I have recently found that I love the sport of kayaking....but have also found that I am physically not able to transport and secure a hard shell onto my truck by myself. I actually had to leave the kayak at the lake parking lot and drive home to get my husband to load the yak in the truck for me. This is when I started to investigate and research the inflatables. I plan to use the boat on lakes and fairly easy rivers at first, but would like to eventually advance to some low grade whitewater.
I appreciate any thoughts, advice, and recommendations before I take the plunge and buy one.
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AIRE has a great reputation|
Posted by: TetonJohn on Sep-14-12 11:42 PM (EST)
for inflatable boats, including kayaks. Although they mostly make serious whitewater kayaks, they have some that would be better on flat water or both flat and white.
I have a Helios II by Innova |
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-15-12 2:02 AM (EST)
Posted by: dgrizz on Sep-15-12 6:02 PM (EST)
Can you tell I am new to this?! Thanks for mentioning the folding kayaks...I had not heard of them! Am researching them now as well. Are they suitable for lakes, rivers, and mild whitewater? I'm intrigued by the incredible warranty offered by Folbot too. Any thoughts?
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-16-12 5:29 AM (EST)
www.foldingkayaks.org and if you are on Facebook join the folding kayak Klepper and Co site. Can't give you the link because can't get on Facebook. I really like Feathercrafts but have owned Folbots. They will replace parts free even on prowned boats.
if it quacks like a duck...|
Posted by: tdaniel on Sep-15-12 8:43 AM (EST)
AIRE bladders are urethane and bomber|
Posted by: TetonJohn on Sep-15-12 11:20 AM (EST)
though the Tomcat bladders ARE vinyl (just for clarification). Even the Strike in the Tributary series uses urethane. AIRE boats, including their rafts are among the most respected inflatables out where I live -- people trust them for 14 day Grand Canyon trips, for example. Just trying to give correct info about a company that makes great gear for the river community.
appreciate the advice...what about sea e|
Posted by: dgrizz on Sep-15-12 5:04 PM (EST)
I have looked at several of the kayaks mentioned. One I also have looked at quite abit, but have not seen mentioned so far is the Sea Eagle Fast Track. Any thoughts on this one?
Sea Eagle 385FT|
Posted by: Familyfun on Sep-16-12 3:36 AM (EST)
I have the Sea Eagle 385FT and like it a lot. It takes about 10 mins to pump up with the supplied foot pump and is also easy to fold up back into the trunk. It cleans up and dries quickly once I get home. It tracks straight with the fin in the back. The skin is pretty tough as long as you don't drag it. I have used it over 20 times without any visible wear. It is also very stable for kids and family, but I mainly use it on lakes and bays. It has a 36" beam, so it's not the fastest kayak, but comparable to other SOTs with the same dimension. The other kayaks suggested are also pretty good. The folders will feel more like a hard shell than the inflatables.
Posted by: natalienass on Oct-03-12 11:46 AM (EST)
385FT? Isn't that a little long for a kayak? How do you turn the thing?
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-10-12 5:02 PM (EST)
That model comes with a tugboat and a tugboat operator.
folders may be one option|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-15-12 7:56 PM (EST)
Posted by: JonMMartin on Sep-16-12 9:15 PM (EST)
I have a feathercraft......great kayak......but I don't like the trouble of setting it up/tearing it down every time I paddle (so it has become a perpetually set-up part of my kayak inventory).
take apart? Article reference.|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-18-12 12:06 PM (EST)
There is an article in the most recent issue of California Kayaker Magazine (Summer 2012) on kayaks for people living in small spaces. Many of the options for small places are also useful for lighter weight transport. Specifically, the take apart boats but the weight of each piece in half or thirds.
skin on frame|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-18-12 12:22 PM (EST)
Get a trailer..|
Posted by: Wavewheeler on Sep-20-12 1:10 PM (EST)
trailer -- great idea!|
Posted by: tetonjohn on Sep-20-12 3:01 PM (EST)
I do like this solution (assuming the OP has a place to keep the trailer, doesn't mind driving it and doesn't mind spending the money).
cheap deal on a light folder|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-27-12 12:50 PM (EST)
Posted by: RobG on Sep-28-12 10:34 PM (EST)
I like the trailer recommendation that another poster made. That way you can get a real kayak, which will work better and ultimately weigh less than an inflatable. And be a LOT less work, in terms of inflating and deflating.
another SOF class|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-28-12 10:53 PM (EST)
Brian does classes, too. For $1200 you can spend a week in one of his workshops in Oregon building your own boat.
I recently tutored a newbie who had|
Posted by: shirlann on Oct-03-12 9:40 PM (EST)
purchased a 12' SeaEagle inflatible kayak, with no foot pegs for bracing.
Not all inflatables are equal..|
Posted by: Wavewheeler on Oct-09-12 10:43 PM (EST)
dgrzz when the weather gets warm|
Posted by: tdaniel on Oct-10-12 12:07 AM (EST)
Trailer solves several problems|
Posted by: pikabike on Oct-10-12 1:04 AM (EST)
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-10-12 10:22 AM (EST)
What does the hard shell boat weigh?
Posted by: redmond on Oct-10-12 11:13 AM (EST)
Don't remember what your budget is, but here goes:
You might consider loading aids|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-10-12 11:46 AM (EST)
Or, just for fun|
Posted by: redmond on Oct-10-12 1:11 PM (EST)
Take a box rail, like this http://www.tractorsupply.com/national-hardware-reg-5116-box-rail-galvanized-12-ft--3551872
Loading your boat.|
Posted by: windriderjr on Oct-10-12 1:34 PM (EST)
I bought a Sea Eagle SE370 inflatable and used it for most of the paddling season. It was OK for the price but as I said to my friend, it was a "gateway drug" :) Near the end of the season, I bought a used boat that is much better. The inflatable was slow and didn't track well. The new boat, a sit-on-top, is much better and I can keep up with my friends.
Regarding that loading video...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-10-12 4:35 PM (EST)
Most likely it would work better to load from the rear of the car instead of the front, and take advantage of the rollers on the rear rack which are there just for loading/unloading. What most people would do using the setup shown in the video, is place a rubber-backed bath carpet on the rear window of the car, and slide the kayak on that carpet up to the rollers on the rear crossbar. There's no boat-alignment problems when sliding it on carpet, and a rubber-backed carpet won't slip. That's much simpler than the method shown in the video and does not require such precise boat alignment when sliding it up or down.
Bit the bullet and bought the Sea Eagle|
Posted by: dgrizz on Oct-17-12 9:13 PM (EST)
I am so appreciative for all the comments, suggestions, and advice. After several months of researching, I bit the bullet and got the Sea Eagle. It inflates super easy and quick ( less than 10 minutes) and is very stable getting in and out. I think it tracks well and it definitely holds a lot of weight. My husband and I paddled a local lake for a couple of hours comfortably. I am anxious to try it out on a river and hope to put in on the Ohio soon. I think for now this boat serves my needs well!
sea eagle seats- high back style|
Posted by: tdaniel on Oct-18-12 6:02 PM (EST)
congrats dgrizz. I noticed that sea eagle has upgraded their seats and I'm definately jealous. None of my duckies provide much back support. I've been thinking about buying one of their inflateable seats, let me know what you think about them and whether you can lean back and get some support from them.