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Old 09-08-2015, 12:35 PM   #1
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Inflatable Canoes, Etc.

I know we have had threads on different boat types. I would like to get input from others, including now the newer members, on their experiences and knowledge on the topic.

I will want a canoe, or other craft, on future trips, especially once I retire, and especially with the limitation of the 5.0 for carrying a full sized canoe, plus the fact I would like to keep it put away when not in use, I am seriously looking at some type of inflatable.

I would want a craft that will carry two adults, and possibly a dog, plus a bunch of gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKsnowbiker View Post
We use a Aire Traveler for river trips. For the larger lakes we have a rowing frame that fits in the truck bed, with the hitch in the middle. Have to have the trailer unhooked to load, unload the frame. The inflatable fits in a small PVC raft storage bag that fits alongside the hitch. Oars or paddle depending on use are under the raft bag so they don't blow out.
I am fairly familiar with Aire products, and how tough they are. I know someone in town here with one of their pontoon boats. Not sure what it is, but it is fairly large, and he mostly uses it on rivers, and fishes a lot.

I am thinking of one do-it-all boat, thus a canoe. I would like it to be somewhat good at tracking, so it could be used flat water trips, though I imagine many come with an optional skeg to assist in tracking. I had never considered a rowing frame like you have, but have seen those used on the big regular layup expedition canoes, often with a single traveller. I would be doing a bunch of river travel too.

Anyhow, I would love to hear your views on using the Aire Traveller, and how it performs. It sounds to be well suited to river travel, but not as great at flat water.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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I have 2 Advanced Frame Kayaks made by Advanced Elements. They are awesome, have had them for 7 or so years. Used them on the Bow River, lakes, the Sea of Cortez, etc. They fold up into a suitcase sized bag. There are 3 layers which reduces the potential for a puncture, are covered with a heavy duty rip stop type of material, has a skeg which helps for tracking and inflate in minutes. They have a two seater version which has a variety of set up options.

Jim, if you want to give one a "test drive", let me know, I'm in Cochrane.

Rick
AdvancedFrame Convertible | Advanced Elements
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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We have a Sevylor Tahiti...skeg is optional. It is very durable...has room in the aft/bow for some storage, two adj seats and is thick enough for my golden retriever's nails.

It weighs about 25 lbs - folds up into a duffle bag for storage /transportation.

Best wishes on your search
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:28 PM   #4
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The Aire Traveler is a skinny self bailing raft. We use it for river float trips, up to 3+ water with the paddles. The larger lakes where we live are all glacier fed with extremely cold water, when the winds come up we can see some big waves. It is a very safe, stable, selfbailing platform. Now on calm flat lakes it can be a pig, especially if the wind picks up. At those times I really dream of a Wenonah kevlar canoe. Now I just have to figure out how to haul my 6' dip net with 12' extensions. I'm thinking on the 1 UP bike rack.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
I have 2 Advanced Frame Kayaks made by Advanced Elements. They are awesome, have had them for 7 or so years. Used them on the Bow River, lakes, the Sea of Cortez, etc. They fold up into a suitcase sized bag. There are 3 layers which reduces the potential for a puncture, are covered with a heavy duty rip stop type of material, has a skeg which helps for tracking and inflate in minutes. They have a two seater version which has a variety of set up options.

Jim, if you want to give one a "test drive", let me know, I'm in Cochrane.

Rick
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I have heard of this brand, but know very little. Just did a quick look, and they seem to be well received. Did you buy locally?

I assume you use two one man boats. My first thought was to do something two man, but who knows, still at the thinking phase. I see they do have doubles though.

I may just take you up on a test run with one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reetired View Post
We have a Sevylor Tahiti...skeg is optional. It is very durable...has room in the aft/bow for some storage, two adj seats and is thick enough for my golden retriever's nails.

It weighs about 25 lbs - folds up into a duffle bag for storage /transportation.

Best wishes on your search
That looks like a nice inflatable, and especially nicely priced. Have you, or would you, use it on a river. A couple quick reviews I saw too said it was great for the price, but not the toughest option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKsnowbiker View Post
The Aire Traveler is a skinny self bailing raft. We use it for river float trips, up to 3+ water with the paddles. The larger lakes where we live are all glacier fed with extremely cold water, when the winds come up we can see some big waves. It is a very safe, stable, selfbailing platform. Now on calm flat lakes it can be a pig, especially if the wind picks up. At those times I really dream of a Wenonah kevlar canoe. Now I just have to figure out how to haul my 6' dip net with 12' extensions. I'm thinking on the 1 UP bike rack.
That kinda falls in line with what I have read. A very popular boat with hunters, and those wanting more flexibility than most rafts, yet are very stable, with lots of capacity.

