a lot of friends or you like to have a lot of room when you are out on your boat. 

My journey from being a shore fisherman to being an inflatable boat fisherman has been interesting. I have run into a lot of situations that I didn’t like, but they weren’t the fault of the boat. They were the fault of my situation and I found ways to overcome them. Some take some strategies and others just take money to solve. 

I personally believe this is a great inflatable boat to purchase for freshwater and saltwater fishing. You can do a lot of things while only using up a little bit of space. You will find this exact inflatable boat being sold by several online wholesalers, but many of them will not uphold warranties or provide any real service. If you don’t use the one I suggested, I would personally go with another brand like Newport Vessels or the like. Maybe in the future, I will be able to review those boats with the approval of the manufacturer.


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