inflatable Kayak/canoe

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NUKe
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inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby NUKe » 2 Aug 2011, 4:56pm

Sevylor Tahiti plus 2011 2+1 person inflatable Canoe. Does anyone have any experience of this or other iinflatable canoes. Living on a penisula I thought it might be fun for navigating the rivers and some coastal work on very calm days with my 2 boys.

Martin
NUKe
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thirdcrank
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Aug 2011, 5:18pm

Our folding / inflatable kayak expert is Jac, although she has not been on here for some time. There are a couple of threads recounting her search for something suitable to combine with cycling and several suggestions, not all completely serious.

rualexander
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby rualexander » 2 Aug 2011, 6:11pm

We've got a Gumotex Helios 2, which is a bit more sturdy than the Sevylor.

Bought it second hand in New Zealand ten years ago and had some adventures with it out there, (Hollyford River, Stewart Island, etc.), brought it back home with us when we moved back here but don't use it very much here as the weather is rarely good enough, although have had it out on a few lochs and a couple of coastal days out.
A couple of years ago I did a big solo trip with it across Scotland from Morar to Perth, where I paddled the lochs and rivers where possible and walked the rest with the kayak packed down into my rucksack.
I have also carried it folded up on my bike's rear rack and ridden upriver (River Spey) with it then paddled downriver back to the car.

I made a homemade rudder system for it and this is definitely worth doing if you can to gain greater control.

Depending on the ages of your sons, you might find it a bit cramped for legroom, try one for size in the shop if you can.

Photos from my kayak across Scotland trip : http://www.flickr.com/photos/rualexande ... 3951/show/

random37
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby random37 » 2 Aug 2011, 6:27pm

I am an avid canoeist, in the summer I paddle a couple of hours every day.

Proper canoes are so much nicer and more useful. They're safer, they last longer, and they are easier to handle. Plus, once you buy them they never devalue; you'll end up throwing out the inflatable if you ever get interested in the sport.

My advice? Join a club. You'll get to try out a proper canoe with proper safety kit; if you like it, you can spend more on something better. You won't lose any money if you buy secondhand now and sell next summer.

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Greybeard
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby Greybeard » 2 Aug 2011, 11:27pm

Good advice from Chris.
I bought a pair of Sevylor canoes a while ago (and sold on soon after). Very good quality jobs (and expensive at the time) BUT, like all inflatables they are very susceptible to being blown about by any wind. A proper canoe, whether wood (the plank strip ones are works of art) or fancy plastic is really the only way to go - they are a different beast altogether. A bit like buying a cheap bike - it'll put you off cycling for good :wink:

Steve

rualexander
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby rualexander » 2 Aug 2011, 11:37pm

Yes, but inflatables have a lot going for them in terms of storage, and portability, which could be matched to some extent by a folding kayak like a featherlight or folbot, but those are far heavier and more expensive boats.

I don't think anyone would claim that an inflatable can match a hardshell in terms of handling etc. but they are a good option for occasional users who appreciate their unique versatility.

random37
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby random37 » 3 Aug 2011, 1:30am

rualexander wrote:Yes, but inflatables have a lot going for them in terms of storage, and portability, which could be matched to some extent by a folding kayak like a featherlight or folbot, but those are far heavier and more expensive boats.

I don't think anyone would claim that an inflatable can match a hardshell in terms of handling etc. but they are a good option for occasional users who appreciate their unique versatility.


But they're not even that portable!

They're alright to inflate, but you are stuck with them for ages when it's time to put them away.

I know of at least four Seyvlor inflatables that are lying in minging, mouldy heaps in various narrowboats around the country with their owners wishing they'd never bought them. It used to be six, but I think two of my friends dumped theirs in the end.

If you're in a club, you will get access to proper canoes. You'll get training from experts. And you won't have wasted your money on something you'll quickly tire of if you decide you like the sport.

rualexander
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby rualexander » 3 Aug 2011, 2:23pm

chris667 wrote:But they're not even that portable!

