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Thread: Need 2-man inflatable info

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    Default Need 2-man inflatable info

    I am starting to get info on 2-man inflatables. I have done a couple of searches, but not sure I am asking the right questions. This is what I am looking for. (I think)
    Designed for 2 people w/ gear (600-650 pounds)
    Kayak/canoe design w/out a frame
    Light weight, we may need to carry it overland several miles.
    Capable of carrying the above load in class 3 water.

    I looked at a Soar Pro Pioneer the other night. My first thoughts were that at 85 pounds it is too heavy, and it is too bulky. I would like to focus on boats that are smaller, lighter, and more compact.
    Any help you can throw my way, including links to old posts, is appreciated.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default AIRE Traveler

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    I am starting to get info on 2-man inflatables. I have done a couple of searches, but not sure I am asking the right questions. This is what I am looking for. (I think)
    Designed for 2 people w/ gear (600-650 pounds)
    Kayak/canoe design w/out a frame
    Light weight, we may need to carry it overland several miles.
    Capable of carrying the above load in class 3 water.

    I looked at a Soar Pro Pioneer the other night. My first thoughts were that at 85 pounds it is too heavy, and it is too bulky. I would like to focus on boats that are smaller, lighter, and more compact.
    Any help you can throw my way, including links to old posts, is appreciated.
    Rat,

    Have you checked out the AIRE Traveler? 55 lbs and able to handle heavier water for sure (it's a self-bailer and made of PVC / urethane, so it's pretty stiff and offers good performance. Some of the rubber canoes tend to taco in the middle over drops and such. Alaska Raft and Kayak rents 'em, and you may be able to get a credit toward purchase if you ask (and you purchase within a reasonable time frame). I don't know if they still do that or not.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  3. #3
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Two canoes better than one

    ...and then if you get two AIRE Travelers, that opens up the option (for now or the future) of the CataCanoe. The CataCanoe can raft down river, or motor across big water. Then it can be "broken apart" to canoe smaller streams and backwater areas.

    Well, it's one of the options I'm always thinking of...

    (AK River Rat...archives are full of CataCanoe ideas.)

    Dennis

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Also Look at the Super Lynx

    http://www.aire.com/aire/products/default.aspx?id=203

    Sounds like you need a Super Lynx we have one at the shop or at least it will be back by Sunday Afternoon.

    As a suggestion you might want to try testing all three models and make a sond choice.

    We have the traveler available, and the Super Lynx. Test the waters has the Pro P. I think Mitch is still renting them now that he is back on the Richardson.

    Super Linx holds 600 lbs and is 46 lbs. Only Down fall IMO is the tube diameter puts you closer to the water still all and all a very fun boat that holds up to Alaska Standards of White Water fun and durability.

    Best wishes

    Blue Moose

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    Default choices

    Ok, that's 2 models. I was also looking at the Soar 14, only because I knew the name Soar as in Pro Pioneer, so that makes 3? Or not? http://www.soar1.com/soar_14.htm
    Of them, the Soar comes in at 62lbs, the Air Traveler is 55lbs, and the Aire Lynx is 46lbs. 16 lbs is a lot of weight for an old guy like me. But all are way less than the Pro P, which is one of the things I am looking at. Is the difference primarily due to design? Does material make much of a difference when talking about quality boats?
    I think the Soar has no D-rings, but looked like lots of logistic holes to tie in loads. Am I seeing that right? The Traveler does not show any attach points, and the Lynx shows 18 sets of loops. Our load will consist of 2 packs, 2 bows, and maybe a bag or two of meat if we are lucky. What do you think I will need to secure the load so I don't have to go swimming in fast water looking for stuff on the bottom of the river if I mess up?
    Seats or comfort is not really an issue. Our longest runs will only be a few miles on any single day. I remember as a kid doing whitewater in aluminum canoes on my knees for hours. These runs should be shorter.
    If this trip works out, it may be a regular yearly expedition for us. I guess that is the gamble about renting or buying.
    BlueMoose, I've talked with you folks a couple of times. Always informative and helpful. So are the folks at TTW. Nice to have good businesses in town. Thanks for the help folks. I will "stand by for news" as Paul H. used to say.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Now you tell us!

    Rat,

    Okay, so this is a hunting rig? Your first post didn't mention that. Now we're talking a whole different deal. Game meat is incredibly dense and heavy for its mass; much more so than most all of your gear. And you have to keep it low in the boat or your center of gravity will be too high (and you could capsize). But meat in the bottom of a rubber (or plastic) boat almost always gets damp. Moisture is your enemy when it comes to proper meat care in the field. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

    I suggest you read through my Inflatable Canoe Test (be sure to look through the whole report, which you can download at the bottom of the page I just linked to). That will give you a good overview of the different styles of inflatable canoes, the pros and cons of each, and other details you need. Then let's talk float huntin' with an inflatable canoe!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Need a light boat with big payload...

