Folding Kayaks Forum

The user forum for FoldingKayaks.org
It is currently Sat May 25, 2019 2:18 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Inflatable choices
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:31 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 406
Location: Coastal New Jersey
I’ve been thinking about replacing/supplementing my Feathercraft Kurrent for an inflatable to be used in Florida’s Gulf Coast waters during the winter months and as a take-along for casual paddling when traveling. The Innova Safari seemed attractive mostly because of its light weight, easy set-up, small packed size and reputation as good performer for so short a boat and one that would be fun to paddle. And, my wife having been shown a photo of the Safari, without hesitation pronounced it to be “so ugly that it’s cute”. But now it appears that the manufacturer has replaced the original Safari with an version that’s slightly longer and considerably wider which causes me to wonder if this new Safari 330 is, like most inflatables, more barge than boat. Another inflatable that has recently got my attention is the Razorlite 393. The Razorlite has a greater length to width ratio making it potentially more efficient and it’s manufactured using drop-stitch technology that should enhance general performance. The trade off is the greater weight of the Razorlight as well as certain design factors that I find suspect. And I’m not sure just how well it measures up in the highly subjective “fun” category. I really don’t expect any inflatable to perform as well as a skin-on-frame folder any more than I’d expect a folder to perform at the level of a lightweight, monocoque hardshell kayak. At this time I’m simply looking for input from any forum members who have experience with inflatables regardless of their type.

Thanks, Jake


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inflatable choices
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:19 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hi Jake,

Alternatively, you could look for someone who has a secondhand incept K 40 for sale. Ideal for warm Florida waters due to the possibility of unzipping the deck :-)

_________________
Simon

Feathercraft Wisper, First light 420, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (4sale),Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), Pakboats Quest 135, TRAK 2.0
Wanted:original Advanced Elements Air Fusion
Cape Falcon F1. Beth, Hobie AI


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inflatable choices
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 4:33 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 2:36 am
Posts: 2
Location: Germany, Lake Constance
Hi Jake,

I have several inflatable kayaks and tried several ones. The Safari may be nice for such a short boat - but terrible slow in comparison with every foldable or even Grabner Holiday or Incept K40. But I'm 1,9m tall. A much smaller friend (1,55m) loves short boats :wink:
If you need it light - you can try the older Grabner Holidays from the Hypalon days. They had thinner material than the new ones. Most where even a bit shorter. I have an Holiday II economy. This weights under 12kg and is 3,4m long and holds 4,5psi pressure. The perfect length for one person for this model. The holiday has a perfect flat bottom. This makes them very fast on flat water, but not perfect in the waves. The 4m long model splashes on the waves a bit more - but is a very nice boat on the sea, too. My girlfriend has a new one and we had several long tours on heavy sea around Korsika.

I second siravingmon: If you can handle the weight of the K40 (16kg) - it is one of the best inflatables on the open sea I know. The keel line is not straight - perfect in waves. The unzippable deck is very good for loading stuff inside. On flat water nearly as fast as the holiday, with only small waves (10cm) faster than the holiday. The small rudder is very nice to balance out wind from the side. The material is VERY strong, but it is PU coated fabric. It shows air wicking if you have a leak at the inner surface. Only the coatings are airtight, the fabric not. A leak in the inner coating gets air in the fabric and distributes it around the hole boat and exits the material along all edges. I have such a inner leak which I cannot find and have to top the pressure every 2 hours at the moment. Hypalon, EPDM and I think Nitrilon does not show air wicking. If you need maximum possibility to repair - than stay away from PU. Boats from Hypalon etc. can last many decades. I have ca. 40 years old Semperit Forelle which holds the pressure better than the K40 when new.

I never tried a drop stitched boat, but I don't think the perfect flat bottom is so much fun with waves and tracking. I don't know the reliability either - the material is just to new. Let's see in some decades ;-). In Europe we have completely new and interesting drop stitched boat with keel! But I don't know the quality: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/strenfit-x5 ... 03087.html Negative: the package is bulky and heavy.

It seems, there is no perfect inflatable kayak. At the moment I love my Tasman K40 on the sea and the holiday economy as lightweight small package an rivers. I would love to test the Feathercraft Aironaut, it looks sooooo cool and should be super fast. But it seems you cannot get one of them. And even if, the material is very thin and should be only good in sheltered waters. You wrote in another thread there are used ones to sell? Can you help me get in contact?

edit: I missed your other "inflatable choices" thread before, sorry. So most of my ideas were not new and I read more about the planned usage. Regarding the Nitrilon light: If you don't need the boat lasting for decades and don't plan to scrub over stones and sharp mussels all the time - take it! A less robust boat you have with you is much better than a heavier boat at home. And the thinner material can be very good. My 40yrs old Semperit Forelle and the holiday II economy (15yrs) are with much thinner material than the actuall models of Grabner. Both are 3,6m long and have around 11kg. But they are really robust and I used them with trust on the sea in several feet high waves. With normal use I prefer these older models with thinner material over the new grabner holiday II.

_________________
Incept Tasman K40
Grabner Holiday II economy
Semperit Forelle II
Gugel Rodeo (relabeled prototype Gumotex Traveller with glued spraydeck?)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inflatable choices
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 10:04 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 406
Location: Coastal New Jersey
A light weight kayak becomes increasingly attractive as a paddler grows older. But lighter weight in a folding or inflatable boat comes with a compromise in durability, or so it seems to me. The Feathercraft Aironaut was fabricated from 420 denier urethane coated nylon. The Innova Safari uses 1200 denier Nitrilon coated polyester and is probably much more durable. But if the paddler is looking for a high performance inflatable that weighs a mere 20 pounds and is not put off by the low initial stability of the Aironaut and will exercise a bit of care in the handling, the Aironaut (and Doug Simpson at Feathercraft still had three Aironauts available last time I checked) might be just the right boat. Now in my 78th year on this lovely planet, such things as weight, ease of getting in and out of the boat (even in light surf) have become increasingly important. If the boat can be paddled easily at, perhaps, 3 mph and designed to minimize weather cocking and made ready for the water in short order without the need for tedious assembly, I think I might be well satisfied. In my 65 years of messing about with small boats, I’ve never paddled an inflatable boat of any kind and “try before you buy” is almost impossible, and so I’ve learned more from comments on this forum then from any other source and for that I’m grateful. Having said that, the now-discontinued Innova Twist 2 in Nitrilon Light at a bargain price of just $415 (plus shipping, buying some sort of pump and whatever else) is certainly worth consideration. And at about one foot longer than the Safari, it might even be just as much fun to paddle. It might be a good place to start even though I find myself returning, now and then, to the old Feathercraft website for a quick covetous glance at the Aironaut.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inflatable choices
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 7:08 am 
forum fanatic

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 56
Jake, I've read good things about CA based retailer The Boat People and indeed have used their website as a resource many times. It might be worth dropping them an email asking for recommendations based on the type of paddling you're looking to do as well as any concerns you may have over the lighter version of nitrilon - they're an Innova/Gumotex dealer (among other brands) so should be able to give you an informed answer

_________________
Barum Albatros
Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group