Dinghy or boat (10 meters). Comparing 2 vessels: Rio Inagua VS Rio Daytona

Boat or dinghy is the “summer dilemma” we inexorably face every year. To get an idea, we compared Two new Rio Yachts vessels (homologation length under 10 meters) of similar size, with a LOA between 10 and 11 meters: the Daytona 34 (10.5 f.t.) and the Rio Inagua S (10.9 m f.t.), the first example of the shipyard’s newly formed rib division. What changes between one and the other? Who is the inflatable boat designed for? Which one is more comfortable? Let’s see what changes between the two.

What we talk about:

Inflatable boat vs. boat: two “10-meterers” compared

Tens of thousands of boats have passed through the Rio shipyard. One of the latest models, also the result of all this experience, is the Rio Daytona 34 (read here what it looks like in detail). In fact, although it is a cabin cruiser, it is a boat for short-range outings, designed more for the day on the water than for cruising. This is not because of intrinsic qualities of the hull, but more because of a usage trend whereby many boaters use the boat to spend a day relaxing and then return home or to a hotel for more comfort. Four beds, however, are on board.

Rio Daytona 34

An inflatable boat like the Rio Inagua S is similar in this respect, in terms of its type of use, although it differs in this case as it is without a cabin with a bed and is designed for more propelled performance, up to 50 knots (
read our test here
). To be fair, there is a rather large toilet room in the bow of this maxi-rib, which for those who want to spend the whole day at the beach is an important plus.

Rio Inagua S
Rio Inagua S

Which is better to start with

For those looking for a first boat of already “substantial” size like these 10 meters, on impact the dinghy initially reassures more. Why? Because the tubular allows you to approach piers or other hulls without too much fear, the height above the water makes you more relaxed. The owner who likes to helm (and thus also moor) feels more comfortable using it because it is rubberized.

Rio Inagua S
Rio Inagua S from above

Performance-wise, however, as anticipated, don’t be fooled: the Rio Inagua S is a thoroughbred, maneuverable, but well suited to more experienced owners. Thus, for those looking for a maneuverable hull with “quieter” but still enjoyable performance, the Daytona 34 may definitely be suitable. This model then has on its side a space below deck, compared to the Inagua, which always comes in handy on board.

Forward cabin of the Rio Daytona 34
Forward cabin of the Rio Daytona 34

Often the choice, however, is also influenced by what one wants “on the spot.”

Deck: which is more comfortable

Another question that can be asked is: but is the dinghy or the boat more comfortable? Let’s look at each area in comparison.


On deck, we are on similar comfort levels here. When choosing, however, it is useful to note how this 10-meter dinghy winks at relaxation with a large full-beam sundeck.

Stern cockpit of the Rio Inagua S
Stern cockpit of the Rio Inagua S

The boat (Rio Daytona), on the other hand, offers a congenial layout for convivial moments as well, being equipped with a double sofa (on the bulwarks) and a central hideaway table. In front of this area there is then a wet bar. On both models, this area is sheltered by a T-Top straddling the cockpit and bridge.

Stern cockpit of the Rio Daytona 34
Stern cockpit of the Rio Daytona 34


In the bow, on the other hand, the Inagua S inflatable boat offers a full-beam sundeck with the option of resting your head (or shoulders) on the tubular.

Bow of the inflatable boat Inagua S

On the Daytona, on the other hand, we have an island sundeck with a walkway around higher up on the water than the dinghy. This is because of the larger volumes below deck.

Rio's Daytona 34 seen from above
Rio’s Daytona 34 seen from above


Of Rio’s Daytona 34 we can note the central wheelhouse, the true center of gravity of the entire boat with a sofa on which two or three people can sit. Immediately to the left of the wheelhouse is access to the below-deck area.

Wheelhouse Daytona 34
Bridge Daytona 34

The dashboard, in the case of the Rio Inagua S, has two seats and responds to a more sporting vocation as evidenced by the remarkable performance of this model: up to 50 knots with the same power (2×300 hp outboard).