    I am going to throw out a different idea. Of course the weight in the boat and type of water are BIG factors here. But if you are doing class II rivers and you can keep the weight under 700 lbs, the Ally pack canoe would serve well. You could always portage the occasional class III sections, but it just depends on what rivers you are doing of course. I have used mine on three float trips (2 in NW and 1 in SW) totaling over 30 days of usage. Nothing but good things to say about these boats. Made of tarpulon, a lightweight version of hypalon that the Zodiacs are made from, these canoes are much tougher than most would think. We have had 800 lbs in ours and the boat, while sluggish, was very steady in class I/II water. At 6'6" 310 lbs, I am very comfortable in the Ally canoe. Very well made and the best part is the 16.5' Ally weighs in at about 46 pounds, fits in a large backpack, and can be assembled by two people in about 20 minutes. We had some two piece canoe paddles made by Aquabond that fit in the bag with the boat. I added the spontoons to be sure we didn't flip. The wife is a good sport about going on these float trips and I want to keep it that way. Slick set up but it does depend on what kind of rivers you will be floating. Food for thought at any rate.


    Below are some pics...



    Loaded Ally canoes...





    The green bag is the boat...





    Other pics...



    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default nice photos

    That is some nice country, and a pair of good looking boats. Michael, my computer is slower than mud, so will try to open the link a bit later at work.
    Our main use for the boats is river crossings. Depending on where we can get to, and how good or bad the water is, will determine how far down we'll go.
    The trip out should be rather short, so I would guess a couple of contractor bags, if we had meat, should suffice. Like I said, we should not be on the water for more than a couple of hours on any day we are in the boats.
    I need to plan for c-lll water. If it is smoother than that I'd be happy, but can't depend on it. Not sure in that case the Ally is the way to go, but will look a bit harder at it too.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default

    The concern I have with the Ally canoe is how well it might fare on shallow rocky rivers with heavy loads. That skin material is stretched over a frame, and if the boat impacts the bottom you could tear a hole in the fabric. Of course our water levels in the fall are often low and so this becomes a larger issue during hunting season.

    But if you're just using them for river crossings, you might be okay.

    Your comment about Class III water is also something to consider, and in that case I would certainly go with an inflatable, possibly rigged as an oar boat for better control. My thinking is that you will need two boats, due to the meat and gear loads you'll carry. It's hard for one man with a paddle to control a heavily-loaded canoe in Class III water.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10

    Default Grabners

    You can also look into the Grabner line up. They make a very good boat, I would suggest the "Outside" , I have the "Power" which is the Outside with a hard transem for motorized use. I floated it ~15 miles down the Kanuti then put it in it's back pack and packed it and gear out overland.

    I also have an Aire Traveller and like that boat for many reasons but it is slightly heavier and bulkier for hauling around.

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    Default 2 men, one boat

    My idea was 2 men in one boat. I thought, due to my old canoe days, that it would be better in big water than one man in 2 boats. I know there are some small, lightweight boats out there, but are they as stable as the 2 man boats we are talking about?
    I was thinking either canoe or kayak paddles due to weight and thought oars would be too heavy. Would oars require a rowing frame and therefore additional weight?
    I honestly think our gross weight will be less than 700lbs. That's 2 guys at <360, 2 packs at <100, and if we get meat, it will be less than 200lbs. I only had a second to look at the boat comparison. Will try to look again tomorrow.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post

    Would oars require a rowing frame and therefore additional weight?

    .

    Depending on your load and river, you may find it easier to use a SOAR with a kayak paddle. The Pro Pioneer has bigger tubes and that could be an issue, but I don't know as I have not used one. But the larger the tube, the less likely a kayak paddle would work out. Perhaps if using a standard size SOAR, Grabner, etc.. you would get by fine with a kayak paddle. Maybe some folks using these boats will chime in on this. But if looking for oars, consider the oar saddle. This would take away much of the bulk/weight of a frame. Link below...

    http://www.oarsaddle.com/backwater.html


    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default oar saddles

    The original Oar Saddle was made in two sizes, one was for the Pro Pioneer and the other was slightly smaller and should work on other boats. I have heard recently that there may be availability issues though, so check with Pristine Ventures to see what they have.

    The whole point of the oar saddle was to reduce weight and bulk, while providing all the benefits of rowing instead of paddling. Generally rowing takes far less effort, and allows one person to easily control the boat.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  14. #14

    Default 2 person boat

    Another option is a small raft. I have a couple of custom built SOTAR 40 oz urethane self bailing rafts that are 10' long with 19" inch tubes, standard is 16". Had them built to be able to carry a large load, light in weight and have the durability for remote Siberian and Alaskan rivers. The beauty of this raft is you can R-2 her or use a rowing frame, i build one that weighs in at 20lbs. This raft is also lots of fun in big water. We have done several trips in class V white water on the Franklin river in Tasmania Australia, as well as 6-mile creek, with no problems. Have two in stock here in Anch.
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER

  15. #15

    Default

    I did a lengthy search for an inflatable too. Just finally decided on the AIRE Super lynx. Several factors iced the deal. Made in USA, 10 year NO FAULT warranty, 600lb capacity, good marks for it's self bailing ability and keeping feet dry, stable, white water capable, 45lb pack, average speed/performance, etc..

