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Inflatable kayak

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  • Inflatable kayak

    Only having been in a kayak a couple of times, and only on a calm lake or saltwater cove, I'd like to know how people feel about inflatable kayaks. I've tried one in a calm cove and liked it, and would have no desire to take it into open waters. But, if I wanted to take it somewhere where the water isn't calm, and maybe even on the Kenai River or Eagle River, would an inflatable kayak be ok for that? I have in mind a medium/good quality kayak and not something that would hit a stick and pop. Maybe something like the Advanced Frame Kayak manufactured by Advanced Elements

    Non-inflatable kayaks are not an option at this time because the space on my boat is limited.

    So the first thing is to get feedback on inflatable kayaks, and the second thing will be get feedback on whether or not taking an inflatable kayak to the Kenai or Eagle River is something someone with very little experience should consider. Thanks.

  • #2
    lots of t hem

    I have been looking for a great back packing Kayak that weighs less than 40 lbs so I can carry my lunch and fishing stuff in one trip.
    I would like it to be durable and last several years, and be comfortable that I could spend several hours in it fish and paddling.
    many of the inflatable Kayaks are over 50 lbs.
    I will research the local talent for what they offer.
    REI, Sportsman, Alaska series, Alaska raft & Kayak, etc.
    any other places that carry them?
    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.


    • #3
      West Marine has two or three in store and more in the catelog.


      • #4

        someone a while back was talking about the packboats
        here is a picture of one.... I am thinking at 17 lbs and it folds up pretty small it may work. It also inflates...
        Pakboats makes durable, aluminum framed kayaks and canoes that paddle great and are exceptionally light - the Puffin Sport 10' Kayak weights 17lbs! Puffins utilize a patented structure based on a simple tubular aluminum frame combined with supporting inflatable tubes to give these kayaks a set of performance features that cannot be achieved by framed or inflatable technology alone. Puffins feature the same rugged materials used in Pakboats expedition grade folding canoes to provide years of trouble free enjoyment. They can hold lots of gear and are perfect for remote expeditions where space and weight are a factor. The Puffin Sport is 10' long, 29" wide and has a capacity of 250lbs. It packs down into its own carry bag that measures 27" x 7" x 14". Comes complete with pump, patch kit, inflatable seat and carry bag. The Puffin Sport 10' does not come with a spray deck but can be ordered for an additional $99.75 - Call 800-832-4226 for details.
        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.


        • #5
          Inflatable kayaks are great

          I have three of them. All whitewater types. They work very well for rivers, and can handle an amazing amount of whitewater even without any experience. Not that I'm recommending Sixmile creek to someone without a lot of practice. I frequently put absolute beginners on Kenai River between Kenai Lake & Jim's Landing. There is a stretch of Eagle River (the one just north of Anchorage) that has a class III+ stretch, that I have seen several beginner tackle without any problems. I've personally done a couple class V sections with them. They are amazingly stable, and if you do find a way to flip them, they are not difficult to climb back into.

          I have also done multi-day trips with them. I have floated the Copper, from Chitina to Cordova, and Talkeetna through the canyon, as well as the Gulkana and several others. You have to think small and light to get every thing in for a completely self contained trip, but the fact that you can remove the seat and sleep in your boat, does reduce some of the load.

          All my boats are one person craft, but unless you are planning on some serious whitewater (class IV and above) a two person model would probably serve most people better. You can pack more for traveling, or actually take another peson on a day trip. They also track better, and hull speed is a little faster, so paddling is easier. A two place Aire Tomcat is a good compromise between price and quality. Thier Lynx is a better boat, but at about twice the price. Aire also makes a Super Lynx that is even longer than their other two person models, and while it is less of a whitewater boat, it is better for most other uses.

          The one thing inflatable boats do not do well is paddle distances in flat water. They are too slow and track poorly. Of course, those are the same qualities that make for great white water craft so they are a compromise. There are some IK's that are designed for sea kayaking, but they are still not up to par when compared to just about any other sea kayak. But for rivers, they are hard to beat.

          Another some what craft is the the Alpaca pack rafts. 4-6 pounds, where most IK's are in the 30-50 pound range. Their fabric is very lightweight, but is amazingly durable. Alas, they track worse than an IK, and paddle even slower, but for some uses, they are tops.


