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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Thank you for checking this thread. First, let us ignore the price difference between Sea Eagle TC 16 and Innova Seawave.

I am mainly concerned about puncture and scratch resistance. On paper, it looks like the 1200 Denier Nitrilon bottom of the Innova Seawave is more durable than that of the Sea Eagle TC16 canoe (1000 Denier PVC?). Am I wrong in this regard? Will I see a real-world difference in puncture /scratch resistance (is there a significant difference)? This is my question #1.

For reference of real-world durability and the lack of, we do have oyster reef nearby, but have been fine with a lowly Sea Eagle 330 (600 Denier PVC?) for 3 years by being careful. But our friend managed to have the kayak cut open, after we loaned it to him.

On paper, the Sea EagleTC16 canoe (10 PSI, 16' x 38'', 70 lbs, 915 lb capacity) seems to look better on the performance front, compared to the Innova Seawave (3 PSI, 14'9'' x 31'', 41 lbs, 551 lb capacity). But we are going to have 2 young kids (4yo 35 lbs + 8yo 50 lbs) and 2 small/light adults (wife 120 lbs 5'2'' and me 140 lbs 5'9'') in such a boat and 2-3 paddlers of the 4 of us do not know how to paddle well (I am the only decent paddler). We will mostly use single blade canoe paddles (have not decided what I would use, but the rest 3 would use canoe paddles), to avoid getting wet and paddle collision. Very calm and flat water. And I will put a rigid PVC plumber tube under seats of Seawave to make it more rigid, if we buy it. Will we see a real-world performance difference, in our hands? This is my question #2.

My last question #3 is also on real-world performance in hands of poor-decent paddlers. Innova offers a shorter inflatable kayak/canoe named Solar 410C. Its specifications are almost identical to the Seawave model, except that it is 1'5'' shorter. Will we see a performance difference between Solar and Seawave, in our hands? Solar will save us $250.

To save your time, you can simply answer by #1, #2, #3. Thank you again!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:51 pm 
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I would appreciate speculations too. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Hi zzffnn

I'm afraid I have never seen let alone paddled one of the dropstitch Sea Eagles so can't help you with how they perform.

I can give you some info on Innova/Gumotex boats though. (You may or may not be aware that Innovas are made by a Czech firm called Gumotex who have a somewhat wider range of boats - historically, Innova only brought over a few Gumotex models, although CA retailer The Boat People used to top that up with one or two additional models that they'd import themselves. I believe that Gumotex now owns Innova but they still don't sell the full range.)

The nitrilon material that Gumotex uses is very tough - it superficially scratches and scuffs quite easily but is difficult to puncture. I've owned my boats for 15 years now with zero repairs and that's with treating them with not much care. As I say, I'm not familiar with the Sea Eagle model you listed but a friend has had both the vinyl 330 that you have (which always seemed quite fragile to me) and the 1000 denier PVC Explorer 380 and they were like chalk and cheese. The 380 seemed bulletproof and I'd speculate that the TC16 would be the same.

You say that you are planning to paddle with a single blade so maybe it would be worth having a look at one of Innova/Gumotex's canoe models where the seats go across the tubes, sitting you up higher and making the canoe stroke feel more natural (and also increasing available space in the boat as your legs aren't stretched out in front of you). As noted above, you can't get the entire range in the US branded as Innova although you can of course buy a Gumotex from overseas. A number of people - including a few on this forum - have ordered Gumotex boats from a Czech retailer called Boatpark with no problems. I think that the VAT that you don't have to pay broadly equals the shipping and import duty to get one sent to the US.

In increasing cost order they are:

Gumotex Palava/Innova Vagabond - This is available in the US as an Innova for $900. Out of stock on the Innova site but seemingly in stock at The Boat People. Boatpark have the Palava for around $835

Gumotex Scout - They do two versions of this - the Economy and the Standard. The Standard adds self-bailing, thigh braces and t-bar stiffeners for under the seats. I have the Economy version and it's very roomy. Comfortably takes two adults and three kids with scope for a few more. Economy is around $1060 from Boatpark

Gumotex Baraka - Kinda like a Vagabond on steroids. Self-bailing whitewater canoe, probably somewhat unnecessary for your planned use. $1130 from Boatpark

The Gumotex website has pictures and some pretty good videos of how their boats perform http://www.gumotexboats.com/inflatable-boats (each model has its own page)

You might also want to take a look at Chris's excellent blog https://apaddleinmypack.wordpress.com/g ... main-page/ - he owns a Seawave and has posted a number of articles about it. I'm fairly sure that I remember him saying that the Seawave is actually quite narrow, so may feel a bit of a squeeze with four of you in there. Friends of mine who are about the same size as you but with slightly older kids have a Solar and love it. I've got its sort of predecessor called the Sunny, which is the same type of boat just a little shorter. Chris also used to have one, so his comparisons between the two boats will no doubt be useful

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Sorry not to be able to give you a better idea on any performance differential between the Sea Eagle and the Innovas. The Boat People (who always seem pretty honest) always rated the Innova Sunny/Solar as one of the fastest inflatables and the Seawave appears to be a bit faster again. I'd imagine though that the extra hull length and rigidity of the Sea Eagle would make it the fastest but that's just speculation. In my experience, two reasonably competent paddlers in my Sunny can keep up with a plastic sit-on-top of the same length and reviews on paddling.com seem to corroborate this. Single-blade paddling in the Scout is slower as you'd probably imagine.

