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Old 27-12-2012, 16:58   #1
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Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

Well im now living aboard a boat again that's actually on the water.

I have a inflatable zodiac and a 6hp Yamaha but have been thinking of sizing down to save space and weight.

I also have a dog.

So id like to know if anyone out there has been using an inflatable kayak for their daily commute to and fro from the shore?

Some of the ones that i have seen online seem cool with decent fabrics, multi chambers, pack smaller that a zodiac, can weigh as little as 5-7 kilos etc.

They even have units where the paddles split in two and the units become backpacks etc.

So no more worry about the dreaded tender theft whilst your shopping, and how to swim back to the boat with your groceries.

The dogs cool she has been on hard kayaks with me before and loves them.

But like most things in life it would be nice to get some opinions from people with real experience using this type of thing, especially if you have a dog on board too!

Thanks in advance

Matthew
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:02   #2
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I used an inflatable kayak for many years as a liveaboard tender. It was cheap, easy to paddle, and fun most of the time. The times I didn't like it were when I had a huge load of something to carry, like laundry, groceries, or batteries, and a long way to go. Also, no matter what I did, I would get wet, so they aren't ideal in colder climates. I've never been able to stay dry in an inflatable kayak.
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:05   #3
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

We had an inflatable kayak on our trailerable yacht for several years. It didn't make any progress into anything more than a very light headwind, but was better than an inflatable dinghy in this respect. It was a two man one, but room for carting supplies was very limited.

PS posted simultaneously with Kettlewell
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:08   #4
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I used only an inflatable kayak for a year. The outboard broke and I just didn't feel like the expense and fuss was worth it. Great exercise as well. A dog shouldn't be a problem. Carrying supplies was no problem. Use two kayaks or rowed the dink when I had a guest. However properly drunk guests may be transported slung over the kayak. Wear a headlamp at night as yachties in speeding dinghies give kayaks no respect.

The kayaks were the Advanced Frame type. 5 years use, well worn but still going strong.
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:12   #5
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

By the way, even though I have a larger Achilles dinghy with an 8 HP motor as my main tender, I also carry two small inflatable kayaks for when I'm spending some time in an anchorage. They are loads of fun for exploring the harbor, letting the kids take off on their own, or paddling to the beach for a swim. I've thought of trying a larger hard kayak as a tender if I could figure out how to store one on deck without it getting in the way.
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:13   #6
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

If the seas are splashy or the sky rainy I would just pack a towel and a change of clothes. But this is the tropics... And one needs a big dry bag for the laundry or the effort becomes pointless. Here in Puerto Galera there a free shore boat that comes in a minute or two...very civilized.
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Old 27-12-2012, 17:48   #7
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

take both.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:38   #8
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I have to disagree with the previous post, if you have a zodiac a kayak is a step back. To me a kayak, inflatable or not, is a wet, long, self propelled ride, with no real cargo hauling ability. Yesterday I hauled a 4x8 sheet of ply and foam insulation (both cut in half) back to the boat and did it at 15mph. My dink is the water version of my car at home (volvo) so a kayak would be like a one speed bike. I like the ability to go several miles quickly, in a storm, 10' seas, or with 20 gallons in jerry jugs. Maybe upsize and try that for a year.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:43   #9
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I dont think any of the folks I know in kayaks would think for even a minute if i offered to trade my RIB for their kayak, They would ask if I lost my mind, and then speed off at 20mph.
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Old 05-01-2013, 18:15   #10
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

We have a 10' porta-bote with 6 hp outboard and a Hobie inflatable tandem kayak as our two tenders. (If you are interested in how either boat works in the cruising lifestyle, we did a full review of each of them, with lots of pics, on our website).

The kayak gets used when we first get to port because the porta-bote is a pain to assemble whereas the kayak is already inflated and lifts off with a halyard.

However, as soon as we need to take laundry ashore or bring provisions back, the porta-bote gets assembled.

We love our kayak, but it can't carry anything, our butts get wet, and it's more for "exploring" coves and bays and estuaries for fun and less for getting things done to make this crazy lifestyle work...
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Old 05-01-2013, 18:36   #11
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

We have a Hard dink with sails and oars and a small 5 hp ourboard. We also carry a hard kayak a Hobie fishing model 14 ft long I think? anyway we use the hard dink for just about everything except for messing about, and close to and inshore fishing!! The Hobie is sorta self propeled with a foot pedal set up, works very well even with our old legs LOL you could haul some stuff with this kayak, as it has dry storage and a ice chest mounting spot! We have done that once or twice, but the dinks so much easier to use to haul stuff in and saves the back and legs LOL. We do love playin with the kayak tho !!
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:17   #12
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I tried one for awhile. But as others have noted they don't keep much way going under paddle, storage space is minimal, they are wet. But the biggest problem for me was getting out of it back onto the boat. In one you are sitting way down, essentially ass flat on the water with your legs out in front of you. It is a big deal to get up to standing. Even harder considering it has no mass to resist motion. And once standing, holding onto the pulpit or ladder it is much more unstable than a dink. All in all too much trouble. Much happier with my Avon.
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Old 12-01-2013, 14:52   #13
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

We have two Stearns single person inflatable kayaks.
They're good in that they drop into a small locker and keep the decks clear, they're light weight, but as previously mentioned they don't have a lot of cargo carrying capacity.
This is the most I've ever carried:
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Old 15-01-2013, 18:22   #14
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

Like anything else, you have to spend a little $$ to get one. You can spend $2-300 for a base, cheap Sea Eagle, or $1200 for one you can actually use (because it works with a headwind). Buy a good inflatable, and they work as well as the hard ones.
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Old 20-01-2013, 10:00   #15
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Re: Do any of you Guys and Gals use an Inflatable Kayak as your Tender?

I'm using one now, big advantage is it's simple to bring aboard (I use it in areas where barnacle growth is bad and shore is close). I have a Firefly, works fine.
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