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Old 11-30-2019, 04:30 PM   #1
GlennR
 
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Question Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

Do any of you carry an inflatable boat along on your adventures? I see bikes under everyone's bed platform, but no boats. it seems like many destinations are to places on the water and every time I'm visiting the beach or a lake I've wished for a boat. Sure, rentals are often available. But, they aren't always available when & where you are, and there are the rules, the scheduling, and the cost.

It just seems like having an inflatable boat along in the van would be great whenever you find yourself at a beautiful place with water to explore.

Any good tips or advice about what size boat or motor has worked well, or not so well, for you? Pics or videos would be great too.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

I have traveled with Advanced Element two inflatable kayaks. If stored inside like under a bed you must clean by hosing down thoroughly or you will get the algae lake smell below you.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

Yes, we have an inflatable kayak. It can seat 2 people and is rated for class 4 rapids. It's the Sea Eagle 380x and if you have the cash, it's totally worth it. Works great on lakes, ponds, streams and difficult class 4 rapids. We have it in the rear garage where our bikes are. It folds up and stores well. We wipe it down very carefully after each use to prevent the spread of aquatic species and to prevent storing it wet.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

I ended up placing an order for a 12' inflatable from https://www.boatstogo.com/12-mars-in...ats-psm365.asp It only weighs 90 lbs and is rated for 30 Hp. I'll probably get a 20 Hp since that's the largest size that's still under 100 lbs. The 12' boat should fly with 20 Hp. I can't imagine what it would be like with 30 Hp!

I'll post more after it arrives. :)
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanS View Post
Yes, we have an inflatable kayak. It can seat 2 people and is rated for class 4 rapids. It's the Sea Eagle 380x and if you have the cash, it's totally worth it. Works great on lakes, ponds, streams and difficult class 4 rapids. We have it in the rear garage where our bikes are. It folds up and stores well. We wipe it down very carefully after each use to prevent the spread of aquatic species and to prevent storing it wet.
you take a 2 person (basically more of a sea kayak design) inflatable on class 4 whitewater ??
Hmmmmmm.... that I’d like to see, I’ll have my throw bag ready...

I have taken my inflatable Uli Sup and my Sotar inflatable kayak in my Sprinter, an outboard powered, small inflatable (unless a zodiac style boat) most likely wouldn’t have a strong enough transom to support a 20 hp outboard or rigid enough to truly use one (not to mention the size of the boat that would need a 20 HP motor) most inflatable tenders typically use around a 5 hp motor that I’ve seen, for 20 hp+ you’d want something the sz of a Zodiac MkII, NOT cheap nor a small bundle in reality...

get a pack raft if you just want to relax and putz around... super light and a small bundle for storage...

Last edited by aksotar; 12-02-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

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Originally Posted by aksotar View Post
you take a 2 person (basically more of a sea kayak design) inflatable on class 4 whitewater ??
Hmmmmmm.... that Id like to see, Ill have my throw bag ready...

I have taken my inflatable Uli Sup and my Sotar inflatable kayak in my Sprinter, an outboard powered, small inflatable (unless a zodiac style boat) most likely wouldnt have a strong enough transom to support a 20 hp outboard or rigid enough to truly use one (not to mention the size of the boat that would need a 20 HP motor) most inflatable tenders typically use around a 5 hp motor that Ive seen, for 20 hp+ youd want something the sz of a Zodiac MkII, NOT cheap nor a small bundle in reality...

get a pack raft if you just want to relax and putz around... super light and a small bundle for storage...
I guess you're not familiar with the Sea eagle 380x then.

We've taken it on class 3's and it worked great!

It may be rated to class 4's but we aren't haha! We'll have to work up to that skill level.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

I used to help rep Sotar boats here in Alaska, have guided many river trips and paddled/rowed lots of Class IV-V water... I’ve been in Sea Eagles before, thats why I made my sarcastic remark (and stand by it too) I’d take my Sotar inflatable kayak over ANY sea eagle for ANY whitewater useage... for relaxed touring a Sea Eagle is just fine and durable enough...
lots of manufacturers make big claims about their products but in reality is nothing but BS..
how many first descents around the World has Sea Eagle made as compared to the many Sotars have made ??
just speaking from many years of experience being on waters around the World....
ANY time on the water in anything is better than standing on the shoreline watching others have fun...
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by aksotar View Post
I used to help rep Sotar boats here in Alaska, have guided many river trips and paddled/rowed lots of Class IV-V water... Ive been in Sea Eagles before, thats why I made my sarcastic remark (and stand by it too) Id take my Sotar inflatable kayak over ANY sea eagle for ANY whitewater useage... for relaxed touring a Sea Eagle is just fine and durable enough...
lots of manufacturers make big claims about their products but in reality is nothing but BS..
how many first descents around the World has Sea Eagle made as compared to the many Sotars have made ??
just speaking from many years of experience being on waters around the World....
ANY time on the water in anything is better than standing on the shoreline watching others have fun...
You're making an apples and oranges comparison.

Remember, this whole convo stems from OPs question about putting a kayak in the garage of his van and using it when he happens upon a nice place. You don't need a Sotar Kayak, that's the Ferrari of whitewater which the OP hasn't asked about.

I mention the Sea Eagle and it's capabilities because it is a jack of most trade and the master of none.

It's a good answer to OPs question because it will fit most of his use cases. I don't he's going to do solo class 4 or class 5 rapids where an ultra expensive Sotar craft is the only solution.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

I was surprised that such affordable boats could handle so much power too. I read about them and checked out videos on YouTube. It appears that they are quite sturdy and tough, even though quite affordable. Asian imports have been getting better every year. I recently bought a Chinese motorcycle that was much cheaper than a Japanese bike, but the build quality is very good.

I checked the weights of outboards and discovered that 20 Hp ones are about the same weight as the 9.9 Hp ones. The most basic (pull start, tiller steer, manual tilt)20 Hp models are about 95 lbs. The motor size rating on the one I ordered is 30 Hp / 150 lbs. That gives me hopes that a 20 Hp weighing 95 lbs works well.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Traveling with an Inflatable Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I ended up placing an order for a 12' inflatable from https://www.boatstogo.com/12-mars-in...ats-psm365.asp It only weighs 90 lbs and is rated for 30 Hp. I'll probably get a 20 Hp since that's the largest size that's still under 100 lbs. The 12' boat should fly with 20 Hp. I can't imagine what it would be like with 30 Hp!

I'll post more after it arrives. :)
That should be a good choice.

Not that you asked...

We have a vinyl 14' Sea Eagle, a hypalon 11' Seaworthy, and a 11' hypalon Avon. All have wood or plastic flat floors. Because it is a bit heavier to transport, the 14' only gets used when we vacation with the 2 sister-in-laws.

I also have a choice of 9.8, 15, or 18 hp 2 cycle engines. The 14' is rated for 40 hp. I've tried them all with the various boats. I no longer mess with the larger hp engines. The 9.8 hp is lightest. With 3 people in the 14' Sea Eagle and some weight shifting the 9.8 hp will get us up on plane. With 2 people we pop right up on plane with no problem. Dealing with older engines, I carry a Nissan 3.5 hp engine as a backup. (I'd hate to have a problem and know that I left a backup engine home.) Even the 3.5 hp will get the 11' boats up on plane when I'm alone. I haven't tried that with the 14' boat.

The newer 4 stroke engines are heavier. I'm not familiar with the 4 strokes, but I know that in 2 stroke engines many 9.9 and 15 hp outboards share the same basic engine frame. A 9.9 weighs the same as a 15 hp. Be certain to place a 4 stroke engine correctly when storing or the engine oil will go where you don't want it.

If you will mostly be just 2 in the boat I would go for a 9.8 or 15 hp engine. It will do all that you need for 2 people. The difference in weight/size when muscling around or storing the engine is worth it.

I made a dolly for moving the boat around and for launch/retrieval. It makes things easier. There are commercial dollies available. Another option is two swing wheels that fasten to the transom. My bother-in-law tried those. They work, but the weight isn't balanced at all. Picking up and supporting the bow of the can be heavy. BIL would often forget things. I coined "WUV me". Wheels up, vent open (fuel tank). He eventually went to a dolly.

If you decide to make a dolly be careful if choosing a DIY PVC pipe style. I've seen quite a few of those designs which failed during launch/retrieval. I used aluminum channel for the dollies that I built.

For general information. There are many other brands.

Dolly.
http://www.castlecraft.com/trailex_b...hing_dolly.htm
(Make sure that the handle kicks up high enough to make moving easy. If the design is straight, I suppose that a short piece of line with a PVC handle could be added.)

Swing wheels.
https://www.amazon.com/Inflatable-Tr.../dp/B01FVH6U5K
These kick under which may help with balance.
http://www.aquamarineboat.com/index....de=prod&id=297

I think you'll love the opportunities that the inflatable powered sport boat opens up for you.

vic

Added:
There's some good general information here.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-185792.html

Suzuki shares the same frame for 15 and 20 hp. That may be a good option.
"I second this, the draw to Suzuki is that so far the fuel injection seems both bullet proof, and ethanol immune, the 15 and 20 HP anyway as they are the same motor."

I think that the information gained is worth slogging through to the end of the thread.
As an aside, don't believe the "easy upgrade from 9.9 to 15 hp" comments. It may be true for some models/brands, but many have different sized exhaust legs, etc. It's not always just a simple carburetor modification.
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 12-03-2019 at 01:33 AM.
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