In looking at their offerings, I wonder if the Super Lynx might be a better fit for me.

Super Lynx Inflatable Kayak | AIRE
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:12 PM   #6
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Even when towing a 5.0TA, you would not have to limit yourself to inflatables. With a rack skewed to the front of your truck, you can have it all and should be able to carry both your conventional canoe and your bikes. Kind of like this guy:

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Old 09-08-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
Even when towing a 5.0TA, you would not have to limit yourself to inflatables. With a rack skewed to the front of your truck, you can have it all and should be able to carry both your conventional canoe and your bikes. Kind of like this guy:
i had already considered that Dave, and the idea is not totally out of contention, and might be employed as an alternate. For a trip with lots of canoeing, this would be the way to go, but for long term travel, where a canoe may not get used for weeks on end, stowing would be a nice option.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
i had already considered that Dave, and the idea is not totally out of contention, and might be employed as an alternate. For a trip with lots of canoeing, this would be the way to go, but for long term travel, where a canoe may not get used for weeks on end, stowing would be a nice option.
If you really want to go the "stow your canoe" route, I would suggest a Pak boat. You are probably already well aware of them, but I have heard mostly good things about them.

PakCanoe Models

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Old 09-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #9
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We have a 5.0SA and an inflatable Sea Eagle 2 seat Canoe/Kayak. The only redeeming quality of the canoe is that it folds up reasonably small so it fits in the bed of the truck. It's comfy but is real tough to make go in a straight line, and forget it in any kind of wind. We've considered upgrading but really want something much better -- probably 2 one-seat kayaks, so we will follow this thread with interest.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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Chelan HB Tandem XL- good so far...

We just bought an inflatable tandem kayak for many of the reasons that you listed. We carry it in the back of our Jeep Grand Cherokee where it takes maybe a quarter of the space behind the back seat by the time you add the paddles, pump, life vests etc.
We have only taken it out 4 times so far. 3 on lakes and 1 on a mild river. It handles amazing well for an inflatable. We had to slow down our paddling on the river to keep from overtaking our friends in their Advanced Elements tandems.
The HB stands for "hard bottom" . The bottom is made with the "drop stitch" technology and has a 6 psi rating which makes it so the floor really is rigid when inflated. It has a detachtable skeg as well.
It is stable enough to stand up in (carefully) and/or have people get in and out while in deep water. Much more stable than our canoes or even flat water rec boat style kayaks. We carry our 75 pound German Shepard with us.
It is one of the more expensive options (not compared to an AIRE though). And you also have to buy the high pressure pump which is more expensive too. We got ours at REI on a 20% off member coupon sale.
You might want to take a look at these too.
Update: The brand name is Aquaglide. It looks like REI no longer carries the model which we have.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:56 PM   #11
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I don't know a lot about inflatables, I've had a couple rubber rafts and they are not much for performance. I am currently studying the NuCanoe which is made in Bellingham I think. They have a couple of models with pretty impressive capacities and a neat sliding rail for the seat or seats. I knew a guy who bought one of the original designs a few years ago but he retired and I lost track of him. He was a truck driver that delivered grass seed to our shop and lived out of state. They have a pretty good website.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:54 PM   #12
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i'm still thinking about getting the ORU folding kayak or something like that inflatable etc... I'm having trouble managing my kayak on/off car dragging to water etc... i have all the rolling things and assisted lift for car roof but its still difficult. I'm a woman at 5ft 2 and 60 yrs it just seems hard.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
If you really want to go the "stow your canoe" route, I would suggest a Pak boat. You are probably already well aware of them, but I have heard mostly good things about them.