Dashboard Inagua S
Dashboard Inagua S

Both have, in the configurations we have been able to observe, a hybrid approach between digital and analog. The presence of state-of-the-art instrumentation goes hand in hand with physical buttons and automotive-style pointer gauges that are also always popular with owners on an aesthetic level.

Therefore, to figure out which is more comfortable, you need to understand your needs. Do you want a more convivial boat or a model more dedicated to relaxation? The choice is yours alone!

Rio Daytona 34 vs Inagua S – What is the typical owner

The two Rio’s in this review are boats suitable both for beginners and for a mature owner who has had previous experience and wants a hull for his or her needs.

Focusing on the boat, one of the reasons for the rise of maxi-dinghies such as the Inagua S is the choice of many owners of large yachts to have a more compact and easy-to-use vessel, but with high quality in terms of materials and comfort on board.

Inagua bow bath S
Inagua bow bath S

The typical shipowner is, therefore, both the performance and rib lover and an owner who comes from another world and seeks a dynamic and comfortable hull that he or she can carry independently “on his or her own” without the need for crew and major preparations.

Extended sundeck of the Daytona 34
Extended sundeck of the Daytona 34

Rio Daytona 34 vs. Inagua S – Which is faster

Performance-wise, with the same power (two 300-horsepower outboards) the Inagua S is significantly sportier and touches top speeds around 50 knots, with cruising between 25 and 30 knots. In addition to the speed peaks, it is also interesting to note that fuel consumption is low at cruising speeds, so as to allow good cruising range.

The Daytona 34, while slower, touches and exceeds 40 knots of top speed, which is already a very interesting and enjoyable figure. The lower top speed is due to the nature of this boat: being cabin cruiser it is heavier and has a more massive structure.

We see, however, that those who like speed on the water in both cases will have a hull suited to their needs. Let’s say it can be like choosing between a sports spider and a powerful sedan. Both fast, the former more dynamic, the latter still powerful, but with more volume.

Rio Daytona 34 vs Inagua S – Does it cost more for the boat or the dinghy?

How much does it change in terms of price between two 10 meters like these in comparison? In the case of the boat, (Daytona 34) the price is higher, but if only because it has an inside cabin with 4 beds and a bathroom with a separate shower. However, it is not always, so, indeed, often for the same length and “offer” the dinghy may cost more.

Everything however, even in the face of these options, must be brought back to the intended use of the boat. If you do not need space below deck because you will never sleep outside, the Inagua S is definitely a good choice. If, on the other hand, you want a boat that also has a weekender vocation, that is, a hull for spending one or more nights out as well, the Daytona 34 will not disappoint.

Rio Daytona 34 Rio Inagua S (34)
Overall length 10.50 m Overall length 10.90 m
Length approval 9.73 m Length approval > 9.99 m
Width 3.50 m Width 3.7 m (inflated tub.)
Dive 0.56 m Fishing 0.86 m
Weight when fully loaded 7.9 t Dry weight 3,700 kg
Dry weight 5,700 kg Serb. fuel 620 l
Serb. fuel 920 l Serb. water 95 l
Serb. water 130 l Tubulars diam. max 0.68 m
Serb. blackwater 80 l No. tubulars 6
Maximum power. 2×300 hp Maximum power. 2×300 hp
Vel. max. 41 knots* Vel. max. 50 kn
Vel. cruise 29 knots* Vel. cruise 30 knots*
Consumption vel./cruise 100 l/h* Consumption vel./cruise 85 l/h*
People 12 People 16
Sleeping places 2+2 Sleeping places //
Bathrooms 1 Bathrooms 1
Approval category B Approval category B
Design Marino Alfani Design Marino Alfani
*With two Mercury Verado 300s in the conditions of the test
With two 300-horsepower outboards in our test*



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