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Old 09-04-2015, 05:40   #1
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Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

I'm thinking of getting a super compact dinghy that I can use when the better half doesn't come to the boat with me and pack on the motorbike. I need it to be rowable directly into the teeth of a max 20 knot wind at times and to carry a case of beer with max load of about 125 kg. Thinking of an inflatable kayak. Advice or recommendations?

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Old 09-04-2015, 06:28   #2
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

I have an Advanced Elements Convertible and Expedition. Both are surprisingly good kayaks considering that they are inflatables. They paddle well and carry a large load.

Don't think I've paddled into 20knts yet. I think it would be very difficult given the freeboard, lightness, and limited keel, so might not fit your needs. But I can't imagine any inflatable that would be good for these conditions. I'm also not sure about carrying it on a motorcycle. They do pack down into a large suitcase size, so you might be able to strap it down somehow. Depends on the bike and your creativity, I suppose...
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:58   #3
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

We've used the Hobie i14t tandem inflatable extensively down here in the Turks and Caicos. Including numerous trips to other islands, one a six mile trip across open water. I don't know about 20 knots on the bow in any human powered inflatable, but you might want to check into the Hobie Mirage Drives instead of relying on arm powered propulsion. We could maintain 3-4 knots easily for hour after hour using the same muscles used to ride a bike. Lifting paddles up into the air doesn't really work anywhere near as well as those drives. And you have less windage overall, with the added benefit that your hands are free for things like drinking that beer you just bought. Or taking photos or whatever. Trolling. The Mirage Drives are much more efficient, and you still have your paddle if you want it. We typically just used the paddles for reverse. The Hobies have sail kits, and we bought one for the inflatable, but the best I can say about it is that it works well on anything up to a beam reach but performance drops off rapidly with the wind on the nose. And they also have a Torqueedo that drops right into the Mirage Drive well. That might be your best answer. Electric Inflatable.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:04   #4
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

The seams on my Hobie i14T keep separating. I wish they made the same exact boat in roto mold.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:55   #5
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

contact Hobie. They gave me a new hull, two years out of warranty. I think they had some early glue issues. Great company to deal with, in my experience.

We bought a Tandem Island too, and of course that sails like a dream.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:10   #6
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

Hi-I use a cheap Sevylor Tahiti to get to the boat on a mooring. A couple of points to remember-you'll need a pump and lifejacket. Combining those with the rollup kayak the bundle could be too big for your motorcycle. I bought the Sevylor in case my dinghy was stolen on a Carib cruise. Now use it so I can leave the dinghy on the boat while gone. Have been caught in a squall while paddling, doable but good luck.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:33   #7
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

Thanks for the suggestions. I probably should have mentioned the bike's a GoldWing. Lots of storage and even the pillion seat can be used if need be.
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Old 09-04-2015, 13:01   #8
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

Your requirements might be served by an inflatable SUP rather than a dinghy or kayak. Easier to pack on the bike.


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Old 09-04-2015, 13:21   #9
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

Yup, pretty good load carrying capacity on the inflatable sup and a fair bit lighter than our inflatable kayak. Paddle either into 20K? No thanks!
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:15   #10
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

I'd probably prefer a kayak. If it doesn't work out I can use it for other purposes on the boat. I've been thinking I can get out to the boat via a little bay and use the lee of the island we're moored against which, except for the crossing of a channel, would negate much of the wind issue and it doesn't blow 20 knots all the time.

I like the Advanced Element models that Mike mentioned, but there does seem to be a few styles. So not sure what to look for there.

Did I mention we get the odd crocodile swimming through the anchorage to boot? Fortunately, it's an uncommon event!
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:13   #11
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Re: Compact inflatable dinghy/kayak?

I have an inflatable kayak and love it. 2 things - make sure you get at least 12' the shorter ones do not go that we'll, 2nd be prepared to get wet. Mine rolls up into a backpack and is made from the same material as an inflatable Dinghy.

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