PakCanoe Models
I have considered PakCanoes, as well as other folding canoes, and they are not at all ruled out. I have never paddled one though. Inflatables are more forgiving on rivers, though I know folding canoes do well too, though you do have to be a bit more careful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_gal View Post
We just bought an inflatable tandem kayak for many of the reasons that you listed. We carry it in the back of our Jeep Grand Cherokee where it takes maybe a quarter of the space behind the back seat by the time you add the paddles, pump, life vests etc.
We have only taken it out 4 times so far. 3 on lakes and 1 on a mild river. It handles amazing well for an inflatable. We had to slow down our paddling on the river to keep from overtaking our friends in their Advanced Elements tandems.
The HB stands for "hard bottom" . The bottom is made with the "drop stitch" technology and has a 6 psi rating which makes it so the floor really is rigid when inflated. It has a detachtable skeg as well.
It is stable enough to stand up in (carefully) and/or have people get in and out while in deep water. Much more stable than our canoes or even flat water rec boat style kayaks. We carry our 75 pound German Shepard with us.
It is one of the more expensive options (not compared to an AIRE though). And you also have to buy the high pressure pump which is more expensive too. We got ours at REI on a 20% off member coupon sale.
You might want to take a look at these too.
Update: The brand name is Aquaglide. It looks like REI no longer carries the model which we have.
Those look good too, I will take a better look at them when I have more time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Jim
I don't know a lot about inflatables, I've had a couple rubber rafts and they are not much for performance. I am currently studying the NuCanoe which is made in Bellingham I think. They have a couple of models with pretty impressive capacities and a neat sliding rail for the seat or seats. I knew a guy who bought one of the original designs a few years ago but he retired and I lost track of him. He was a truck driver that delivered grass seed to our shop and lived out of state. They have a pretty good website.
Dave
NuCanoe is a moulded canoe though, isn't it? I am looking for something that packs away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox hunt View Post
i'm still thinking about getting the ORU folding kayak or something like that inflatable etc... I'm having trouble managing my kayak on/off car dragging to water etc... i have all the rolling things and assisted lift for car roof but its still difficult. I'm a woman at 5ft 2 and 60 yrs it just seems hard.
Those look like great kayaks, though it seems they only make a solo, with nowhere for Jasper to go. They certainly would work great for a solo paddler though.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:36 PM   #14
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Sorry Jim, missed your question concerning the rowing frame. The traveler does have a fabric tube keel so it tracks okay. We had the rowing frame built at Alaska Raft and Kayak. It does have a removable seat for the rower. While rowing, one person can handle the boat quite easily. Likewise with two adults and a mini schnauzer we have rowed across some big lakes, such as Skilak on the Kenai and have never felt endangered. Paddling with two people on rivers works great, paddling on lakes so, so. Oh, and as a bonus you can put a small outboard on the boat.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:27 PM   #15
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Going by memory, I think I bought them on eBay. There used to be a store in Bowness that was selling Advanced Elements products, I found out later. I have also seen them on Amazon. You are more than welcome to take me up on my offer for the test drive.
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:00 AM   #16
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Yes I hadn't thought about bringing my dog that might be fun in a bigger kayak.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:26 PM   #17
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Just to follow up on this thread, and some do know, but I bought a Sea Eagle Travel Canoe 16.
https://www.seaeagle.com/TravelCanoe/TC16

I had it personally delivered by Carl Wright (thanks again Carl) to the rally in Osoyoos this year saving me a few hundred of those big American bucks in shipping, import and such.

I outfitted it with a Minn Kota Endura Max 40 lb electric trolling motor, using a motor mount I built taking in account the inflatable sides. It worked very well, but I have some refinements to make to the mount.
http://www.minnkotamotors.com/Produc...36-INCH-SHAFT/

Talk about awesome for solo canoe fishing. Trolling is a breeze with it. I even went into the outflow of the Clearwater River in Wells Grey Provincial Park to a point where I could still overcome the current (without going over the falls a couple hundred metres away), turned the boat and trolling in some great fishing waters without the boat moving in relation to the shore. Caught a few 2 lb rainbows of which 2 made their way into the pan and onto the dinner table.

We did some paddling of it without the motor too, and it did very well. Not as fast as our tripping canoe, but very reasonable for day use. I also look forward to getting it into some big rapids as well.

Here is a crappy cell phone shot of the setup. I should have taken more photos with my real cameras, but having fun got in the way.

20160817_083625.jpg
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:35 PM   #18
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #19
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Oh yeah, and I glued in a couple Scotty rod holder mounts as a nice touch.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:49 PM   #20
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Does one use air pumps to fill these or what to inflate them?
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