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Submitted: 11-11-2008 by oloron

I would like to thank all the reviewers of the Innova/Gumotex Sunny 390 on this page as your collective information was certainly instrumental in my decision to buy one after several months of research to find the best all-round touring inflatable canoe.

I purchased one of the older models (yellow interior, no skeg supplied) from an outlet in Germany online – postage was only 20 Euros to the UK and arrived inside a week. I believe the newer model (grey interior) should come with the skeg. I tried the Sunny on two tidal rivers and in Poole Harbour without a skeg, but it was hard work trying to hold a straight line and keep up with a mate in his Sevylor Rio which had a short skeg attached. Not the end of the world, but if you’re planning on touring as I was then a skeg is a must, considering the miles you will put in on a daily basis. So I bought one from including the nuts/bolts/l-plates/skeg patches/glue (and a repair kit) and it made the world of difference on a recent 90 mile trip down the Dordogne river in France (Vayrac to Siorac : class I rapids).

The Sunny has plenty of storage space if you are paddling solo; I had an 80 litre Nookie drybag behind the seat on this trip and there was room for a 25 litre coolbag (which also acted as footrest) and other gear (pump, etc.) in front of me. The inflatable seat in the older model is not great so I bought a waterproof Highlander seat (£8) and put a chunky, square section of foam underneath to raise the seat and absorb any river water than got into the canoe in minor rapids. The back of the seat was supported by the base end of the drybag behind me.

Storage space is obviously limited if there are two of you (seats reversed, great design!) – more of a day trip canoe – but it is strong enough to support two adults on placid outings. Paddling solo I reckon it would probably cope with class II rapids, but due to the low side wall chambers I expect it would probably swamp in anything more severe.

Flew to France with the Sunny, paddle, pump, etc. in a Scrub all-terrain board bag which I had to carry for 3 km to the river from the nearest station. Recommend taking a lightweight aluminum luggage trolley or golf trolley that will strip down into bits to support this bag if you have to lug all your gear some distance!

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