Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Which inflatable canoe?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default Which inflatable canoe?

    Been researching inflatables for hunting. Something to carry on the air charter to Kodiak so we can cruise up and down the coast and small rivers. It would need to hold two adults, guns, day packs etc and maybe a couple of boned out deer on the return. Most likely it would be propelled by a 2-2.5 hp motor. Might also be used to cruise smaller waters while moose hunting. And finally, it might be occassionly used on the Kenai so we can avoid the combat fishing and find out own red holes. Used to own a canoe years ago but would still concede I am a beginner.

    So far the Aire Traveler is my first choice. It is wider with more interior space. But I cant seem to find a lightweight motor mount for it. Like the idea of the raised seats which can be moved around.

    Did some reading on the Gary King 15 and 17 inflatables as well but the seats cant be moved and the motor would be right behind the rear seat making it poke into your back and difficult to steer.

    Does anyone here own a Traveler? If you do, what is your opinion of it?

    Then there is the Soar 14. Nice, but 30 pound motor mount and it is narrower than the Traveler. So it would need an aftermarket mount as well. Surely a 30 pound motor doesnt require a 30 pound mount or rowing cage to attach to?

    Something about the Traveler grabs me but it would need an aftermarket motor mount. Has anyone here had a mount made? I have a tendency to always go bigger but if I keep to 70 pounds for the canoe the 2 or 2.5 outboard will do fine. Like the idea of the motor hanging off to one side so it would be easier to steer. Paddling solo is not an issue as I will always be with a partner.

    Then I just looked at the Grabner Speed. All I can say is wow, everything I am looking for except the price tag. But am curious, does anyone sell these locally? Do they sell for above or below MSRP? $3,500 is a bunch of money.
    Am open to all ideas at this point. Thanks.
    Tennessee

  2. #2

    Default Good choices

    I own both the Traveller and the Grabner Power. I owned the Traveller first and fabricated a side motor mount for it that I attached across the boat on the back rail of the back seat. It was not a high performance set up but it worked. The one big problem was that the boat would nose dive a shoot water through the self bailing ports. I filled two 20 oz soda bottles with spray foam and used them as plugs to solve that problem.

    After a couple trips with the Traveller I found a smoking deal on a Grabner Power and bought it. It is not as nice of a boat as the Traveller but it is made to have power hooked to it. Now I enjoy the traveller as my paddle canoe and the Power for things that might require getting back up river.

  3. #3
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default inflatable canoes

    there are many variations of inflatable skinny boats, some call them canoes or kayaks or what ever..
    they are really getting alot of great use on alaska rivers and streams.
    This is a market that I think alot of manufactures are excited about.
    the cost of these better quality inflatables can cost a bunch, and just as much or more than a conventional raft, due to all the seams and extra work that goes into the production of these skinny rafts..
    The expense of one of these is worthy of alot of research to pick the one that fits you and what you want to experience.
    I don't mind paddling conventional canoe style in a conventional thin walled canoe, but I find the tube size is a pain for me to feel comfortable in many of the craft they call inflatable canoes.. I have found that when in these fat tube " canoes" you have to extend your arms away from your body to reach the water in as straight up and down motion as is best for canoe paddling. this is not only makes you tired faster, but causes you to tip your upper body instead of staying straight up and down.
    I have a 28.5 inch draw, and many will fit my same arm lenth. folks over 5ft 10 inches will have longer draws, as much as 31 inches or even more as your height goes up..
    I found it more comfortable to use kayak paddles in the fat tube canoes rather than reaching out, or adjusting my body to reach the water in the most energy efficient modes.
    A few things I think about when setting up inflatables or other craft for that matter.. is ,,, what kind of cobbled up crap do I need to attach to this thing to afix a motor??? How much more room will it take up on the plane or the trunk of my car?? is the thing actually tested and proven and even designed to have a motor on it?? Am I expecting the craft to perform like one that is designed for motor power when it was never designed for a motor??
    I got a call from the fish and game a few weeks ago wanting to know about a certain inflatable boat and how much HP it could handle and etc.
    after talking to the nice man for a minute, he told me that the dept had purchased a unit a few years or so ago that a dealer had put together for them for specif purposes... it was an inflatable kayak/canoe/raft thing with mounted aluminum pipes and seats and motor mounts etc.. and it looked like something very cool, but the hull shape of the inflatable was not designed for being pushed very quickly with a motor, so it failed to fulfill the promises.. they are now looking at items that are engineered to do such things and not cobbled up stuff added to a raft designed for paddling and running rivers..
    Many times people want to put add ons to canoes kayaks and rafts, that could have easily been avoided if they would have just done some homework and bought a craft that had those things engineered into it at the beginning...
    Go sit in the boat, and forget the salesman... he is going to tell you of the wonders of his boat and such.. STOP!!! and just look at it from your perspective instead of the salesmans idea of what you want...
    make the craft fit you like your favorite pair of shoes or most comfortable clothes,, as you are the one thats going to be spending time in the craft and not the salesman..
    If at all possible, get some video footage of the craft in action, or better yet ask the dealer if they will give you a test drive..
    if you are going to spend a few thousand dollars on your canoe, it should be well spent..
    And you know what??? looking at all the options makes you better informed, and gives you ideas of use of all the crafts, and also is Lots of FUN ,,, ( at least in my opinion)....
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    After seeing the Aire Traveler in person at Alaska Raft and Kayak decided to put a deposit down on one. Seemed very well built and the salesperson told me they give a 10 year no questions asked warranty, even if a bear decides to turn it into a chew toy.
    Building a motor mount doesnt seem to be much of a challenge. $100 tops and it should weigh under 10 pounds. Height of the tubes will most likely require a long shaft motor.

    Didnt like the skinnier style boats, seemed to cramped and difficult to get in and out of. Will agree even though they made be rated for 750 pounds it would be interesting getting that much weight in the tiny space.

    Still, seems like a good choice for crusing around on Kodiak while deer hunting or carrying into a remote area via ATV.
    Tennessee

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Remember, the boat will sit low in the water when loaded, so you'll need less shaft than you think.

    I'd be surprised if you need a long shaft. I haven't run a motor on a small canoe but managed to make a short shaft work on a stern-mounted motor on a standard whitewater raft, ie with a fair amount of stern kick. Wasn't pretty but it worked when I was seated on the stern.

    Wasn't the a Traveler at the Sportsmans Show? Maybe at the ARK booth? Maybe I'm just imagining that.

    there's a used Honda 2hp on craigslist right now, but you might want to build the mount first and take some measurements before buying a motor. The guys at ARK might be able to give good advide though.

    Good luck, sounds like a great plan.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Tubes are 14 inches and to keep the mount simple it needs to go straight across the top of the tubes.
    You might be right, am hoping the short shaft will work as Cabelas sells the Suzuki 2.5 hp for a great price and it only comes in a short shaft.

    Anyone with a Traveler care to comment on there motor and mount? Photos would be a huge plus

    I missed the Sportsman Show this year so don't know if they had one on display or not.
    Tennessee

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
  •