Inflatables for Ocean Use

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Re: Inflatables for Ocean Use

Post by Kalif »


I think what your tried is a Sea Eagle (not familiar with Sea Lion, but maybe there's such inflatable) and if it was one of their lower-end models (white), I'm not surprised if you weren't too happy. Three people I know have them and I had a chance to try it a couple of times. Basically, they are not better than Sevylor Tahiti 79 that you can get for $100. I never understood why they cost so much (this is not the case in higher-end Sea Eagle which are nice). They can't be inflated to be firm enough, have too large a tube diameter and can't hold shape well, which all translates to poor speed and handling.

I can assure you that Seawave and other Gumotex boats are much more efficient. Seawave would be the closest to what you experienced in that double sit-in with added safety of an inflatable.

If you are concerned about age/muscle loss, that's another good argument for an inflatable for several reasons:

1. You won't have to worry about capsizing. Double folders over 30in in width would work too.

2. Also, think in terms of getting in and out easily, because some people find that frustrating too (I know I do and I'm very flexible and agile, but don't want the whole production each time I get in/out of the kayak).

3. Weight. Depending on your combined weight/height, Seawave, Solar, Swing2 or Helios 2 would all be good.

4. Wind. The windage may be a problem only if you are too light for a kayak, in which case you can put some weight in (few gallons of water). If you go tandem, it usually is not a problem. Some of them do have quite a bit buoyancy (my Solar 410 does) but some like Helios 2 have less, so you'll have to calculate it all for your own weight.

5. Kayak Weight. Consider this too because in many cases you have to carry it to the water and that might not be close. The heavier the kayak, the more hassle. You don't want to pull some muscle even before you get in the boat.

Let us know what you decide.

Helios 2
Sevylor SVX5oo
Swing II

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