    Factory also worked with me on a few items I wanted done differently from the std. model. Foreign boats had no option for customizing, you got what was on the shelf. AIRE was happy to add a welded base to my Super Lynx for the removable aluminum skeg like the sawtooth uses . Should help tracking when solo in flat water. That was a big selling point for me.

    It was nice to be able to tell them what I wanted to do and get their suggestions for the "Arlon" version. Have to wait a few weeks for them to make it but it's going to be what I wanted. The color choice helped get it past the wife too. She loves purple.. )-:}

    I really had to do this "blind". The inflatables are basically unheard of down here. None of the dealers around me have any to try, no rentals, none stocked. I had to rely on comments here and there on forums like this one to guide my decision. Maybe in for a total surprise when it arrives but I'm feeling pretty good about the decision so far. It's pure "bench racing" at this point but some of my reasons for choosing a particular boat may still be useful.. (-:}

    My needs are probably quite different than yours. I wanted a stable camera platform for calmer water (A tipsy boat and expensive camera gear don't mix) but I still wanted something I could play in a river with too. I'm also WAY down south and plan to use it in salt water on occasion (had all the nickel plated hardware replaced). I had to go inflatable because I needed something to transport easily in our 5th wheel RV. Hope to make it up your way one of these days too..

    Hope you don't mind an alien from Houston posting on your forum..

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    The original Oar Saddle was made in two sizes, one was for the Pro Pioneer and the other was slightly smaller and should work on other boats. I have heard recently that there may be availability issues though, so check with Pristine Ventures to see what they have.

    The whole point of the oar saddle was to reduce weight and bulk, while providing all the benefits of rowing instead of paddling. Generally rowing takes far less effort, and allows one person to easily control the boat.

    -Mike

    I just picked up my Soar, Pro Pioneer yesterday... ( thanks ELK!) it came with seat on a row frame. fairly lightweight and collapsable.

    i will have it in town this week Rat... gonna float the chena with the kid to see how it handles, as soon as i get a few float coats... checkin with us and take a look at it.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  17. #17
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arlon View Post
    I did a lengthy search for an inflatable too. Just finally decided on the AIRE Super lynx. Several factors iced the deal. Made in USA, 10 year NO FAULT warranty, 600lb capacity, good marks for it's self bailing ability and keeping feet dry, stable, white water capable, 45lb pack, average speed/performance, etc..

    Factory also worked with me on a few items I wanted done differently from the std. model. Foreign boats had no option for customizing, you got what was on the shelf. AIRE was happy to add a welded base to my Super Lynx for the removable aluminum skeg like the sawtooth uses . Should help tracking when solo in flat water. That was a big selling point for me.

    It was nice to be able to tell them what I wanted to do and get their suggestions for the "Arlon" version. Have to wait a few weeks for them to make it but it's going to be what I wanted. The color choice helped get it past the wife too. She loves purple.. )-:}

    I really had to do this "blind". The inflatables are basically unheard of down here. None of the dealers around me have any to try, no rentals, none stocked. I had to rely on comments here and there on forums like this one to guide my decision. Maybe in for a total surprise when it arrives but I'm feeling pretty good about the decision so far. It's pure "bench racing" at this point but some of my reasons for choosing a particular boat may still be useful.. (-:}

    My needs are probably quite different than yours. I wanted a stable camera platform for calmer water (A tipsy boat and expensive camera gear don't mix) but I still wanted something I could play in a river with too. I'm also WAY down south and plan to use it in salt water on occasion (had all the nickel plated hardware replaced). I had to go inflatable because I needed something to transport easily in our 5th wheel RV. Hope to make it up your way one of these days too..

    Hope you don't mind an alien from Houston posting on your forum..

    Hey welcome aboard Arlon... good first post. !!! stick around keep us filled in on your trials with the new boat.

    Vince
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlon View Post

    Hope you don't mind an alien from Houston posting on your forum..

    Nonsense man. Folks here from all over. That is partly what makes this forum so healthy. Welcome and post often
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  19. #19

    Default

    Thanks for the friendly welcome. There sure seems to be a lot of knowledge out here. Found this site searching for inflatables..

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    I just picked up my Soar, Pro Pioneer yesterday... ( thanks ELK!) it came with seat on a row frame. fairly lightweight and collapsable.
    Vince,
    Can you post some pics of your Pioneer with the frame?

    I just picked up a Pioneer and haven't decided if I want oar saddles or a breakdown frame. I'm kinda groping in the dark since I have minimum experience with either although a frame seems like it would add some rigidity to the boat and may be a little more user friendly. Is the frame an NRS or something fabbed in AK?

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

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