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Old 07-05-2015, 11:30 PM   #1
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Small inflatable raft when Airstreaming?

We are considering getting a small inflatable raft for those occasions when it would be fun to float a little, perhaps fish a little. Nothing fancy, not large, but more on the convenient side just for the once in a while drop into a lake while traveling.

Does anyone here have something like this? And recommendations?

Or would an inflatable kayak be a better choice? We have no clue...
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:56 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
We are considering getting a small inflatable raft for those occasions when it would be fun to float a little, perhaps fish a little. Nothing fancy, not large, but more on the convenient side just for the once in a while drop into a lake while traveling.

Does anyone here have something like this? And recommendations?

Or would an inflatable kayak be a better choice? We have no clue...
If I'm going camping at a Corps of Engineers lake project, I carry a Sea Eagle inflatable kayak. I have two, a two-seat FastTrack and a single-seat Razorlite. The FastTrack is more stable but the large tubes make paddling a bit more work. The Razorlite paddles about as well as a rigid plastic canoe. I use the Razorlite on Bayou St. John in New Orleans where motorized boats are forbidden, but prefer the larger and more stable FastTrack if I'm going to be sharing the water with powerboaters and JetSki riders since I'm less likely to be dumped in the water by some fool who doesn't care about the damage his wake does.

I have a friend who bought one of Sea Eagle's entry-level Sport kayaks, and hated it. Unless a person is actually sitting in it, it will not float upright (which makes it tough to get in and out of it sometimes), and it has so much windage that he can only paddle it downwind. But the higher-end Sea Eagles like mine are not bad. The FastTrack has more windage than the Razorlite, but a lot less than the Sport model.

Inflatable kayaks really should be called inflatable canoes, because that's what they are. You can't do any of the neat kayak tricks that you could do with a real kayak. But you CAN do just about anything with an inflatable kayak that you could do with a rigid canoe.

An inflatable kayak is expensive as heck compared to a raft or river float, but has the advantage that you have better control over where you go on the water (unless you get a crappy Sea Eagle Sport).

In case you're wondering, in most states, you don't have to register a boat that has no motor or sails.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:06 AM   #4
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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
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:17 AM   #5
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Sea Eagle FastTrack

I purchased a Sea Eagle FastTrack with the 2 person option. Comes with two inflatable deluxe seats so I can convert from 1 person to two person. About 12 1/2' long. About $1000 from inflatableboatsforless.com. $900 right now.

Here I'm on it on Table Rock Lake earlier this year. I'm 5'10" close to 200lbs.

To add the second seat, move the seat closer to the bow and add the second seat at the stern.

For an inflatable it tracks and moves through the water well.

While hard sided kayaks are cheaper, I'm not able to store one at home and by the time I purchased racks for my Tundra the cost would be similar to this kayak. I carry a separate bag for the PFDs and pump in the back of the Tundra. Weight is about 40lbs

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Old 07-06-2015, 09:17 AM   #6
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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
The higher-end Sea Eagles are hardly cheap toys. Maybe expensive toys… But seriously, most Sea Eagle kayak models are rated for up to Class 2 rapids— though I personally stick to flatwater paddling, because of my low kayaking skill level.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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We took kayak lessons a couple of years ago on Lake Lavon near DFW. I dumped twice trying to learn the turns into that muddy lake. We decided maybe a canoe was better for us but again the storage problem and the cheaper canoes that can carry two paddlers are heavy, 80+lbs. Saw a lovely 17' Wenoah Kevlar canoe (54lbs)at Glacier Park in 2011 but looking on line it was close to $2500.

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Old 07-06-2015, 11:14 AM   #8
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Kayak, canoe, raft.

Hello:

I travel full time with a Hobie I 9 S. Inflatable sport kayak. I have the mirage drive, bicycle type drive with flippers underneath. Oars, sail kit, fishing kit. Ok, a little overboard. Brakes down to 2 packages, all total about 40 lbs. Great for calmer waters, bays, rivers, ocean on good days. Somewhat pricey, 100% fun. I can move it fully set up with detachable wheels without a problem. My kayak yacht goes so well with my landyacht.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:34 AM   #9
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Jeff, that is a nice set up. I have a friend that has almost the same rig.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #10
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This looks like it'd be fun for flat water and kids:

Adventure Kayak | Friday Harbor | Advanced Elements

Anyone tried this?
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:10 PM   #11
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You make me homesick every time you post. To quote the after Katrina bumper sticker, "Be a New Orleanian wherever you are." Going to make a crawfish pie for dinner.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:27 PM   #12
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Check out Oru Kayak! New company with a very nice and lightweight kayak. At 28 pounds and folds down. Following is their smallest kayak but no 2-seater as yet and a bit pricey!

Specifications

  • LENGTH: 12' [3.7 M]
  • WIDTH: 25" [63 CM]
  • WEIGHT: 26 lbs [12 KG]
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 260-300LBS
  • COCKPIT: 16"X30" [41X76 CM]
  • BOX LENGTH: 32" [81 CM]
  • BOX WIDTH: 13" [33 CM]
  • BOX HEIGHT: 28" [71 CM]
URL: The Bay
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:35 PM   #13
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Check out the Oru Kayak, it folds to a nice "art portfolio" package, is made in USA, made with a Kevlar type material and folds and unfolds fairly quickly. I first saw it on "Shark Tank", and has become quite popular on the West Coast.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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What about an inflatable dingy!? Look at what West Marine or Defender.com sells. I own an inflatable with a three piece wood floor, found it on Craigslist. You can carry several people and put an outboard on it. I have a 5.5 and with me in it, it will plane! I am 6.5 and 290.
Just a thought!
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