Submitted: 06-30-2005 by BT
I purchased an Innova Solar from The Boat People who proved to be most helpful with advice and information. I needed portability in a small yak for fishing when it was not suitable to haul a hardshell yak with me. The Solar is exceptionally well built, far more stable than I could have imagined, and paddles very well on flat water when the skeg/fin is attached. Moreover, it handles rough water far better than my SOT hardshell yak
The Solar does not come to a near stop like a hardshell when you are paddling into waves. it glides over them. What it lacks in flatwater speed (and it is not slow), it makes up for in speed when paddling rough waters.
I attached a piece of rope to the seat mount on each side of the seat and ran it through the footrest strap. thus, I can attach my paddle leash, rod leash, tackle bag and whatever for security reasons. I use it to fish the Gulf area bays in Louisiana. Inflates in a very few minutes and off you go fishing.
I am yet to puncture it, but I use caution and avoid sharp objects. I probably would not try to land a shark in it, but it works very well for flounder and redfish. Hose it down, spray 303 on it (and the valves) and I can see no wear or tear from saltwater use. You do get curious looks from other fishermen and "did you buy it at Walmart" cracks. I just keep catching fish while they are spending a lot of money and trying to start their outboards
I did order a Sunny seat which has a higher backrest. The salesman was most helpful. The Sunny seat is far more supportive and fits in the Solar just fine.
If you use caution and don't ram broken bottles or nails and such, I highly recommend the Innova Solar. it rolls up so small and weighs so little that you literally have a small boat to take along wherever you might go. Exceptionally well made for a bargain price, very stable when you get used to it, most comfortable, and will fish ocean bays and reasonable waves with confidence. Get a small folding anchor and it will stay in place even in strong winds. I am delighted with the Innova Solar. Compared with many other high end inflatable yaks, it is a bargain and far better built than the low end inflatable yaks so widely advertised on the net and elsewhere. If you are looking for a most portable and stable little yak from which to fish, the Solar would be very hard to beat. I strongly recommend it. I will purchase another Solar if and when this one every wears out.