          • #6
            For those who have used these Puffins, have you ever tried fishing in them? Say you get a big one and the hook lodges in the boat...would it sink, and could it be easily repaired? Like...maybe chicken halibut fishing.
            "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey


            • #7
              Sevylor Inflatable Canoe

              I own a Sevylor 1-person inflatable canoe and I love the thing.
              It weighs about 25 lbs. deflated and fits nicely into a duffle bag that you can fit over your shoulders. With a nice double action hand-pump, you can inflate the 4 chambers in about 4-5 minutes, pretty much as soon as you start to get tired of pumping you're done. It has a rugged outer shell as well as plenty of built-in rings/attachments to accessorise- including an attachment to mount a trolling motor to the side. With the canoe in the bag on your back, you can fit the paddle into that bag and put a regular backpack over your shoulders on the front and carry your beer, lunch and fishing gear for a nice day trip and you're still plenty mobile to walk awhile to your destination. When I originally saw one on Lake Tahoe, the gentleman on it claimed to be an underwater welder and said he uses it to scuba in the ocean and can easily load his tanks into the back and climb in while at sea. It has a 350 lb. capacity so it can accommodate plenty of gear. I've used it in multiple lakes, a few stretches of class II+ and in the Pacific a few times playing around trying to surf it in about 3-4 foot surf. It's stable enough to where when the waves would eventually push me sideways, the water coming over the side wouldn't risk capsizing the craft. It does not self-bale but there is a drain plug on the back.

              I'm from California and am planning a canoe-camping expedition for next year. Can any of you recommend something around the II range that accommodates a few nights of camping along the shore and plenty of scenery and fish? I've heard the Kenai River is amazing, would that be a good destination. Your input is appreciated, hope my info on the canoe helps out... I should be a salesman for those things, for about $250 that thing has paid for itself ten-fold. Thanks


              • #8
                Trip suggestions

                Sounds like what you're looking for is the Gulkana River from Paxon Lake to Sourdough Campground. It's mostly fat water and class I, with one class III+ section that can be portaged. It's a three day trip, but the fishing is generally very good. It is well traveled though, so plan on company. It's pretty empty near the end of August though, and the mosquitos have finally left by then too. The section below there, down to the Gulkana River highway bridge is another good option and a bit shorter.

                Another great trip is any one of several sections of the Fortymile River. It's only downside is the long drive from Anchorage - 450 miles. There are several places to put-in and take-out, even a fly in put-in for a 10 day trip. Or you can float the lower end of the river, then on into the Yukon for a drift out to Eagle. Good fishing for trout, grayling & whitefish. Mostly cass I with a couple class II sections, and at high water the canyon at the bottom end can be class IV. And there is a portagable calss V secton on that fly in trip.


                • #9

                  We had a couple the other day stop by with an actual Pakboat with them.
                  I had my son take a quick picture of it sitting on top of their vacation mobile. The air was released from it so it looks a bit flat, but they love it and have had not a single problem with it. They said it can the bumps too.
                  These folks had us shuttle them to the Kenai river and pick them up Down river about 12 miles later.
                  Last edited by Alaskacanoe; 08-08-2006, 18:52.
                  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.


                  • #10
                    Very Rugged Aire Tom Cat and Strike

                    I've been using an Aire Tom Cat Tandem ( 12' 9" ),for everything, Lake, River, Ocean, for 3 years. Aire makes the best double hull rigs around, and stand behind them.
                    I find I can keep up with my friends paddling sit on tops, in anything but all out speed contests. The inflatable takes rough water better then hard boats as it gives with wave action, instead of "bucking" over waves. The Aire double hull is very easy to make field repairs, but, I haven't had any yet. They are self bailing, which is #1 safety with me, and unlike cheaper (Seylor,Sea Eagle etc.) self bailers have a floor thick enough to not make you sit in any standing water all day. I'm now rigging an electric trolling motor/ and or a 2hp honda on mine. The Strike is a newer more expensive hull with smaller tubes and no sewing down sides. Just tested one against mine on Lake Tahoe CA. and find it may be a little less suseptable to side wind, but seems no faster, but does look faster. I've had mine out in weather so bad, I was only one on lake, with waves crashing over my bow, and surfing down the back sides. The Tom and Strike have plenty of tie downs on inside for lots of gear, fishing from it is just flat fun. Easily rolls up into back of my Cessna too.



                    • #11

                      Check out this website, I have talked to a couple of guys who have these and they think they are great.


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