One thing to bear in mind is the weight and size of the packed boat, particularly if you're planning on carrying it any sort of distance on your back. I find the 25kg of the Scout pretty unpleasant, whereas the 17kg of the Palava would be much more managable. Just the hull of the TC16 is 27kg, to which you have to add the seats (another 6kg total??). It may not be an issue for you, but something to be aware of

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:09 pm 
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@onsafari,

Thank you very munch. You are very kinds and helpful. Gumotex Scout looks good, though it seems slightly expensive for what it is. Palava seems too short for us 2 adults + 2 kids.

What do you think of the Advanced Elements Convertible model, for 2 adults + 2 kids, with canoe paddles.
https://www.advancedelements.com/day-to ... ak-ae1007/

I am thinking to use higher seats on it to gain more leg room and higher canoe paddle position (yes, the AEC is a wide kayak by design). Compared to Gumotex Scout, the AEC:
1) is 12.2 cm or 4.8 inch longer and 13.8 cm or 5.4 inch narrower (AEC's front splash shirt can be unzipped to provide more space);
2) has sharper and stiffer bow and stern (with aluminum inserts), though both Scout and AEC can accept metal tube as keel;
3) has 3-layer hull design that seems even more scratch resistant than Gumotex 's 1200 Denier Nitrilon (based on a review at paddling.com and what I have felt in person [though I did not get to try any Gumotex/Innova]);
4) has capacity that is 201 kg or 443 lbs less, but is still pretty good at 249 kg or 550 lb and more than enough for 4 of us (365 lbs);
5) costs only $700 ($300 less) USD shipped;
6) has 6 air chambers (3 more than Scout).

I am also considering the Sea Eagle TC16 canoe, because I have an offer to buy it for $1000 USD shipped. Its dimensions and capacity is similar to Gumotex Scout, though it has stiffer air chambers and likely more internal space.

Its cons to me are:
1) Its hull (1000 Denier PVC) durability is questionable to me, as it seems less resistant to scratch than Gumotex 's 1200 Denier Nitrilon;
2) It is designed with 3 stiff panels, which seem to make it tippy (no issue for me, but not so good for my 3 family members);
3) heavy at 70 lbs (1st gen is 10 lbs heavier than 2 gen), even though I don't have to it carry it for long or alone/without cart.
Its seating position is in between canoe and kayak positions, which may be a pro or a con, depending on the paddler.

Seating position is probably not very important for our particular case, because it is more play and fun for my sons and wife with canoe paddles. I will be using kayak paddle at the stern as main driving force and provide correction.

Yes, I did read somewhere that Seawave feels less roomy than Solar 410C for 3-4 paddlers, likely due to its narrower interior (even though it is 40.6 cm or 16 inch longer). We are all very slender though. Between those two, I am leaning towards Solar 410C. Among all mentioned options though, I am leaning towards the Advanced Elements Convertible (but please feel free to correct me, if I fail to see anything major).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:33 am 
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Gumotexes are actually pretty good value for money - as The Boat People note while talking about the Palava/Vagabond "this model had sold for $1,199 the last time Innova carried it, but it has decreased in price to just three quarters what it had been – now only $899. A model made like this in the U.S., or even from a non domestic builder using any rubber fabric, would be close to $2K."

With regard to room inside, a 400cm Palava will have more usable space than a 410cm Solar simply because your legs are tucked out the way. You'll notice from the pictures of the Palava that there are fixings for a third, central seat - it's not hugely wide at 50cm but probably OK for two small children to sit side by side. You can see exactly that in this picture of the old model Palava that was only 380 cm long

Image

This should give your kids the opportunity to waft a paddle at the water if they want to. In the Solar, while it is possible to stack four bodies in there, it seems a bit crowded. There's a pic here https://www.canoekayak.world/gumotex-solar-410-test/ of it being done (pic's too wide to include in this reply). I guess ahat you could do is mark out the Palava's and Solar's dimensions, seat locations and space in the bow and stern on the floor using the overhead shots and measurements from the Gumotex website and see if you would fit

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Gumotex Safari
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:09 am 
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With Gumotex boats, the tubes that you see are the air holding chambers. A bit like your Sea Eagle 330, although they use their tougher rubber nitrilon material rather than the vinyl that Sea Eagle uses. The more expensive, non-dropstitch Sea Eagles use a very tough PVC fabric to create their air-holding chambers, while the dropstitch ones presumably use something similarly strong (based on the rather excessive hull weight) with the interior dropstitching providing additional strength that allows such high pressures.

