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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Inflatable Kayak



This is the start of my inflatable kayak tests. It's a Sea Eagle 420. The toughness, payload and stability are the factors that swayed me to this particular boat.

I carried the folded boat, seats, paddles and foot pump in one trip about 350 feet to the lake in one trip. Of course, I'm a big guy who used to do a lot of backpacking.




This is it before inflation.



This is about 10 minutes after, fully inflated with the seats installed.




The seats, at least for me, took a bit of fiddling around. Only by the third attempt was I reasonably comfortable. When I deflate it, the seats are going to be left in when rolled up. That will be one less thing to mess with.

Unfortunately, I was alone with no one to take pictures of the water test. Sitting alone in the front seat, it paddled well. It's not going to set any speed records, but with the skeg installed, it tracked fairly straight.

Delivery was 5 days ahead of the estimate. Even with the free shipping offer, it came overnight. Maybe I was lucky, but that was impressive. The only thing missing from the order were two small cargo bags. Sea Eagle said they were back ordered.

One thing I think should be included is a pressure gauge. They are only $12, and it seems to me that it's a critical item. Proper inflation pressure has a direct effect on durability and performance. I've one on order, as I didn't realize they were not part of the package.

This is a bit more boat than I was originally looking for. After some thought and research, I decided to upgrade to a tougher inflatable. A cheap boat that can't do the job is no bargain. In the next couple months the boat is going to get a real workout. Sea Eagle has a generous 180 day return policy. I'll know before then if it's going to do the job.

-Sixbear

16 comments:

  1. Sixbear you may want to look on line for a 12 volt bed inflator or wal mart has them in 110 volt if you use an inverter on the oday!10 minates is a lot of pumping on a sail boat.The one you got looks better built than most i have seen.OH the inflators also has a deflator side.

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    Replies
    1. I thought about getting the electric, but the foot pump works so well I'm not going to bother.

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  2. That thing is way bigger than what I had imagined.

    I doubt I could have packed that sucker much more than fifty feet without my tongue hanging out and gasping for air like a stomped frog.

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    Replies
    1. Well the boats supposed to be about 42 pounds, so that's not awful. It inflates to over 14 feet long and is rated for 855 pounds.

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  3. Looking good. I hope it all works out. I've purchased a few things from West Marine, you may know them, their return if not satisfied policy was amazing and their service outstanding, from ordering to delivery from the the West Coast of the US to New Zealand was three days. This is a plug for them. I'm pleased to say, they were perhaps the best company I've ever bought boat gear from.
    I hope the inflatable works well for you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I deal with West Marine, both on-line and in store. Of course, there are no marine stores out here in the mountains.

      Their prices can be on the high side, but service has been good. Sometimes their sales make a big difference in price. I picked up a waterproof, floating VHF radio from them on sale and the price wasn't bad and quality good.

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  4. Replies
    1. Comes with one, and I've read the instructions.

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  5. I think it's equal to the task. I see some of them on the rough waters on the mid yough and even on the lower yough. While I'm not a big inflatable fan, I was rather impressed with them. Everything beats those sit on top drowning machines. Those I don't like.

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    Replies
    1. Bout time to post something new Dragon...
      Pretty soon I'll be just skipping ur blog lol.

      Delete
    2. Inflatable are not my first choice, but I kinda like this one.

      Delete
  6. Carry along a piece of carpet for the floor and one to drap over the side. That way poochie is much less likely to poke holes. Helped us anyway, with our 100 lb Golden lol.
    Enjoy the experience, as you well know the learning curve with boating is steep and very unforgiving...

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    Replies
    1. Good advice, even though they advertise doggie proof. I keep a piece of astro turf carpet in the boat. Our mutt's only a bit over 30 pounds, so not so bad.

      I'm enjoying the experience, even the learning curve. As long as we don't do anything fatally stupid, it's all good. Fortunately I can laugh at myself so never lack for entertainment.

      Delete
  7. Try one of these...they are fantastic for fishing

    http://creekcompany.com/product.php?productid=16323&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

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