Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Conventional vs. Inflatable

  1. #1

    Default Conventional vs. Inflatable

    Looking at slow moving water or lakes. Some fishing. Eyeing a 14’ SOAR.
    Appreciate any input. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gakona Ak
    Posts
    1,579

    Default

    Hi new guy...


    Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to seek advise as most of us are very willing to add our expertise.

    I own Gulkana Raft Rentals and Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters. We rent both inflatables and traditional ABS OldTown canoes so this is my wheelhouse. Lets look at the up side of each type of canoe and then look at some of the down side.

    I came to Alaska as a whitewater canoe guy with lots of miles of class 2-3 whitewater experience. For quickness durability and all-around use the OldTown ABS canoes are as good as they get. They are about impossible to destroy and depending on the model can hold a ton of gear for extended trips. There are LOTS of junk canoes out there so understand you get what you pay for. The ABS/Royalex style canoes are very easy to repair but unless your a nut job like me you will never have to.

    Inflatables: I own 6 SOAR Pro-pioneer canoes. I like them a lot for many reasons but the primary reason is that they roll up into a nice fly out package and hold about 2000 pounds of moose. The big reason to choose an inflatable canoe over a rigid canoe is the ability to stuff it into a plane. If your not doing fly out trips there is really no reason to go with the SOAR.

    Down side:

    Rigid: They are not as stable as a SOAR and unless you are experienced with canoeing white water it will be a learning curve. I have dumped many canoes into very cold and fast water.

    Inflatable: Light weight easy to ship out, more expensive than most good quality rigid canoes...You have to maintain an inflatable and you have to keep it aired up. Repairing Hypalon is an art form that takes lots of experience and yes you will have to patch that SOAR sometime. Another down side is there are lots more things you will need to buy for your SOAR. Pumps, patch kits, glue is only good for about a year.

    Ok..I hope I haven't made your decision harder but this is an investment. Buy the good stuff and stay away from the toys that belong in a back yard pool.

    Take a look at my web site and you will see lots of different inflatables including the SOAR Pro-Pioneer and 16 foot Explorers.

    This might help...Come on out and lets take both the SOAR and OldTown down to the pond in Gakona you can try out both and see which one you like. No charge my man!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    www.gulkanaraftrentals.com
    907-259-4290
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    Hi new guy...


    Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to seek advise as most of us are very willing to add our expertise.

    I own Gulkana Raft Rentals and Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters. We rent both inflatables and traditional ABS OldTown canoes so this is my wheelhouse. Lets look at the up side of each type of canoe and then look at some of the down side.

    I came to Alaska as a whitewater canoe guy with lots of miles of class 2-3 whitewater experience. For quickness durability and all-around use the OldTown ABS canoes are as good as they get. They are about impossible to destroy and depending on the model can hold a ton of gear for extended trips. There are LOTS of junk canoes out there so understand you get what you pay for. The ABS/Royalex style canoes are very easy to repair but unless your a nut job like me you will never have to.

    Inflatables: I own 6 SOAR Pro-pioneer canoes. I like them a lot for many reasons but the primary reason is that they roll up into a nice fly out package and hold about 2000 pounds of moose. The big reason to choose an inflatable canoe over a rigid canoe is the ability to stuff it into a plane. If your not doing fly out trips there is really no reason to go with the SOAR.

    Down side:

    Rigid: They are not as stable as a SOAR and unless you are experienced with canoeing white water it will be a learning curve. I have dumped many canoes into very cold and fast water.

    Inflatable: Light weight easy to ship out, more expensive than most good quality rigid canoes...You have to maintain an inflatable and you have to keep it aired up. Repairing Hypalon is an art form that takes lots of experience and yes you will have to patch that SOAR sometime. Another down side is there are lots more things you will need to buy for your SOAR. Pumps, patch kits, glue is only good for about a year.

    Ok..I hope I haven't made your decision harder but this is an investment. Buy the good stuff and stay away from the toys that belong in a back yard pool.

    Take a look at my web site and you will see lots of different inflatables including the SOAR Pro-Pioneer and 16 foot Explorers.

    This might help...Come on out and lets take both the SOAR and OldTown down to the pond in Gakona you can try out both and see which one you like. No charge my man!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    www.gulkanaraftrentals.com
    907-259-4290
    Really appreciate your input. I’ll definitely try to pay you a visit. Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    Hi new guy...


    Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to seek advise as most of us are very willing to add our expertise.

    I own Gulkana Raft Rentals and Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters. We rent both inflatables and traditional ABS OldTown canoes so this is my wheelhouse. Lets look at the up side of each type of canoe and then look at some of the down side.

    I came to Alaska as a whitewater canoe guy with lots of miles of class 2-3 whitewater experience. For quickness durability and all-around use the OldTown ABS canoes are as good as they get. They are about impossible to destroy and depending on the model can hold a ton of gear for extended trips. There are LOTS of junk canoes out there so understand you get what you pay for. The ABS/Royalex style canoes are very easy to repair but unless your a nut job like me you will never have to.

    Inflatables: I own 6 SOAR Pro-pioneer canoes. I like them a lot for many reasons but the primary reason is that they roll up into a nice fly out package and hold about 2000 pounds of moose. The big reason to choose an inflatable canoe over a rigid canoe is the ability to stuff it into a plane. If your not doing fly out trips there is really no reason to go with the SOAR.

    Down side:

    Rigid: They are not as stable as a SOAR and unless you are experienced with canoeing white water it will be a learning curve. I have dumped many canoes into very cold and fast water.

