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Old 16-03-2015, 17:53   #1
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Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

I am interested in buying an inflateable Kayak and potentially a sail kit to go along with it.

Preferably one that doesnt go bang at my first bonehead blunder. I have learned that buying the cheapest of anything is generally more expensive in the long run. Yet the most expensive is often unnecessary.

I intend to paddle/sail in the lakes around my area (Seattle), and as I gain experience go out it in fairly rough weather to test if I have what it takes to persue my larger boat dreams. I believe the Sea Kayak style is what I would need (hope thats the correct term).

Unfortunately, inflateable is necessary as my portion of apartment space makes pocket cruisers look downright palacial.
Also finding vehicular transportation would severely limit my available Kayak cruising time.

Any and all advice appreciated.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:24   #2
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Sevlor makes some good inflatables with a tough outter lining. Have had a couple for many years.

But...an inflatable of any kind is not the right equipment for longer/rough weather trips. For that you want a rigid touring/sea kayak. Big difference in performance and seaworthyness. Big difference in cost too.
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:48   #3
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

We bought a couple of Advanced Elements kayaks (advanced Frame Expedition and Convertible) a couple of years ago to carry on the mother ship. I haven't done as much paddling (yet) as I'd hoped, but have had them out a number of times. I am quite pleased with the way they handle and move through the water. And they are fairly tough.

I come at this from years of wilderness sea kayaking with descent boats. These plastic ones don't cut as fine a line as good quality sea kayaks, but as I say, I am pleasantly surprised at how well they do manage. And they definitely can carry enough gear and provisions for a short trip; say up to a week, especially the Convertible in single-person mode.
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Old 16-03-2015, 20:20   #4
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Ditto on the Mike's recommendation of Advanced Elements inflatables. I've had one for five or six years. Very good quality, durable, and paddles surprisingly well.
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Old 16-03-2015, 20:24   #5
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Same for us. We were surprised at how long the Advanced Elements lasted, from Canada into the tropics.

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Old 16-03-2015, 20:58   #6
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

I'm considering the sea eagle fast trac kayak. With the underwater keel it should track better than most in calm waters which is what I'll be using it for. Also the high pressure floor should make it easier to board from the sailboat. Interested in hearing first hand experiences with it.
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Old 17-03-2015, 07:36   #7
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
We bought a couple of Advanced Elements kayaks (advanced Frame Expedition and Convertible) a couple of years ago to carry on the mother ship. I haven't done as much paddling (yet) as I'd hoped, but have had them out a number of times. I am quite pleased with the way they handle and move through the water. And they are fairly tough.

I come at this from years of wilderness sea kayaking with descent boats. These plastic ones don't cut as fine a line as good quality sea kayaks, but as I say, I am pleasantly surprised at how well they do manage. And they definitely can carry enough gear and provisions for a short trip; say up to a week, especially the Convertible in single-person mode.
Interesting hybrid approach with the partial internal frame (as I understand it from their web site). How is the storage accessed (hard to tell from their site)?
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Old 17-03-2015, 08:12   #8
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

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Interesting hybrid approach with the partial internal frame (as I understand it from their web site). How is the storage accessed (hard to tell from their site)?
Yes. These boats have the option of using a solid (aluminum) backbone, which for us plus-sized folk really adds to the structure rigidity. It also helps maintain rigidity in rolly seas.

Storage for the Convertible and the Expedition is part of the single main compartment; behind the seat and in front of your legs. The reason we got the Convertible is really to provide the extra storage for our planned tripping. I paddle it in the solo configuration, with the spray deck in place.
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:02   #9
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Thanks for all the great responses, really helpful.

This forum truly is a wealth of knowledgeable helpful people.
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:04   #10
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Hi,
Advanced Elements is a good choice in single and or double version, for good sail performance look at Kayaksailor, a very clever and universal system which will fix on almost each kayak, and not only for downwind sailing!

Martin
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:28   #11
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

I have been sea kayaking for many years prior to sailing, and I own 4 different hard shells, and 2 folding kayaks. The best folders IMHO, is the Feathercraft brand which are made in Vancouver CA.

feathercraft.com

I was just at the factory in February, and they also have a new inflatable that caught my attention. I realize that these are spendy items, but the exchange rate right now is quite favorable to the US dollar. If you let the factory know you are coming, they will prepare for you to try out any model on the water. They are very knowledgable, competent, and considerate people, it is a pleasure to do business with them. I am having them do some minor repair work to my folders, and I might just want to sell one of the folders and replace it with the inflatable. Feathercraft kayaks are very highly prized by those who own them, and they maintain their value throughout their life, sometimes you can get a good deal on one on Ebay, or Craigslist, or this US provider.

www.folding kayaks.com
Check their classifieds.

Good luck...
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:36   #12
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

I have a big expedition size Sea Eagle that works well. No problems or leaks yet. Very stable and paddles well. Holds 800 lbs. The inflatable floor is practically rigid. Sea Eagle does make some with sail rigs too. The removable skeg is nice too for tracking. I am interested in the Advanced Elements now too though. I have not found enough advantage to the weight and hassle of a plastic boat, though I have used them a lot in the past.
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Old 17-03-2015, 13:27   #13
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Advanced Elements has the rep, but since you're in Seattle I'd say to go to the REI main store and check out the choices, I know they carry AE, and they have "demo days" and sometimes discounts on demo boats or returns. Also check Craigslist, although AE doesn't tend to show up there, apparently folks just keep 'em.<G>


True sea kayaks will paddle very differently but let's face it, the average 15' or 16' kayak really isn't going to fit in most rooms, unless it becomes a really dominant feature. An AE may take 20-30 minutes to set up, longer to break down (clean it, wait for it to dry) and make for a heavy backpack, but at least they CAN be carried and stowed.


See if there are some demos and rentals you can take advantage of. Some may allow you to rent, and apply the rental fee to a purchase.
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Old 17-03-2015, 13:46   #14
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

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Advanced Elements has the rep, but since you're in Seattle I'd say to go to the REI main store and check out the choices, I know they carry AE, and they have "demo days" and sometimes discounts on demo boats or returns. Also check Craigslist, although AE doesn't tend to show up there, apparently folks just keep 'em.<G>


True sea kayaks will paddle very differently but let's face it, the average 15' or 16' kayak really isn't going to fit in most rooms, unless it becomes a really dominant feature. An AE may take 20-30 minutes to set up, longer to break down (clean it, wait for it to dry) and make for a heavy backpack, but at least they CAN be carried and stowed.


See if there are some demos and rentals you can take advantage of. Some may allow you to rent, and apply the rental fee to a purchase.
Good call, I honestly forgot about REI. Which is surprising since virtually everyone in this city wears either REI clothing or Northface. I live in city where everyone seems prepared to hit the alpine wilderness at a moments notice.

I think one of these days I am going to go hiking with a suit and tie on and a briefcase over my shoulder just to really confuse people. : - )
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Old 17-03-2015, 13:58   #15
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Re: Inflateable Kayak - Best Bang for my buck

Nah, suits have to get pressed.

I can understand why Northface went into the fashion business instead of concentrating on their originas. But if I see one more urban item with a Northface logo on it, I'm going to start printing SouthButt t-shirts with an *** logo on them.
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