Defender Industries, one of the largest inflatable boat dealers in North America, is launching its own line of inflatable boats for the recreational and first responder markets.
"Increased demand for affordable rescue boats by underfunded fire departments led to the design and production of an alternative to existing higher-cost, brand-name boats that Defender currently offers," vice president Stephan Lance said in a statement.
The Defender RIBs for the recreational market are available in two sizes - 8 feet, 6 inches, and 9 feet, 10 inches. Both models are available in PVC or CSM-Hypalon fabric. Prices range from $1,295 to $1,955.
The line was first promoted during Defender's 15th annual warehouse sale from March 31 to April 3.
Lance said the addition of the inflatable-boat line has not negatively affected sales of the company's other lines.
"Adding an alternative brand has filled important gaps in our total product offering and contributed to a 28 percent year-to-date sales increase across the broad product offering in the inflatable boat product category," he said.