They're alright to inflate, but you are stuck with them for ages when it's time to put them away.

I know of at least four Seyvlor inflatables that are lying in minging, mouldy heaps in various narrowboats around the country with their owners wishing they'd never bought them. It used to be six, but I think two of my friends dumped theirs in the end.

If you're in a club, you will get access to proper canoes. You'll get training from experts. And you won't have wasted your money on something you'll quickly tire of if you decide you like the sport.


Mine is very portable, like I said before I've had it folded up on the rear rack of my bike, I've carried it in a rucksack along with my camping gear and a week's worth of food, I've had it in the car boot, and I store it at home in the cupboard under the stairs. Try doing any of that with a hardshell kayak!

Takes about ten minutes to inflate, and about five minutes to deflate and fold away into it's bag!

Roadstersrevenge
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby Roadstersrevenge » 4 Aug 2011, 8:40am

I've used inflatable and rigid canoes, as well kayaks. I've even built a couple of lapstrake canoes.
Frankly, the inflatable scared me to the point where I was losing interest in setting foot in any of them.

This would be my personal solution. Have a look on google, it's not the only one!
Image

GrahamNR17
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby GrahamNR17 » 4 Aug 2011, 12:52pm

Useful thread. I'm just on the verge of buying or building an open canoe :D

Mike Smith has an inflatable, and he mentioned to me recently that one-up it has a tendency to blow around a lot, but two-up it's fine. I suppose there's no harm in chucking a sack of spuds in the front to stabilise it on a windy day :lol: But he loves it, and you know what a finicky old bugger he can be :wink:

Edwards
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby Edwards » 4 Aug 2011, 3:36pm

I have some fiberglass Kayaks going free to anybody who can collect. They are reasonable but not fantastic.
I am going to cut them up in a month or two.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

LANDSURFER74

Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby LANDSURFER74 » 4 Aug 2011, 3:43pm

I have kayaked on the sea for over 40 years and currently have a Wilderness System Tarpon 16 ... big boat but a dream to paddle.
Every thing from lochs to big seas off the coast of cornwall ... 'sit-on-tops' are a fantastic platform for long distance adventures or just an afternoons fishing...
My 7 year old grandson has a Tarpon 100 which he has paddled extensivly off shore and on lakes ..although sold as an adult boat ....
Our first attempt with an inflateable kayak showed up how weak they they are ... terrible if more than a breeze and unable to track .... dont bother ....

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yakdiver
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby yakdiver » 4 Aug 2011, 4:47pm

Inflatable kayaks can be death traps on open water, maybe OK for small rivers, they are very hard to paddle if there is any wind around, so paddling against a head wind is very hard and more lightly be blow out to sea.
As all ready stated if you want to get into kayaking join a club and get training i.e BCU Star courses well worth it.
I paddle a 13' sit on top for fishing/sailing and a 17.4' sea kayak they are great fun
kayak sailing blog http://yakdiver.blog.co.uk/
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rualexander
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby rualexander » 4 Aug 2011, 6:00pm

A good quality inflatable is perfectly safe and although not as easy to paddle in a strong wind as a hardshell it is still quite manageable if you have a rudder or skeg fitted.
They are virtually impossible to tip over due to the low sitting position and the fact that you have large air tubes surrounding you.
I've never been blown off course to any extent and have paddled in strong winds with two or three foot waves.
I would probably not use it in the sea though, other than on very calm days and in sheltered waters, but its fine on lochs, lakes and flat rivers.

The boat I have is a Gumotex Helios, the same as the Innova Helios which is just rebranded for the American market. The Innova Helios is used by the Canadian Ranger Service, who are unlikely to use something that is a "death trap"!
Have a look at the Innova website and also this video of the Canadian Rangers using the boat.

random37
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Re: inflatable Kayak/canoe

Postby random37 » 4 Aug 2011, 6:32pm