Advanced elements, on the other hand, uses a different manufacturing technique for some of its boats, including the Convertible. What this has is a very tough, but not waterproof or air holding, outer skin with (presumably) vinyl inner bladders. These can't take much pressure - 2.0psi for the side tubes and just 1.0psi for the i-beam floor on the Convertible - which is (presumably) why they have to use the backbone with the i-beam to stiffen the boat. The alternative of the high pressure dropstitch floor would perform the same function. Based on my use of the Scout, which I'm pretty sure I overinflate to 4.0psi+, I would say that 2.0 psi in the side tubes isn't enough to support seats placed across the tubes, so you would need to find some higher kayak-type seats from somewhere - maybe Sea Eagle? I've no idea how the AE goes, I'm afraid. I do know that some people find bladder boats take an awful long time to dry out and my brief experience of a Sevylor one would confirm this. It was also pretty difficult to fold and pack. There are, however, lots of reviews from satisfied AE customers in various places online

You are obviously a bit concerned about the rigidity of an inflatable and it's certainly true that the longer you go the floppier they can become. I must say that I've never really found this an issue and suspect it's because I routinely overinflate them - I tend not to use a manometer but when I did the other day I'm sure it said 5psi before I hurriedly looked away. Chris runs his Seawave at just below 5psi and I've had many years of such abuse with no issues. My thinking on a Gumotex is that, excluding the more fragile i-beam floor which comes fitted with a PRV anyway to prevent overinflation, the seams on the side tubes are vulcanised so should be rock solid. 3psi seems a fairly conservative maximum and is presumably to allow a lot of leeway for people leaving their boats fully inflated in the sun. I'd encourage you to watch the vids on the Gumotex site of boats like the Scout and the Seawave in whitewater and to study how much they flex. It might be less than you think.

Sorry, I'm not being very helpful. Really, I'm sure that any of the boats will give you the family fun that you're looking for and will be sufficiently robust, so I guess it comes down to personal preference and cost

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Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:54 am 
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@onsafari:

All great points, thank you very much!

Do you know how much more does that 3-seat option cost for Palava (in addition to $899)? I should be able to DIY a seat easily, since it is screwed on.

I should not have said Gumotex models seems expensive, because nothing came close to them for the same price. I was unfairly comparing them to that $2000 Sea Eagle that is available to me for $1000.

Yes, adding thicker inflatable seats under for Advanced Elements's seats was what I was considering.

And yes, Gumotex would dry a lot faster than AE.


Last edited by zzffnn on Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:52 am 
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You could easily DIY it - it's just a rectangle of ply with a 'comfort pad' stuck to it, although it only costs $30 if you can't be bothered http://www.gumotexboats.com/seat-palava

You can fix a seat in two ways, both of which make use of the already glued on attachments on each side tube. The traditional method (and which I use on my Scout) is to lace it with rope knotted at each end, the better method is to used a bolt and nut in each corner. They're about $3 each http://www.gumotexboats.com/bolt-and-nut-for-seats

As the Boat People note, the Palava is no wider than Gumotex's tandem kayaks so it's no issue if you prefer to take out the canoe-style bench seats and chuck some kayak seats in instead.

Just found this vid of the AE which shows it being paddled four-up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g416CsGTkI. Looks a bit tight to me

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:42 pm 
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^ Thank you again!

Indeed, AE does not have enough interior space for 2 adults + 2 kids, due to dual bladder design. That was what Holly at Airkayaks.com (who sells both AEs and Innova Vagabond) told me.

Even Palava/Vagabond looks slightly too tight for me. So I would go with the Scout economy model, if I cannot buy that used Sea Eagle TC16 canoe.

After extensive research, I now prefer the Sea Eagle, because it offers about the same interior space as Gumotex Scout, is cheaper, easier to buy and likely faster. Its bottom (black) keel is actually molded hard plastic, so that part is pretty scratch/cut resistant. It has a more pronounced stiff V shape too, which makes it faster and more tippy. I think my family members should be able to adapt :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:56 am 
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Good choice I reckon. Grabner https://www.grabner.com/en/accessories/ ... back-pack/ makes some pretty vast (if rather overpriced) backpacks if you want to get something different to the Sea Eagle shoulder strap bag. I've got one for my Scout and it definitely makes lugging it around that little bit less unpleasant. They also do a boat cart, which is ludicrously expensive but could give you some ideas for a DIY alternative https://www.grabner.com/en/accessories/ ... boat-cart/

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Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:30 am 
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Thank, I have seen those DIY boat carts. Will likely buy these two or something similar:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-1 ... /300241684

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Planter-Acc ... /205399633


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