    Inflatable: Light weight easy to ship out, more expensive than most good quality rigid canoes...You have to maintain an inflatable and you have to keep it aired up. Repairing Hypalon is an art form that takes lots of experience and yes you will have to patch that SOAR sometime. Another down side is there are lots more things you will need to buy for your SOAR. Pumps, patch kits, glue is only good for about a year.

    Ok..I hope I haven't made your decision harder but this is an investment. Buy the good stuff and stay away from the toys that belong in a back yard pool.

    Take a look at my web site and you will see lots of different inflatables including the SOAR Pro-Pioneer and 16 foot Explorers.

    This might help...Come on out and lets take both the SOAR and OldTown down to the pond in Gakona you can try out both and see which one you like. No charge my man!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    www.gulkanaraftrentals.com
    907-259-4290
    Walt - took a look at your website. Very nice. Will plan a trip down to check
    things out. Your rental trips look like a lot of fun & very affordable. Hope to
    get in on some of that too. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gakona Ak
    Posts
    1,579

    Default

    I will be out of the country till June 5th but give me a call after that. Week days work better during King season as I am busy moving fishermen and rafters around Fri-Sun.

    Walt
    907-259-4290

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern alaska
    Posts
    1,186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crhubbard View Post
    Looking at slow moving water or lakes. Some fishing. Eyeing a 14’ SOAR.
    Appreciate any input. Thanks.
    you say “some fishing” does that mean you are hunting also? A freighter type canoe will last much longer than an inflatable boat.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    you say “some fishing” does that mean you are hunting also? A freighter type canoe will last much longer than an inflatable boat.
    No hunting. Looking for stability more than anything. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    you say “some fishing” does that mean you are hunting also? A freighter type canoe will last much longer than an inflatable boat.
    Do you have any suggestions for a more affordable and also stable canoe than a $8000 freighter?

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern alaska
    Posts
    1,186

    Default

    I bought the esquif cargo in Whitehorse about 7 years ago. Beefed up the hull with some composites. Was about a 1/4 of your quoted price, bounces off things well. Try running your inflatable over/down a spruce log with staubs sticking out and see how well it does...

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta Jct, Alaska
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    Do you have any suggestions for a more affordable and also stable canoe than a $8000 freighter?
    Chez,
    You should be able to buy a freight canoe for much less than $8K.......contact Kanoe People in Whitehorse....Scott McDougall....good guy!

    The Esquif that Pipercub has is a great canoe also!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gakona Ak
    Posts
    1,579

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    Do you have any suggestions for a more affordable and also stable canoe than a $8000 freighter?

    Always buy what you need. $8000 for a canoe? You better be living in that canoe for that price. The average Joe should look at Madd River or Old Town as they have a wonderful selection of high quality canoes for all types of applications. Look at Craigslist and here on the forum for a used Old Town Discovery 158 or 169 and check out the Tripper series. Perfect for MOST guys...Used look to pay $500-800 depending on condition.

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    Mile 127.5 of the Richardson HWY.
    Rafts, Canoes and Camp Gear
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12

    Default

    I just used a SOAR Pro-Pioneer inflatable canoe on the Charley River. It performed really well in the whitewater, but the big surprise for me was how well it handled on the lower Charley and on the Yukon. It tracked OK and we were able to paddle and make much better time than I had expected. I'd be interested to try one on a lake sometime.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    I bought the esquif cargo in Whitehorse about 7 years ago. Beefed up the hull with some composites. Was about a 1/4 of your quoted price, bounces off things well. Try running your inflatable over/down a spruce log with staubs sticking out and see how well it does...
    Yes Sir, I followed Piper's advice and lead with upgrades for the Esquif Cargo and it's a fine boat. A little heavy to paddle but very stable and with a Merc 3.3 hp or 9.9 hp it's flexible and tough canoe. You can go to search and find pictures of what we did to improve an already good canoe.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Yes Sir, I followed Piper's advice and lead with upgrades for the Esquif Cargo and it's a fine boat. A little heavy to paddle but very stable and with a Merc 3.3 hp or 9.9 hp it's flexible and tough canoe. You can go to search and find pictures of what we did to improve an already good canoe.
    Did you go to Canada or find on in the states? What do they sell for?

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern alaska
    Posts
    1,186

    Default

    Esquif is the name of the canoe maker, they also make the new Royalex replacement material.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Yes Sir, I followed Piper's advice and lead with upgrades for the Esquif Cargo and it's a fine boat. A little heavy to paddle but very stable and with a Merc 3.3 hp or 9.9 hp it's flexible and tough canoe. You can go to search and find pictures of what we did to improve an already good canoe.
    What do we search for to find the pics?

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,781

    Default

    look for a 19 FT Grummen SQ, with a good lift with 10 / 15 HP, 2 cycle , motor, go most places , look for a used one , 2 to 3 k should do it,
    SID

  18. #18
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Posts
    737

    Default

    There's a Discovery 174 on CL in Anchorage. Probably an excellent contender for OP's ideal canoe, but heavy and bulky for a solo portage.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I got my Cargo in Harrisburgh, PA for $1,500. I used a Grumman 17' sq back for maybe 20 years with a 6 hp Johnson and sold it as soon as I got the Esquif. Grumman was a fine canoe, but it was noisy and not near as stable as the Cargo, due mostly to the wider bottom. I can stand and fly fish easier in the Cargo and it has more capacity and space...never tipped it over ever. Can't say that for the Grumman or my Old Town 16' Penobscot.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •