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Old 08-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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Do you Kayak (canoe)?

We were looking for a way to enjoy some of the lakes and streams we encounter when camping. Our 16 foot canoe is just to heavy and too long to bring with us so I began a search for an alternative and what I came up with was a smokin deal on Craigslist! I found a new (never used) inflatable Sea Eagle! Inflates in about 5 minutes, very well made...claims to be able to take class 3 rapids. Worked great in the water, holds up to 500 pounds. And my son and his friends really enjoy it too! I'm very pleased with our new kayak! Does anyone pack an inflatable kayak?
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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That looks like fun!

We have a large inflatable raft - seats 7 - that we store in a large palstic tote when not in use. The tote protects the raft from punctures and the tote handles make the folded material much easer to carry. Just make sure its dry before packing up.

We often travel with a 16' canoe on the truck, but ours is Kevlar and the extra cost is definately worth the reduced weight!
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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We usually travel with two kayaks mounted on top of the truck and the bicycles on the rear carrier. The inflatable Harley is in the back of the truck.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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I've wanted a canoe to take with us, but unloading a 70-80# boat on and off of the top of my van was impractical. Kevlar would be nice, but a little rich for my blood right now. A friend turned me on to these geodesic boats, and I'm starting to work on a 14' canoe (Snowshoe 14) that will carry two people and yet weighs 20 lbs. I'll have it ready for next season.

Geodesic AiroLITE Boats - ultra lightweight SOF canoes and boats; plans, projects and tutorials
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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Inflatables

I like the idea of an inflatable!! Sure would be easier to carry. Here is what we look like on the road. But if you venture off into Texas Lakes, be sure to look for signs like this...Unless you can paddle very, very, fast. Love how the Rangers always say, "Well, we've never had any trouble before with people in Kayaks on the lake.."
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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Not sure the inflatables are easier to carry. I have watched while folks drag them from the truck, and inflate them and they seem very awkward. I do agree, after a long paddling trip it is a pain to put the kayak back on top of my pickup. Have been looking at the Thule Hullevator lift system. Seems to be a very slick way to remove and replace the kayak. Saw a very small older woman, not there is anything wrong with that, use the hullevator with ease. Besides I would hate to loose air in one of those alligator ponds.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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Check out this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ams-41426.html

Ken
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Seriously?

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Originally Posted by fltlevel510 View Post
Besides I would hate to loose air in one of those alligator ponds.
referring back to the pic.

OMG
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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hullavator

Quote:
Originally Posted by fltlevel510 View Post
Not sure the inflatables are easier to carry. I have watched while folks drag them from the truck, and inflate them and they seem very awkward. I do agree, after a long paddling trip it is a pain to put the kayak back on top of my pickup. Have been looking at the Thule Hullevator lift system. Seems to be a very slick way to remove and replace the kayak. Saw a very small older woman, not there is anything wrong with that, use the hullevator with ease. Besides I would hate to loose air in one of those alligator ponds.
Hello,
I have 2010 f150 4x4 and after shoulder replacement was not going to lift a kayak that high off the ground. Purchased a Hobie REVO 11 which weighs 57 pds outfitted.Be sure to check the outfitted weight. Installed the standnfish.com system and can stand and flyfish really well.Removal of standnfish is easy and only one bar is left on kayak if you just want to tour the waters. Absolutely love the revo with the pedals and still paddles nicely. The hullavator is not perfect but works well. Takes a little time to adjust for center of kayak and I still use a small footstool to complete final flip on to roof. But this combination has allowed me to continue kayaking and flyfishing! And as a bonus the look of surprise on the younger gen. faces as you keep up or pass.Good luck and capacity of lift is 80 pds.
Pete
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
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Oh, gosh! We plan our trips around canoeing. Just back from Banff NP, where we paddled on Lakes Louise, Bow, and Emerald. Our canoe is kevlar, 16.5 ft, made by Hellman of Nelson, BC. It is still plenty heavy for two seniors to get on the top of the truck, but our system is to mount it longitudinally from the back, if at all possible, and without the trailer attached. While the canoe is on the ground, on a straight line with the truck, we flip it over. I stabilize the stern end, while Len hoists the bow and gets under the canoe and lifts the bow only, just sufficiently to hook it over the rear rail on the car-top carrier. Then it's relatively easy for me to lift the stern and slide the canoe into place. It's a bit more advanced if the Bambi is hitched up, but we basically do the same thing from the front of the truck, or else at an angle (riskier) from behind & next to the trailer.

One thing that has been a big help are a set of wheels that go under the canoe designed for portaging. No more over-the-shoulders carrying required! We bought ours at Hellman's, where we got the canoe.

We also travel with one of those plastic steps, for ease in tying the canoe on the car-top carrier.

But the idea of an inflatable small craft is appealing.

Sigh. So many lakes and streams, so little time.

Jeanne
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:36 PM   #11
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Robert,

I love those boats! Be sure to post an update when you build.

Lynn
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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I wouldn't give up on your canoe (or long kayak) because it is hard to get it on top of your tow vehicle. Check out some of the loader racks that are available. The ones from Thule and Yakima look like they would help somewhat but I use the one from Sweet Canoe Stuff and it works really well. You can load your boat from the rear or from the side and the rack is sturdy enough for extended road tripping.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3campers View Post
We were looking for a way to enjoy some of the lakes and streams we encounter when camping. Our 16 foot canoe is just to heavy and too long to bring with us so I began a search for an alternative and what I came up with was a smokin deal on Craigslist! I found a new (never used) inflatable Sea Eagle! Inflates in about 5 minutes, very well made...claims to be able to take class 3 rapids. Worked great in the water, holds up to 500 pounds. And my son and his friends really enjoy it too! I'm very pleased with our new kayak! Does anyone pack an inflatable kayak?
Got a Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 a few weeks ago. So far, I've only used it on Bayou St. John in New Orleans. No rapids, but also no powerboats or PWCs; Bayou St. John is only open to canoes, kayaks, and human-powered paddleboats. It's a lot of fun, though I still paddle like a wounded duck. I expect to get better with practice.

Don't realy know that an inflatable is "easier" to carry. However, it has the advantage that I can carry it INSIDE my Airstream. Which is a good thing since the roof of my Airstream Interstate is over 9 feet off the ground, and between the air conditioner, solar panel, roof vents, and television antenna, there's no room for a rigid hull up on the roof even if I could load and unload one from way up there without a forklift.

Around home, I inflate the kayak at home, and strap it to the roof of my Durango. I have found it's easier to put a wet inflatable on the roof and let the wind dry it than to wait for it to dry on the bank, then deflate and roll it up. Letting it dry on the roof of the SUV means that by the time I get home, it's ready to be rolled up and put away until next time.

I'm at Whitten Park Campground, Fulton, MS right now, and was really looking forward to putting my inflatable kayak in the water here. No such luck; the water is so choked with Hydrilla that you'd need arms like an orangutang on steroids just to paddle.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #14
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On our way back from Jasper and Bamff. Kayaked Lake Louise and Horseshoe Lake. Ours are light sit on tops. Bought a kayak/canoe rack and are fairly easy to load and tie down. Will be using them here in Estes Park for a few days before heading on back to north Texas.
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