Have owned two inflatables
Posted by: WaterBird on Jun-16-13 6:38 PM (EST)
Can't remember the make of the first one but it was a reasonably serious expedition boat. One day in Maine on tour the wind was so strong that my partner and I could not make any headway whatsoever with this tandem kayak. We had to land and hitchhike back to our car. An inflatable presents a large surface to the wind and sits high on the water, with minimal keel, so it is easily blown about.
Its softness makes it very slow. Slow is not only about speed; it's about EFFORT. It's not fun to paddle a boat that takes a huge amount of effort to move at slow speed.
On another occasion on the ocean (same conditions as Lake Erie) the bow of this inflatable was lifted several feet out of the water by an oncoming wave and the kayak literally folded in half.
Remember I said this was an expedition-quality kayak.
Even on calm days these things are not a joy to paddle. If you're in a rec boat now a rational upgrade would be to a 14' x 24" transitional kayak with two bulkheads.
If you're not swayed by the comments of people here who know Lake Erie you may have a judgment problem and should reconsider your plans. I mean that respectfully.
Cartop Kayak Carriers
Classic Freestanding Rack
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