Aire super Lynx arrived
I had done as much homework from the keyboard as possible and finally settled on an AIRE Super Lynx for my limited kayaking needs (flat water capable only, tandem, stow able in an RV).
When I decided to get the AIRE I called the factory and mentioned a few comments on various forums about them being very good boats but lacking in tracking. One of the guys at AIRE suggested I put the removable keel from the Sawtooth kayak on the LYNX. Sounded good to me.
They had to build the boat for me from scratch to add the keel mount (took a few weeks but was it ever worth it). They could have glued the mount on but welded sounded better. That little keel makes a huge difference in the way this boat paddles. Understand we are total novices but we where able to hop in the Lynx on a very windy day and had no issues circumnavigating the lake (about 5 miles) on our first try.
For fun I took the keel off and tried again. Was I ever in for a surprise. This is where the difference between a veteran and novice paddler would really show up. We must have paddled a mile and not covered 100 yds. As soon as I stopped paddling, the thing would do an instant 180 away from the wind. It didn't take too long for me to decide that the keel is WAY cool for a novice on a Lynx.. I glides in a very straight path with the keel. Only issue with the keel was it did hook some weeds when we tried backing out of a shallow cove. Keel shape could probably be improved.
The Lynx looks to be built a lot better than I expected. It does self bail but that also means that anything on the bottom gets wet (including MY bottom). My shirt I had thrown in the back was soaked, my wallet, keys and such (in a failed zip lock) stored behind the seat where soaked, my lunch bag leaked and most of the stuff in there was soaked.. Water intrusion is an issue but it makes it pretty hard to swamp. The drain holes are pretty BIG and there are 6 of them..
We got some "sea bags" to keep all or stuff dry in the next time out, a small cushion for my rear that helped a lot (one of those closed cell knee pads for gardeners from walmart).
Second trip was much better and we managed to keep everything but my posterior dry. Dryer bottom, dry snacks and I wasn't afraid to drag my camera along.
What do you wear up there to keep from having a frozen bottom in these things? I'm concerned about using the yak this winter, that damp bottom might be a little more noticeable..
Portability (why we went IK in the first place) is excellent. The lynx rolls into a roll that fits into one of those 18 gal plastic storage bins. Fits fine in the wife's ford 500 trunk or on the back seat of my truck. Should fit in the 5th wheel no worries.
First impressions are that we will have a lot of fun in this boat. With a 10 year no fault warranty, I have a lot more peace of mind that I would not have had with a chinese import. Cost a little more but I think I got what I paid for. I doubt we'll ever paddle anything faster than a slow moving river so I'll probably never know how it handles white water (fine with me (-:}). It's fast enough for us but since I've never owned a hard kayak I really have nothing to compare to.
All in all we're pretty happy campers, maybe we'll even make it up your way one of these days!
I've got one and I really like it a lot, but my winter project is to try to figure out how to make a removable skeg that I can strap to the bottom with a web strap passed through two of the drain holes. I wish they'd think about making them standard with a flush mount for a removable skeg or even an after market flip up rudder. The boat's made for open water, but not really for open ocean because it doesn't have the forward glide of a hard shell kayak and if seas, currents or wind come up you really need something you can paddle a little more quickly to get to shore or to the lee of some land.
I wear a dry suit when I paddle and I've never had a problem with a wet butt. I put everything I want to keep dry in a dry bag and my camera in a ziplock bag. You can probably take the boat in water up to class 2, but I don't know anyone who's gone higher than that in one. It's fun running it through the little patches of whitewater you find on the Kenai, but if you're going to do more technical water it's probably not a great boat for that. Still, you can load it with a ton of gear and not come close to sitting it down in the water, unless you're pretty huge yourself, I guess.
Skegs & Fins on Kayaks.
First things first --- distinguish that there is a difference in the two.
Skegs are fixed on touring kayaks... They are meant to trim (plus in some cases do protect the rudder).
Fins are fitted to surf kayaks... they are designed to weight steer, drive, and hold.
Skegs on a kayak are not what most people assume they are... it may surprise people to find out that Skegs for kayaks are NOT for improved tracking. Need to think more aerospace here! A skeg’s principal function is to trim out the boat when interior loading (who’s sitting where and how you load the boat) and exterior forces (winds &/or water currents) create unwanted effects in performance/handling.
One of the biggest troubles people face with either poorly-designed hard-shells or the geometry of most inflatables (to mention the lack of primary propulsion, secondary control, and support recovery paddling skills) ---- Is that these boats will not predictably weathercock… in other words, turn as expected into the winds like a kayak is supposed to do.
*** These designs (no matter how inspired/creative you want to get even w/ decent paddling skills) do not lend themselves to much of any solution by simply adding some skeg randomly someplace on the boat. It will not do much good… if at all. The boat requires some logic to design ahead of time for skegs to really work properly. ***
If there is no skeg… the pure touring kayak should turn into the wind on its own.
With the correct boat, proper installation and function of a skeg ‘down’… the kayak should turn downwind on its own.
When the skeg is in the intermediate position half way down… the boat will turn crosswind.
This is all without the need for any rudders installed and in use.
Keep in mind that this is based on the most prevailing physics of winds vs. water currents. When going down river current with the skeg up for example… the kayak will turn downstream and so on.
I think it’s great that AIRE went on to “make a special Super Lynx.” The folks at AIRE are great, and you will be happy with your purchase. We can install custom skegs and fins in any shape or size at ALASKA RAFT CONNECTION. That said - what the Super Lynx boat really needs for tracking is nothing at all. Nevertheless, I’ll tell you for sake of the skeg/fin info I’ve presented above… (bar pricing - maybe weight/packing)… for ‘steering’ you should have chosen the SeaTiger with its rudder system over the Super Lynx w/ the custom additional skeg. The reason skegs are not typically installed on high-end multi-use inflatables is that builders (Like AIRE) know how to design and fabricate the best boats for their intended purposes. (see***) Aftermarketers/ad-ons know how to sell the fries with the burger… in some cases it’s a very useful accessory and other gear like this skeg addition - not truly necessary.
Might give AIRE a call, they told me they could send me a glue/sew on patch (slide in mount) and skeg for the Super Lynx if I didn't want to wait on them to build mine from scratch..
Originally Posted by Bibico