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Old 07-06-2015, 02:26 PM   #15
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Wow... great comments, everyone. It sounds like there are a good number of great options to consider. I'm wondering about how to transport these different options. We have a Sierra Denali HD which has a full siz crew cab and a 6 1/2' bed. Would the inflatables compact down to just ride small, in the bed of the truck? How do people carry rigid kayaks with a truck like ours?
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mnmhays View Post
We have one that we bought for river floats about 8 years ago from Gander Mtn. (It' an Intex brand). It was on clearance for about $60 which included the oars. I would advise a bigger one than what we have. It claims to be a 3 person (450 pound capacity) which is fine but more room would be better.
Thanks mnmhays. I took your reference, went to Gander Mountain, checked on their Intex, and selected their "Seahawk 4 boat set with oars and pump", instead of their Seahawk2.

They are on sale through July 6th with free shipping. Normal price=$149.99, Sale price=$109.99, if you use the Code of "JULY 4TH" (on or before July 6th), it takes another $20 off, so $89.99. (Now they are back-ordered with expected delivery soon).

They have the following selected specs (more on the website):
880 pound capacity
2 inflatable seat cushions
Deluxe aluminum oars,
and quite a bit of others...
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:46 PM   #17
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Cost $700, but easy to row and holds two adults and 3 spaniels no problem. I bought a 2.5 Suzuki, another $700, and with that we can really travel around.


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Old 07-06-2015, 03:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
You can buy cheap toy inflatables or buy a quality product that will perform nearly as well as a rigid kayak.

AdvancedFrame Kayak | Advanced Elements
I have two of the Advanced Elements single kayaks. Very well made and perform almost as well as a rigid kayak. Packs into a rectangular soft bag about the size of a large suitcase.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:51 PM   #19
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The Sea Eagle FastTrack folds down to about 36 x 24 x 8 roughly. Takes less than 5 minutes to inflate longer to deflate and pack up but less than 10 minutes. I always remove the drop stitch floor and dry it and the floor of the boat before folding which takes more time.

Kelvin
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:43 PM   #20
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We have a Sevylor 6 man Fish Hunter raft. We really like it, and have been using it for years. It is pretty tough, and inflates easily, flattens out and rolls up for storage. Although it says 6 man, it's really suitable for two. Great for fishing and floating.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:48 PM   #21
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How about an inflatable kayak that is almost small enough to fit in a glove box?

Packraft | PackLite Kayak | Advanced Elements
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:19 PM   #22
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I carry a 3.4 meter mercury SIB, 9.5hp Johnson with us when activities include water. Works well for us.
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:46 AM   #23
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This has been discussed across a number of threads... my main issue with Sea Eagle is that the fabric of mine became brittle and cracked in an uncountable number of places (and it was stored in a dry place with no UV light exposure). It only lasted a few years. Some months back I asked in this forum if anyone has had good luck with an inflatable lasting long term without this kind of degradation happening. I never got any definitive response at the time. Some of these newer inflatable models approach a thousand bucks so this is an important question. I don't want to invest heavily in another only to have it become brittle and so I still haven't made a decision on this issue.

The Sea Eagle 330 also has stability constraints which could be a concern to some users. Some photos in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...oe-131563.html
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:46 AM   #24
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I have an Avon inflatable RIB that was used daily for ten years while living in the Carribean. It is now 25 years old. Faded, scratched up and has over a dozen patches from banging it in to barnacle encrusted docks and rocks. It gets used occasionally when working club races and still it holds air and easily planes with a 9 HP Honda that is nearly as old as the dink. For the time it was not inexpensive but quality rarely is.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:29 PM   #25
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I have an Avon inflatable RIB that was used daily for ten years while living in the Carribean. It is now 25 years old. Faded, scratched up and has over a dozen patches from banging it in to barnacle encrusted docks and rocks. It gets used occasionally when working club races and still it holds air and easily planes with a 9 HP Honda that is nearly as old as the dink. For the time it was not inexpensive but quality rarely is.
I had a bit of trouble planing with my airdeck SIB with a 9.5hp and two people. Airdecks (and SIBs in general) have a tendency to bow just before getting on plane, creating a lot of drag and it just wouldn't jump up. I had a standard prop (7" pitch) re-pictched to 6" pitch. It now planes easily with two aboard. If I want to go fast, solo, I put on an 8" pitch spare. Sucker runs almost 25mph and just sorts skims along.

Concerning the material and aging. If you got bucks, make sure you go with a hypolon material. They are far superior to UV than Vinyl. I opted for vinyl, as mine sees probably 10 - 20 days of sun a year and I got a killer deal on a "still in the box" 3 year old unit from Defender. Of course there are various qualities of vinyl......Mercury's seems pretty good after 5 years of ownership.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:42 PM   #26
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I have to say I found the discussion really useful and based on the opinions I just ordered a Mariner 3 package (with a motor mount and trolling motor).....even if it only lasts 3-5 years, I could replace it many times over for the cost of some of the better/more expensive options being mentioned.
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:22 PM   #27
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Your thread screams Ally pack canoe. We got a 16.5' Ally we have used on several remote 14 day float trips in arctic NW and SW Alaska. Fits in a big backpack, weighs under 50 lbs, carries about 800 lbs. Will take you an hour to assemble first time, but after a time or two, it's an easy 15-20 minute job for two people.

Very tough Tarpulon material, a lighter weight version of Hypaulon used on Zodiac rafts. We have expedition repair kit and an entire extra skin due to remoteness of our trips. Ours has went through class II Rapids loaded at 750 lbs with ease. We have custom made two piece Aquabond canoe paddles. Can't speak highly enough of the Ally canoe.

Made in Norway, was surprised just now to see REI selling them. Was much harder to find when we got ours about ten years back. These pack canoes have been used the world over on expeditions since the 70's. Top shelf stuff. Perfect for Airstream, which is where ours will stay upon buying a camper.

I can't begin to name the benefits this Ally canoe would offer over any inflatable for flat water applications. I own two Sotar whitewater rafts, 10' and 15', about $4-5k each, so I love rafts too. We use them fly fishing in Smokies and on more challenging rivers in Alaska, where the Ally would be less ideal. We also have 5 kayaks. But you and the wife paddling lakes, ponds, class I-II rivers, or protected coastal salt waters, this is the bees knees. PM for any info.

Here are a few trip reports with pictures. At bottom, click the Flickr link for numerous images of the Ally canoes. I'm 6'6" 320 lbs, my wife and I bought one then my buddy bought one as well.

Arctic NW Alaska ..
http://www.paddling.net/places/showReport.html?1942

Another Arctic NW Alaska trip..
http://www.paddling.net/places/showReport.html?1939

SW Alaska trip..
http://www.paddling.net/places/showReport.html?2124



Ally 16.5 DR Folding Canoe - REI.com

http://catalog.bergans.com/ally-canoes




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Old 08-16-2015, 01:29 PM   #28
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Porta Bote is what we recommend. This picture is when we were trying it out in our pool.

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